The experience among patients with multiple dental loss as a consequence of treatment for head and neck cancer: A qualitative study

Roisin Parahoo, Cherith Semple, Simon Killough, Eilis McCaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: To explore the experience among patients with multiple dental loss as a consequence of treatment for head and neck cancer. Methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of fifteen people with head and neck cancer, who had multiple teeth removed as part of their tumour resection or extracted pre-radiotherapy. The interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed for analysis by two researchers, independently. Results: The interview data were categorised into four themes: 1. Pretreatment experience of being informed that teeth had to be removed, 2. Impact of dental loss post-treatment, 3. Coping with dental loss, and 4. Getting dentures and implants. Patients receiving primary radiotherapy felt the time between being informed of requirement for dental extractions and actual extractions was short. Dental loss was detrimental to all patients in terms of eating, speaking, socially and their intimate lives. Conclusions: Patients whose primary treatment was surgery, appeared more accepting of dental loss. Whereas, those having primary radiotherapy, there seemed to be a focus on prevention of radiotherapy-induced complications, with limited choices and recognition on post-treatment dental functionality. This study showed the negative impact of dental loss on patients' quality of life. Clinical significance: Dentists should be aware of the post-treatment implications of dental loss on patients' lives; presenting this, as well as the clinical advantages for extractions, to aid decision-making. Patients should be informed of the lack of conclusive research evidence regarding pre-radiotherapy dental extraction. There should also be clear pathways regarding post-treatment dental-related rehabilitation.

LanguageEnglish
Pages30-37
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Volume82
Early online date30 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Fingerprint

Tooth Loss
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Radiotherapy
Tooth
Tooth Extraction
Interviews
Therapeutics
Dentures
Dentists
Decision Making
Rehabilitation
Eating
Quality of Life
Research Personnel
Research

Keywords

  • Dental loss
  • Dentists
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Patient experience
  • Qualitative research
  • Shared decision-making

Cite this

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The experience among patients with multiple dental loss as a consequence of treatment for head and neck cancer: A qualitative study. / Parahoo, Roisin; Semple, Cherith; Killough, Simon; McCaughan, Eilis.

Vol. 82, 01.03.2019, p. 30-37.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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