These and other tests and procedures may be used to detect or diagnose late effects of the teeth and jaws:
- Dental exam and history: An exam of the teeth, mouth, and jaws to check general signs of dental health, including checking for signs of disease, such as cavities or anything that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken. This may also be called a dental check-up.
- Panorex x-ray: An x-ray of all of the teeth and their roots. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
- X-ray of the jaws: An x-ray of the jaws. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
- CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the head and neck, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the head and neck. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
- Biopsy: The removal of bone cells from the jaw so they can be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of bone death after radiation therapy.
Talk to your child's doctor about whether your child needs to have tests and procedures to check for signs of teeth and jaw late effects. If tests are needed, find out how often they should be done.
Regular dental care is very important for survivors of childhood cancer.
A dental check-up is suggested every 6 months for survivors of childhood cancer. Also a dental cleaning and fluoride treatment is suggested every 6 months.