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Dental clearance before chemotherapy

Some forms of chemotherapy for cancer can suppress the body’s immune system and make it more susceptible to infections. Eliminating oral sources of infection prior to chemotherapy will reduce the risk of these dental problems flaring up later during or after chemotherapy.

Dental clearance before general anaesthesia and treatment with bisphosphonates

Dental clearance may also be required prior to other types of medical treatment and medical procedures. These include the following:

General anaesthesia: If you have pre-existing mobile teeth, loose crowns or bridges, you may have to see a dental professional for these to be addressed before undergoing general anaesthesia. This will help reduce the risk of tooth dislodgment when a breathing tube is inserted during general anesthesia.

Treatment with bisphosphonates: If you are on certain types of drugs called bisphosphonates for the management of cancer–related conditions or osteoporosis, there may be higher incidence of impaired bone healing or bone death (osteonecrosis) if you undergo tooth extraction or jaw surgery. Therefore, a dental examination and removal of both existing and potential sources of infection are recommended before these drugs are commenced.

For more information on dental clearance before a heart surgery and radiotherapy​, see previous page.

Ref: Q15