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The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants
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Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 17 (2002), No. 4     15. Aug. 2002
Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 17 (2002), No. 4  (15.08.2002)

Page 573-580


Rehabilitation of Patients with Congenital Unrepaired Cleft Palate Defects Using Free Iliac Crest Bone Grafts and Dental Implants
Laine, Juhani / Vähätalo, Kimmo / Peltola, Juha / Tammisalo, Tapio / Happonen, Risto-Pekka
Purpose: To rehabilitate the mastication and speech of edentulous congenital cleft lip and palate patients with the use of endosseous implants in conjunction with bone augmentation. Materials and Methods: Between 1992 and 1999, 6 partially and 4 completely edentulous adult patients with complex cleft palate defects were treated. Six patients had large, unrepaired defects of the hard and soft palate, whereas the other 4 had residual oronasal fistulas after failed palatoplasty and bone grafting. In 8 patients, free inlay-antral and simultaneous lateral-onlay bone grafts (3 patients) were obtained from the iliac crest, and dental implants were placed secondarily. In the other 2 patients, the implants were placed without grafting in recent extraction sites. Rigid bars with extensions over the defects were used to support obturator prostheses (n = 7), or patients were provided with fixed implant-supported prostheses (n = 3). In all, 50 cylindric, screw-type dental implants were placed and followed up for 1 to 8 years (mean, 5 years). Results: Six implants were regarded as early failures and 1 was lost during the first year of loading; 1 patient lost all 5 implants. The cumulative success rate at 5 years was 85.7%. Discussion and Conclusion: All 9 successfully rehabilitated patients reported a remarkable functional and psychologic improvement after the treatment. The described treatment protocol also seemed to be effective for correcting velopharyngeal insufficiency in patients using an obturator prosthesis.