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Volume 22 , Issue 3
May/June 2009

Pages 303306

A Survey of Clinicians: Prioritization of Dental Treatment in Leukemia Patients Prior to Chemotherapy

Fong Wong, DDS, MSDa/Joseph A. Toljanic, DDSb

PMID: 19548416

Purpose: Chronic oral and dental infections that may remain benign and asymptomatic in healthy individuals can develop into serious and life-threatening conditions when leukemia patients undergo chemotherapy. There is a general consensus that elimination of chronic dental and oral infections prior to chemotherapy reduces the risk of serious problems that may require hospitalization. The limited time available for dental treatment prior to chemotherapy forces clinicians to prioritize. The aim of this study was to determine how hospital-based clinicians who routinely see leukemia patients prioritize dental treatment prior to chemotherapy. Materials and Methods: A survey was conducted that targeted the membership of the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics because a large number of these clinicians had first-hand experience in managing leukemia patients. Results: The consensus was that apical radiolucencies and severe periodontitis must be eliminated. Opinions differed regarding whether and how mild periodontal pathology and caries lesions should be treated. Conclusion: Most of the surveyed practitioners believed that infectious processes that invade the bone pose the highest risk if left untreated prior to chemotherapy. Int J Prosthodont 2009;22:303306.

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