Dental and Maxillofacial Abnormalities in Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer: Effects of Treatment with Chemotherapy and Radiation to the Head and Neck
Sixty-eight long-term survivors of childhood cancer were evaluated for dental and maxillofacial abnormalities. Forty-five patients had received maxillofacial radiation for lymphoma, leukemia, rhabdomyosarcoma, and miscellaneous tumors. Forty-three of the 45 patients and the remaining 23 who had not received maxillofacial radiation also received chemotherapy. Dental and maxillofacial abnormalities were detected in 37 of the 45 (82%) radiated patients. Dental abnormalities comprised foreshortening and blunting of roots, incomplete calcification, premature closure of apices, delayed or arrested tooth development, and caries. Maxillofacial abnormalities comprised trismus, abnormal occlusal relationships, and facial deformities. The abnormalities were more severe in those patients who received radiation at an earlier age and at higher dosages. Possible chemotherapeutic effects in five of 23 patients who received treatment for tumors located outside the head and neck region comprised acquired amelogenesis imperfecta, microdontia of bicuspid teeth, and a tendency toward thinning of roots with an enlarged pulp chamber. Dental and maxillofacial abnormalities should be recognized as a major consequence of maxillofacial radiation in long-term survivors of childhood cancer, and attempts to minimize or eliminate such sequelae should involve an effective interaction between radiation therapists, and medical and dental oncologists.
- Received April 11, 1983.
- Accepted June 30, 1983.
- Copyright © 1984 by the American Academy of Pediatrics