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J Oral Implantol. 2013 Feb;39(1):91-7. doi: 10.1563/AAID-JOI-D-10-00181. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Pterygoid implants for maxillofacial rehabilitation of a patient with a bilateral maxillectomy defect.

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Department of Reconstructive Sciences, University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT, USA.


Bilateral maxillectomy is known to have serious esthetic and functional consequences. The retention and support of a maxillary obturator prosthesis in these patients is particularly challenging. Surgical placement of implants is also challenging because of the lack of available bone. Therefore, implant placement into remote sites such as zygoma has been advocated. Very few articles in the literature have discussed the use of pterygoid/pterygomaxillary implants in patients undergoing maxillectomy. This case report describes the maxillofacial rehabilitation of an elderly man who underwent a bilateral subtotal maxillectomy due to basaloid squamous cell carcinoma of the hard palate. After initial healing, the patient had a pterygoid implant placed on each side of the oral cavity. Zygomatic implants were also attempted, but they failed to osseointegrate. Both pterygoid implants showed successful osseointegration. These 2 implants significantly helped to retain a hollow maxillary obturator prosthesis that aided in improved swallowing, speech, and esthetics. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report in the literature that describes usage of pterygoid implants for rehabilitation of a patient undergoing bilateral maxillectomy.

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