What are Dental Assessments?
Dental Assessments are important to ensure any important medical procedures can be carried out smoothly.
Dental Assessments are required for medically compromised patients who are scheduled for major surgery or cancer treatment, e.g. radiation or chemotherapy. The dental assessment is conducted by our experienced dental specialists who are familiar with the oral implications of medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.
Benefits of Dental Assessments
Dental Assessments are important to ensure that the risk of oral complications in the middle of treatment or post-surgery is minimized. Dental issues that arise in the middle of medical treatment can result in complicated and expensive clinical problems that may interrupt the important medical treatment. Examples of oral complications are pre-existing gum disease and decayed or infected teeth. When these conditions are not treated before major surgery or cancer treatment, these dental conditions can result in major problems for the patient.
Due to the nature of the cancer treatment, the body’s immune defenses are down, making it easier for bacteria from the rotten tooth to affect other parts of the body. Our clinic has seen patients who are in great pain over an oral complication in mid-cancer treatment but there are times when little can be done to help except to provide medication to manage the pain. Radiation treatment may also have affected the jawbone of the patient, resulted in delayed healing (if at all) of the bone at the extraction site.
All that is required to prevent this situation from occurring is to have these medically compromised patients undergo a dental assessment with an experienced team of dental specialists to address any existing significant dental problems before treatment. The positive impact of such dental assessments on the financial, physiological and emotional toll on patients and their family members is enormous.
Dental assessments also result in the early detection and treatment of dental infections and can improve the quality of patient’s lives and decrease the cost of treatment.
What does the Procedure Involve?
The dental specialist will go over your medical history and review your x-rays. The specialist will also conduct a physical examination of your dentition, jaw and mouth, and will discuss with you treatment options and timelines in conjunction with the schedule of upcoming major surgery or cancer treatment.
Crucial dental treatment will be performed in such a way as to minimize downtime and also to keep as close to the originally scheduled medical treatment as much as possible.
How much time before the whole process is Completed?
The initial dental assessment consultation should take under one hour and if there are no pre-existing dental conditions that need to be addressed before the major surgery or cancer treatment, the follow up is done after medical treatment is completed.
In the event that dental treatment is required before the major surgery or cancer treatment, this will be done in a timely manner, with the patient’s best interest and comfort in mind.
When will I be able to resume daily activities?
Our patients can resume their usual activities on the same day without any interruption, which means that one can see their families, friends, business associates, watch their favorite TV shows and have a reasonable dinner. On the other hand, some patients may prefer to rest for a day or two. It is all up to the individual.
- Oral Cancer (pdf)