Oral health status of head and neck oncology patients undergoing pre-radiotherapy dental assessment: a 12-month retrospective study.

Neill Markey*, Ciaran Moore, Gerry McKenna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To determine the oral health status, and urgent treatment needs, of dentate head and neck cancer (HANC) patients undergoing pre-radiotherapy dental assessment in Northern Ireland. This study will also examine and compare the levels of dental disease and treatment needs in those patients under 60 years old and patients 60 years and older.
Methods: Dental records of patients who had previously attended the Centre for Dentistry, Belfast, in 2019, were reviewed. Clinical and radiological data relating to the pre-radiotherapy dental assessment of dentate HANC patients prior to radiation treatment were examined. Analysis was conducted for the entire calendar year of 2019.
Results: 134 dentate HANC patients attended for pre-radiotherapy dental assessment. The average age was 60 years. The age range was 31-81 years. 67.2% of patients were male and 32.8% were female. Of the total patients examined, 70 (52.2%) patients were aged 60 years or older. 68.7% of patients were diagnosed with dental caries. 80.1% of pre-radiotherapy patients had periodontitis. Apical pathology was noted in 51.5% of patients. 55.2% of patients required at least one dental extraction. 26.9% of patients required restorations and 5.2% required root canal treatment. 57.8% of patients in the under 60 years old age group had caries compared to 78.6% of patients in the 60 years or older age group. 43.8% of patients in the under 60 years old age group required at least one pre-radiotherapy extraction compared to 65.7% of patients in the 60 years or older age group. 40.6% of patients in the under 60 age group had at least one tooth with apical pathology compared to 61.4% of patients in the 60 years or older age group.
Conclusions: Dentate HANC patients presented with significant dental disease and treatment needs. Early dental assessment, and intervention, is necessary to improve patient outcomes. The patients in the 60 years or older age group are more likely to have caries, more likely to require extractions, and more likely to have apical pathology compared to those patients in the under 60 years age group.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Publication statusAccepted - 05 Feb 2021
EventIrish Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Annual Scientific Meeting -
Duration: 05 Feb 202105 Feb 2021

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