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Implants and Oral Lichen Planus

The erosive form of oral lichen planus may be difficult to treat, and patients with this problem often experience difficulty wearing complete dentures. An article by Esposito et al published in the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry reported on 2 cases in which edentulous women in their 70s had long-term histories of erosive lichen planus, and both had problems with their mandibular complete dentures in terms of pain and the need for frequent adjustments. Steroid treatment had produced only limited success. For both patients, new maxillary and mandibular complete dentures were fabricated, and 2 10 mm implants were placed in the canine regions. After the healing period, ball attachments were placed. Soft tissue reactions were successfully managed using topical steroids and by removing the mandibular denture temporarily. There were no problems with implant failure, and even though subsequent erosive flare-ups occurred, both patients were more comfortable, had fewer soft tissue eruptions, and required less frequent denture adjustments. The authors state that implants may help patients with oral lichen planus overcome difficulties with complete dentures. Using implants with ball attachment over dentures may reduce the incidence of erosive flare-ups.

(Source: Dental Abstracts, Vol. 48, No. 5, 2003)

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