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A national survey of oral and maxillofacial surgeons' attitudes towards the treatment and dental rehabilitation of oral cancer patients

Lookup NU author(s): Aws Alani


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Aims To investigate the attitudes of maxillofacial surgeons in the treatment and dental rehabilitation of oral cancer patients in the UK. Material and methods The survey was conducted by postal questionnaires with 17 close-ended questions. A total of 229 questionnaires were sent to members of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons over a one week period. A follow-up was sent if a reply was not received within 12 weeks. These results were compared to a similar study that was carried out approximately 15 years ago. Results The response rate was 65.5% (150/229). Overall 62% of respondents (92/150) carried out maxillary resections, which represents a decline of 23% on the previous study. There has been an increase in surgeons reconstructing the maxillary defect from 38% in the 1995 study to 91% in the present study. Ninety-eight percent of respondents had their patients seen in a multidisciplinary team (MDT) clinic, but in only 30% of the cases was a restorative dentist present on these clinics. There has been an improvement in the accessibility of a restorative dentist for this patient cohort, from 65% to 90%. The use of implants for dental rehabilitation post-cancer surgery has increased from 43% to 93%. Conclusion This study highlights the changes in the dental and oral rehabilitation of patients undergoing resective surgery for oral cancer and especially those undergoing a maxillectomy procedure. It illustrates the increased use of implants for post-surgery rehabilitation and shows the different trends in which these implants are placed. An important aspect of this study is the input of the dental team. Current national guidelines state that a consultant restorative dentist needs to be a member of the MDT; this survey shows that this was the case in only 30% of responses.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alani A; Owens J; Dewan K; Summerwill A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2009

Volume: 207

Issue: 11

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.1134


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