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Dental work

meaganb's picture
Posts: 243
Joined: May 2012

I have seen a lot of threads about how dental work after Rads can cause problems such as slow healing or infections. Just wondering if anyone has had dental work done after treatment without going through hyperbaric(sp?) oxygen treatments. My dentist wants to do some minor work that will mostly involve gum, but could also involve some bone. Just looking for those with some experience.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I guess it depends on the work, the dentist knowledge and experience...

I have had some things... Deep cleanings, one or two cavities filled, and two crowns...some on the lower jaw.

The lower jaw is usually of most concern, damage from radiaiton lessens blood flow, needed for proper healing.

Healing is usually the culprit, leading to an infection, then into the bone which can cause a lot of problems.

OH, LOL... all healed fine, no HBO needed...


rachel12yrsuv's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Feb 2013

I had MANY cavities and root canals done over last 12yrs, so much so that the vital stem therapy hurts my mouth from all the metal in there! Lol. My dentist would not allow deep gum cleaning for fear it would cause infection. When I needed brige and teeth removed I finally did the chamber. In my opinion, its better safe than soory. The 20 initial treatments never have to be repeated, just the last 10 after surgery or whatever he is doing.

Good luck in your decision. For long time dentist was my best friend, not done have to get rest out and finally get false teeth, but I need to handle this eating issue first!

God Bless,


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

I just finished 30 HBOT in anticipation of dental implants. It is time consuming but not at all painful. Between tx and HBOT I did have one cleaning and also had to have one root canal. Apparently, the rads destroyed the root because there was no decay on exterior. That went w/o incident. As much as we have been through, I would rather do the HBOT than to be sorry afterwards. I had a second opinion with a specialist at the hosiptal for my implants, he said without HBOT I would run the risk of something and if I got that "I would wish I had cancer". When I told my ONC what he said, she told me that made her want to cry. I did not select him to do the work. 

ljoy's picture
Posts: 94
Joined: Dec 2007

The tissue damage in my lower jaw bone was visible on a dental x-ray. A lay person could see it when pointed out by the oral surgeon. The oral surgeon then precribed HBO treatment bfore and after surgery. 30 TX before and 10 TX after. He stated the key to successful surgery was to remove the dead bone until he reached bleeding bone. All went well and I healed up nicely. I'm an eight year survivor of tonsil cancer. This was four years after treatment.

I would recommend that you make sure your dentist/oral surgeon is familiar with the complications associated with Head and Neck cancer patients after ttreatment. My original dentist did not know what was causing my two lower jaw teeth to come loose. He thought I needed a root canal. It was purely radiation damage to the blood cells and tissue.










































































































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