It is estimated that over 1.4 million patients are diagnosed with cancer each year, many people are aware of the most common side effects of cancer treatments such as hair loss, nausea and a weaken immune system. However, most people do not realize that over a third of cancer patients develop complications that affect the mouth.
In Costa Rica, full mouth reconstruction procedures for cancer patients, are performed at top dental clinics, who employ the best specialists to provide the most comprehensive treatment options designed to improve the quality of life of their clients.
The complications from cancer treatments vary in form and severity, depending on the patient, the type of cancer and the treatment administered. Some cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy are considered stomatotoxic, because of the toxic effects they have on oral tissues.
Among the most common complications of these two treatments we have:
* Oral mucositis: This is the inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes, these can increase the risk of infection and cause pain.
* Infection: Viral, bacterial and fungal infections can occur due to damage to the mucosa from treatment.
* Xerostomia/Salivary gland dysfunction: Dryness of the mouth increases the risk of infection, can compromise chewing function and increase dental caries.
* Abnormal dental development: This can be a complication in children who receive radiotherapy and/or high doses of chemotherapy before the age of 9.
* Radiation caries: There is a lifelong risk of dental decay that could manifest as early as 3 months after completing radiation therapy due to changes in saliva quality and quantity.
Patients who suffer from oral cancer are more likely to develop these complications since they are receiving radiation in the head and neck. Several studies have shown an increased risk of periodontal disease and tooth loss in oral cancer patients linked to the chronic trauma and irritation to the oral mucosa.
The Flikier Dental Institute specializes in full mouth reconstruction in Costa Rica, and can greatly help cancer patients in remission to regain a healthy smile. As its name suggests, a full mouth reconstruction refers to rebuilding and/or replacing all or most of the teeth in a patient’s mouth. Full mouth rehabilitation in Costa Rica combines the best of esthetic dentistry with the science of restorative dentistry, the main objective of the procedure is to improve the health, function and beauty of a patient’s the dental structures.
In the case of cancer patients, treatment options may vary, depending on the severity of the injuries and the damage to the oral cavity; and may require for the patient to undergo a unique type of full mouth reconstruction; one that aside from replacing missing teeth, will involve the restoration of missing or damaged structures in the oral cavity, like in the case of damaged jaw bones or the palate.
In Costa Rica, full mouth restorations often include the placement of onlays and inlays, dental crowns, dental bridges, veneers and dental implants in some cases the use of orthodontics may be required. The final result will essentially provide a beautiful smile while at the same time enhancing the chewing efficiency as well as help improve the patient’s speech.
If you are a cancer survivor who suffered dental complications such tooth loss and periodontal disease due to treatment, and would like more information about our services and facilities, please contact us, we are at your disposal and would love to help you regain your smile.