Dental Care: Unmet Oral Needs of Patients With Cancer and Survivors

Colleen Palay, BSN, RN, OCN®
CJON
10.1188/17.CJON.629-632

Description

Oral and dental side effects of cancer treatment can be painful, impede function, and affect patients’ quality of life. Inclusion of the dental team is important prior to, during, and after treatment to manage temporary, chronic, or permanent sequelae of treatment. Separation of medical and dental specialties and models of insurance reimbursement make obtaining medically necessary dental care unduly difficult. Nurses are at the front line of care and in a position to identify oral side effects of treatment, provide education, and advocate for proper dental care.

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