• Didn't get proper pre radiation dental work done, where can we find help in NYC?

    Asked by tofupizza on Saturday, May 4, 2013

    Didn't get proper pre radiation dental work done, where can we find help in NYC?

    My husbands teeth are cracking and falling out, he can't have them pulled or implants, any recommendation work be greatly appreciated, we have been searching for months.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I am in the middle of this problem myself. I had SCC of tonsil 4.5 years ago. They didn't suggest anything before treatment, allthough on my own I went to my dentist and had everything fixed. My teeth were in perfect condition before treatment. After tx was done, my teeth started falling apart. I went to a couple dentists, oral surgeon and prosthodontist. I was told I couldn't have them pulled at first. Then was told that maybe I could if I had Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments done before and after the extractions. The fear is getting Osteoradionecrosis. So after seeing all the specialists, and talking to my Oral surgeon, I determined that I couldn't have the HBO treatments due to cost. 48K and insurance wont cover.
      I started having them pulled at the Oral Surgery dept at Vanderbilt, they pulled a couple to test and be sure I would heal, I did. Then 4 more, then 8, I have 8 more to go and I am healing.

      I looked all over myself for help. I received some help from the American Cancer Society through a patient navigator. Call them and get a file started on him, the ACS will start contacting organizations that they have access to looking for help for you. Also, check with the social worker at your hospital, they often have programs to help in unusual situations. I also contacted a few orthodontist, in the area that would be qualified to do this type of work. You don't want just a normal dentist. Click on the Resources link at the top of any page, and click on the American Cancer Society to access them.

      I wish you luck, and keep me posted on what you find.

      almost 4 years ago
    • ddkk3's Avatar
      ddkk3

      I don't have any personal experience with this but I would suggest, like Greg said, to call the American Cancer Society and see what they can offer. Also ask your oncologist and the nurses and see if they know anyone who could help.

      almost 4 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar
      AlizaMLS

      Dear tofupizza,

      Hi. I'm Aliza, a Breast Cancer patient and the site's unofficial Medical Librarian. I offer answers (usually non medical) as well as referrals to doctors, hospitals, institutions, agencies, websites, books, media, etc. and research when requested or required.

      Being another NYC resident, I know that NYU Dental School offers a lower cost (not free and not necessarily cheap) dental clinic where Dental students and dental school residents provide care under the supervision of attending (or "on staff") Dentists/ Since they're affiliated with NYU, you are offering them a good teaching experience. All dentists should know how to deal with Cancer patients since this is not a rare illness (unfortunately). Since NYU Dental is about 10 blocks south of NYU Med, it would not speak well of the Dental School if they were not knowledgeable in being able to deal with this area of medicine/dentistry.

      FYI, Columbia University's School of Dentistry (they too have a medical school) offers a similar type of clinic from what I'm given to understand, but I have no personal experience with it whereas I do with the one at NYU Dental even though it was years ago.

      I recommend that you telephone and speak with them to discuss your issues with either University to ascertain that they can handle your issue.

      The other choice is to get your dental work done by a private dentist. My own dentist was wonderful but he has retired so I'm in the market for someone new myself.

      I wish you good luck in your quest and hope this is helpful to you. If there's anything else you need please feel free to contact me - either here or offsite via email.

      Best wishes,
      AlizaMLS

      almost 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      This is a toughie. I did have my teeth properly cleaned and buffed prior to treatment. Every single one of my fillings fell out when I was glowed (radiated). It took almost no time before my teeth began to fall apart. Then it was Crown City for quite some time (like the whole left side of my mouth). No one ever mentioned this had anything to do with radiation.

      You can drop the guilt because both radiation and chemotherapy muck with the saliva glands & the bone structure of teeth. It isn't your fault your hubby's teeth are in trouble. Teeth are meant to last a lifetime or until conventional cancer treatment.

      I would say, firstly, look for a "biological" dentist who is someone who won't make things worse. The cost is a different question. I went to a dental college in my area. They simply do not have the experience. Now, although my uppers are looking decent, I've lost two teeth on the bottom side, one while I was seeing them, and it is much for even the grad students. They are talking implants and I can't make the cost and am a bit nervous of so many in my mouth

      I have a friend who had work done in Costa Rica for about 1/3 the cost here. It hurt a lot because she had her whole mouth done over the course of just one week.. I'm afraid I believe that if the ACS knew what to do, they would mention dental work to patients prior to treatment but they don't mention .. still, it wouldn't hurt to contact them.

