European Journal of Prosthodontics and Restorative Dentistry

Effects of Radiotherapy to the Jaws 1: The Scale of the Problem


Abstract - Cancer care has become one of the main targets of the National Health Service in England and with cancer patients surviving longer, it is likely that head and neck cancer patients will make up a large proportion of patients seen within secondary care settings in the future. The management of these patients can be very difficult for a number of reasons. Part one of this paper attempts to highlight the major oral health problems encountered by these patients during and after their cancer treatment and supported by the current literature. Part two of this series will address the dental management of head and neck oncology patients undergoing radiotherapy with particular attention of possible improvement to current management strategies for these patients.

KEYWORDS: Head and neck oncology, cancer, radiotherapy, dental complications, mucositis, taste loss, xerostomia, radiation caries, periodontal disease, osteoradionecrosis, trismus, implants


S. Eliyas, R. Porter, P. Briggs, R.R. Patel

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