A systematic review of dental disease management in cancer patients

C.H.L. Hong, S. Hu, T.M. Haverman, M. Stokman, J.J. Napeñas, J. Bos-den Braber, E. Gerber, M. Geuke, E. Vardas, T. Waltimo, S.B. Jensen, D.P. Saunders

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: This systematic review aims to update on the prevalence of odontogenic-related infections and the efficacy of dental strategies in preventing dental-related complications in cancer patients since the 2010 systematic review.
Review method: A literature search was conducted in the databases MEDLINE/PubMed and EMBASE for articles published between 1 January 2009 and 30 June 2016. Each study was assessed by 2 reviewers and the body of evidence for each intervention was assigned an evidence level.
Results: After examination of the abstracts and full-text articles, 59 articles satisfied the inclusion criteria. The weighted prevalence of dental infections and pericoronitis during cancer therapy was 5.4 and 5.3%, respectively. The frequency of dental-related infections during intensive chemotherapy after complete, partial, and minimal pre-cancer dental evaluation/treatment protocols ranged from 0 to 4%. Protocols involving third molars extractions had the highest complications (40%).
Conclusions: In view of the low prevalence of infections and the potential for complications after third molar extractions, it is suggested that partial dental evaluation/treatment protocols prior to intensive chemotherapy; whereby minor caries (within dentin), asymptomatic third molars or asymptomatic teeth without excessive probing depth (<8 mm), mobility (mobility I or II) or with periapical lesions of <5 mm were observed; is a viable option when there is insufficient time for complete dental evaluation/treatment protocols. The use of chlorhexidine, fluoride mouth rinses as well as composite resin, resin-modified glass ionomer cement (GIC), and amalgam restorations over conventional GIC in post head and neck radiation patients who are compliant fluoride users is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-174
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


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