LIFE QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IN PATIENTS WITH ORAL SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMAS USING TOTAL DENTURES
Aim: Treatment of oral cancer patients is followed by the occurrence of significant functional and aesthetic alterations. Dental rehabilitation is the key factor for post-op life quality. Material and methods: The study included 22 patients treated for squamous cell carcinoma: tongue (11 cases), floor of mouth (10 cases) and lower lip (1 case). The study group included only edentulous patients with appropriate mandibular bone height. The group was further divided into three subgroups: patients requiring floor-of-mouth lowering (9 cases), patients who needed lower labial vestibuloplasty (8 cases) and patients who required a vestibule and a floor-of-mouth extension procedure (5 cases). Healing was by second intention in most patients by using an acrylic splint fixed by circummandibular wire and maintained in place 4 weeks (16 cases). Eight patients underwent vestibuloplasty: in 3 using total skin grafts, 3 - jugular mucosa and in 2 cases palate mucosa. The acrylic splint was made for two patients out of eight. Results: Secondary tissue retraction did not allow the proper retention of the mandibular removable prostheses in 3 patients who delayed their appointments. Prosthesis was made without any inconvenience in all other patients. Thereby 19 out of 22 patients had significant improvement in all functional aspects (mastication and swallowing), as well as facial aesthetics (restoring the vertical dimension of the lower face). Conclusions: Using less traumatic and non-expensive surgical techniques, quality of life patients with oral SCC can be greatly increased, allowing the social reintegration of these individuals.
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