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Introduction of a head and neck cancer dental screening pro forma

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

  • J. Ban
  • S. Ali
  • A. Barber
  • L. McNally
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-544
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Volume225
Issue number6
Early online date21 Sep 2018
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 14 May 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 21 Sep 2018
DatePublished (current) - 28 Sep 2018

Abstract

Introduction There are approximately 9,200 new cases of head and neck cancer diagnosed in England and Wales per year. Each new patient should undergo a full dental examination utilising an orthopantomogram radiograph (OPG) before commencement of oncology treatment to ensure they are dentally fit. Patients should also be prescribed topical fluoride supplements (TFS). Both of which serve to reduce the risk of postoperative complications such as osteoradionecrosis. Aim To assess compliance with national guidelines regarding OPG and TFS prescription before oncology treatment. Method A two part audit of the compliance with national guidelines was carried out in a tertiary UK hospital centre. Following which a new dental screen pro forma was introduced along with simple education, and practice was re-audited to assess improvement. Results Part 1 showed 89.5% of patients had an OPG taken and 57.7% of dentate patients were prescribed a TFS. Following introduction of the dental screen pro forma 100% of patients had an OPG taken and 95.6% prescribed a TFS. Conclusion The introduction of a dental screening pro forma facilitates a thorough dental examination and improves compliance with the guidelines regarding OPG and TFS prescription for patients undergoing head and neck cancer treatment.

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