Role of the consultant in restorative dentistry in managing head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy: a novel intraoral shield appliance design

Abstract

Oral cancer incidence is rising, with both the consequences of the disease and sequelae of treatment often having a significant impact on patient oral health and functionality. As a result, the restorative dentist has a key and varied role within the head and neck multidisciplinary team, from dental pre-assessments to complex oral rehabilitations following extensive surgical management. Radiotherapy is a key pillar of head and neck cancer treatment but also presents a particular set of issues for patients and their management by clinicians. Communication between all team members is vital to ensure optimal patient treatment, and ultimately led to the development of two novel intraoral shield appliances for dentate and edentulous patients to help combat some of these undesirable side effects.

Key points

  • Update of head and neck cancer epidemiology and management.

  • Outlining the role of the consultant restorative dentist in managing head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

  • Discussion of a novel intraoral shield appliance design.

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Correspondence to Thibault Colloc.

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Colloc, T., Brown, T. & Keys, W. Role of the consultant in restorative dentistry in managing head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy: a novel intraoral shield appliance design. Br Dent J 229, 655–660 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-020-2349-1

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