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Brazilian Dental Journal

Print version ISSN 0103-6440On-line version ISSN 1806-4760


ROSALES, Ana Carolina de Mesquita Netto et al. Dental needs in brazilian patients subjected to head and neck radiotherapy. Braz. Dent. J. [online]. 2009, vol.20, n.1, pp.74-77. ISSN 0103-6440.

In spite of its recognized benefits in the treatment of malignant tumors, radiation therapy have several side effects in the head and neck region. The evaluation of oral conditions by a dentist is important to prevent or minimize these problems. The aim of this retrospective review was to analyze the dental needs in 357 patients who received radiotherapy in the head and neck region and were treated at Orocentro/FOP/UNICAMP, between January 1990 and December 2004. Review of patient files showed that dental examination before radiotherapy was not performed in 148 patients (41.5%) and was done in 209 patients (58.5%). From the total of examined patients, 94 (45%) did not require dental procedures at the moment of examination, while 115 (55%) presented some sort of dental need. Following the patients after the radiotherapy, it was observed that the group of patients that was evaluated before radiation presented less need of restorations, root canal filling and dental extractions than those who were not evaluated. The results of this study confirm that the evaluation of oral conditions prior to radiotherapy is essential to minimize the dental needs, emphasizing the importance of the dentist in the multidisciplinary team that treats cancer patients.

Keywords : oral cavity; cancer; radiotherapy; oral complications.

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