If you went to a pediatric dentist as a child, you will need to find a different dentist when your permanent teeth come in or when you become an adult. (If you need certain procedures, such as tooth removal, you may need to consult an oral surgeon.)
Your pediatric dentist can make referrals. You may also want to ask the care team at your pediatric cancer center. The team may know of providers in your area who have experience treating childhood cancer patients and survivors.
When you make that first appointment, you are encouraged to tell your dentist that you are a cancer patient or survivor. Share a copy of your Survivorship Care Plan. Be prepared to explain your treatment to your dentist. Because childhood cancer is so rare, it is possible your dentist may not have treated a childhood cancer survivor before. Some dentists may want a letter or medical release from your oncologist saying it is OK for you to have dental procedures.
Some cancer treatments can have an impact on your dental health. Usually this involves high doses of radiation to your jaw or surrounding tissue or chemotherapy at a young age that may affect tooth development. There can also be dental late effects, which may appear months or years after treatment.
In addition to finding good dental providers, you want to also take good care of your teeth and gums between visits.
Here are recommendations from the American Dental Association:
Here are 5 things you should do when you make a phone call to make an appointment, according to healthcare.gov:
Reviewed: August 2020