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J Oral Implantol. 2012 Dec;38(6):792-8. doi: 10.1563/AAID-JOI-D-11-00045. Epub 2011 May 16.

Squamous cell carcinoma in association with dental implants: an assessment of previously hypothesized carcinogenic mechanisms and a case report.

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Dental Specialty Center, Bombay Hospital Research Center, Mumbai, India.


Although dental implants have seen tremendous clinical success over the past few decades, there are some worrying reports in literature describing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in close association with dental implants. This article also provides a critical assessment of the published literature relating to the presence of carcinoma in association with dental implants, analyzing the previously published and hypothesized carcinogenic responses to an implant, to try and come to a conclusion regarding the plausibility and clinical risk for cancer formation in association with dental implants. An unusual case of an SCC noted in close proximity to a dental implant is also presented. A systematic search was conducted using Medline (PubMed), Cochrane Database, and Google Scholar with the search terms "cancer," "squamous cell carcinoma," "dental implant," "SCC," "peri-implantitis," "oral cancer," and "implantology" and using multiple combinations using Boolean operators "or" and "and." The search was not limited to dental literature; orthopedic and biomedical literature was also included. The results were then hand screened to pick out the relevant articles. In total, 14 previous published reports were found, where 24 dental implants were reported to be associated with SCC. Not all the reported patients had a history of cancer, but contributory factors such as smoking were found. An analysis of the biological plausibility of previously proposed carcinogenic mechanisms, such as corrosion, metallic ion release, and particulate debris, did not support the etiologic role for dental implants in cancer development, and the standardized incidence ratio was found to be extremely low (0.00017). Peri-implantitis should be assessed cautiously in patients receiving implants who have a previous history of cancer. Dental implants are a safe treatment modality based on the published data, and any change in surgical protocol is not mandated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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