A study was made to investigate the possible differences in dental health between patients scheduled for head and neck radiotherapy and healthy subjects of similar age and sex, with an evaluation of the need for dental treatment prior to radiotherapy.
Material and Methods:
The dental and periodontal health of 83 head and neck cancer patients and 34 healthy controls of similar age and sex was evaluated, based on the Silness-Le plaque index, DMF index and modified CPI index, and attachment loss. Each patient was also evaluated in terms of the need for treatment before radiotherapy, based on the Bruins Model for Pretherapy Dental Decision Support.
Dental health was found to be poorer among the oncological patients versus the controls, with statistically significant differences in terms of the Silness-Le index (t=3.64; p<0.01), mean number of decayed teeth (t=2.51; p=0.01), mean number of filled teeth (t=4.24; p<0.01), periodontal pockets (t=2.93; p<0.01), and attachment loss (t=4.84; p<0.01). On applying the Bruins decision-taking protocol, the extraction of an average of 8.340.90 teeth/individual was found to be advisable among the patients scheduled for radiotherapy.
Patients scheduled for head and neck radiotherapy presented poorer dental and periodontal health than the healthy subjects of similar age and sex. As a result, a considerable number of teeth required extraction prior to radiotherapy among the oncological patients.
oral cancer, radiotherapy, dental health