Are there any special considerations for people with cancer when it comes to dentistry?

Pre-treatment considerations The dentist should generally prioritize treating teeth at risk of infection or decay to help avoid the need for dental treatment during cancer treatment. People who have good dental health before treatment have a lower risk of these conditions. Therefore, it is important to see a dentist at least 4 weeks before starting cancer treatment so that any possible infection or irritation can be treated. This Q%26A medication provides advice on what to consider when administering dental treatment and information on the main adverse effects of cancer therapies that could cause problems when dental health professionals provide treatment.

Some of these therapies, called targeted therapies, target specific genes or proteins or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth and survival. To reduce your risk of MRONJ, visit a dentist before and during cancer treatment, including bone-modifying medications to make sure your mouth is healthy. The use of a sugar-free antifungal should be considered if long-term use is necessary or if the patient is prone to tooth decay. Ideally, the patient's oncology or hematology team should be responsible for organizing or carrying out all active dental treatment while the patient is receiving cancer treatment, so you should always contact them before starting a dental procedure during this period.

Complete information for people with cancer, family members and caregivers, from the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the voice of the world's oncology professionals. Your general dentist and several other dental health professionals can help you with oral care before, during, and after cancer treatment. Other medications that help control the symptoms and side effects of cancer can also cause dental and oral side effects. The dentist should be aware of the possibility of oral adverse effects resulting from cancer treatment, including the risk that it will not be cured.

Dentists who work in community or hospital dental services may have experience providing care to patients with more complex medical conditions and health needs, and may have the competence and experience to provide dental treatment to patients with cancer that a general dentist would not have. Sometimes, drugs such as bisphosphonates and other newer drugs are used to reduce the spread of cancer cells to the bones. The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) improves the health of British Columbians by seeking solutions across the province for specialized health care needs in collaboration with British Columbia health authorities and other partners. You should usually wait at least 2 weeks for it to heal between dental surgery and the start of cancer treatment.

If you see a dentist during cancer treatment, it's important to talk to your oncologist to make sure that any dental treatment you receive is safe for you.

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