Complications of head and neck radiotherapy: a dental perspective

  • Glynn Dale Buchanan Department of Odontology Faculty of Health Sciences University of Pretoria
  • Mohamed Yasin Gamieldien Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria
  • Sheree Tredoux Department of Odontology, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria
  • Andre Uys Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria
  • Nicolaas Jacobus Swanepoel Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria
Keywords: complications, head and neck, Radiotherapy,

Abstract


For the treatment of head and neck cancers radiotherapy is frequently and successfully performed by medical specialists. However, a number of complications may occur following such therapy. Many of these complications are diagnosed and treated primarily by dental practitioners and specialists. Whilst some are easily managed, others, such as osteoradionecrosis of the jaw, may be very difficult to treat and have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life. The following report documents a case where several complications occurred following radiotherapy. Comprehensive dental assessment and treatment prior to, during and after radiotherapy may lead to a reduction of complications. Greater cooperation and understanding between the medical and dental professionals is required during radiotherapy of head and neck cancer patients.

Author Biographies

Glynn Dale Buchanan, Department of Odontology Faculty of Health Sciences University of Pretoria

Dentist/Lecturer

Department of Odontology

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria

 

Mohamed Yasin Gamieldien, Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria

Dentist/Lecturer

Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, University of Pretoria

Sheree Tredoux, Department of Odontology, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria

Postgraduate student

Department of Odontology, University of Pretoria

Andre Uys, Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria
Senior Lecturer/Stomatologist, University of Pretoria
Nicolaas Jacobus Swanepoel, Department of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria
Registrar, Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery, University of Pretoria

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Published
2019/04/29
Section
Short Report