      I think I will contact them too. Maybe with all the relays & other donations coming in they have a slush fund of some sort. Maybe by this time they have figured out how to help with more than just cash? Doesn't hurt to ask, does it? I'll just re read GregP_WN's note and see what to do.

      Make sure to tell your hubby to keep his mouth clean, even so. Problems in the mouth can lead to problems of the heart.

      Best of luck to you to get this problem solved and behind you.

      almost 4 years ago
    • JoeTEMT's Avatar
      JoeTEMT

      Hello,
      I am going to Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC! They have a huge dental dept and they obviously deal with dental related to cancer! I am going to them for a prosthesis for my nose thst cancer surgery left a side open! They are so nice!,
      Good Luck. JoeTEMT

      almost 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      I saw a wonderful oral surgeon who specializes in treating cancer patients. I needed to have a tooth pulled, and I was lucky enough to be able to have it done even though I was in treatment. I stopped taking my oral chemo for a week before and after the procedure here's his contact info:
      MORDECHAI M HOSCHAND
      [phone number redacted]
      315 W 57TH ST
      APT 209
      NEW YORK
      NY
      [phone number redacted]

      almost 4 years ago
    • kenw's Avatar
      kenw

      I thought I was a lab experiment when told I had to have ALL my lower molars extracted prior to radiation - all mine were in good shape, considering my age and lifestyle (smoking and coffee). As it was explained to me, the radiation would (1) "fry" my mandibular salivar glands (100%!), (2) virtually eliminate all the blood vessels supplying nutrients to the teeth, supporting tissue and bone and (3) thereby leading up to and greatly increasing the potential for dental caries and future extraction other issues. Oral surgery after radiation was out of the question due to the potential for tissue and bone necrosis, so it was, "Let's get this potential problem out of the way." And it was done.
      And now it gets worse. During the initial extraction, fragments of bone/tooth were missed and were left imbedded in the gum tissue, a relatively common occurance. Oral surgery was required to remove them. But wait, says I. Oral surgery is not an option due to radiation treatment. My oral surgeon (Dr. Noah Letwin of Seattle Specialty Dentistry) set me up with a consultation at the Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) unit at Virginia Mason Hospital. I was a "ideal candidate" for their series of theraputic HBO treatments. The 100% oxygen at ~45 psi, CAN "rejuvenate" the blood vessels to allow healing after surgery. 35 "dives" later over the course of 5 weeks, I had the oral surgery done, followed up with 10 more dives. End result: RAPID and complete healing with NO complication.
      My recommendation to you is do what I did: have your dentist/oral surgeon consult with the nearest HBO unit, and get this taken care of soonest.
      All the best.
      Ken

      almost 4 years ago
    • vet613's Avatar
      vet613

      toufpizza,

      I am one year+ "out of treatment" and am experiencing the same issues described here. I am being treated at a VA hospital and have been told that all of my remaining teeth must be extracted and I will be fitted with dentures.

      At first the HBO treatment was discussed (and the dismissed by the oral surgeon) I have a final consult scheduled in early June and final determination will be made. The current "plan" is to remove 22 teeth in one sitting. Not looking forward to that I can tell you. Don't know what to expect and am a bit freaked.

      Good luck to you & husband I will be following your situation and know that you both are in my thoughts.

      My best to you & yours,
      vet613

      almost 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Well, I called tha ACS. They gave me other phone numbers to call. The young man who answered was pleasant enough. The ACS, it seems, has set itself up simply as a clearing house. The help they provide is to refer you out to some other entity or entities. I called two of the numbers the ACS provided and got busy signals. This will take a while. I hope I have the persistence and luck required and that I don't mislay the numbers in the meanwhile.

      almost 4 years ago
    • JoeTEMT's Avatar
      JoeTEMT

      Hello,

      I go yo Sloan Kettering in NYC, They have a great dental dept that specializes in oncology dental! They are great! I have Dr. Joe Hurn is the dept head! They are so nice make you feel at ease!
      Good Luck. JoeTEMT

      over 3 years ago

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