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What dental care do I need before starting cancer treatment?

Dental care is an important element of overall cancer treatment. As soon as possible after cancer diagnosis, the patient's treatment team should involve the dentist. Individuals who will undergo cancer treatment should:

  • Schedule a dental exam and cleaning before cancer treatment begins and periodically during the course of treatment.
  • Tell the dentist that he or she will be treated for cancer.
  • Discuss dental procedures, such as extractions or insertion of dental implants, with the oncologist before starting the cancer treatment.
  • Have the dentist check and adjust removable dentures as needed.
  • Tell the dentist and physician about any bleeding of the gums, or pain, or unusual feeling in the teeth or gums, or any dental infections.
  • Update a medical history record with the dentist to include the cancer diagnosis and treatments.
  • Provide the dentist and oncologist with each other's name and telephone number for consultation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.