Complications are new medical problems that occur during or after a disease, procedure, or treatment and that make recovery harder. The complications may be side effects of the disease or treatment, or they may have other causes. Oral complications affect the mouth. Cancer patients have a high risk of oral complications for a number of reasons:. These cancer treatments slow or stop the growth of fast growing cells, such as cancer cells.
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Good self-care, such as brushing with fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing, and professional treatment, is key to good oral health. Go Slow. He'll love the sensation, and you'll love the sweet treat. Use Your Teeth. Check out our interactive infographic to see progress toward the Orsl Health objectives and other Healthy People topic areas. Feel free to let your hands roam over Oral gob sensitive areas around his body, too — like behind his knees, his butt, and his inner thighs. Oral gob health in America: A report of the Surgeon General. Tune in to ORNL's brand-new podcast. Oral health: Preventing cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancers: At a glance [Internet]. We apply expertise in advanced goob, supercomputing, neutrons, and nuclear science to national priorities in energy, security, Blisters on bottom scientific discovery. Lack Oeal access to dental care for all ages remains a public health challenge. There are a whole Oral gob of places on his body besides the shaft of his penis!
This section of the department's website provides information about the government's dental initiatives.
- First step: Stop thinking of it as a job.
- Learn more about perinatal oral health, and find information, resources, and links regarding oral health for the pregnant woman and her infant child.
- Check out our interactive infographic to see progress toward the Oral Health objectives and other Healthy People topic areas.
Some dentists have their own business and work alone or with a small staff. Other dentists have partners in their practice. Still others work as associate dentists for established dental practices. Dentists must be licensed in the state in which they work. Licensure requirements vary by state, although candidates usually must graduate from an accredited dental program and pass written and clinical exams.
The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages and as research continues to link oral health to overall health.
They provide advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health. Dentists use a variety of equipment, including x-ray machines, drills, mouth mirrors, probes, forceps, brushes, and scalpels. They also use lasers, digital scanners, and other technologies. In addition, dentists in private practice oversee a variety of administrative tasks, including bookkeeping and buying equipment and supplies.
They employ and supervise dental hygienists , dental assistants , dental laboratory technicians , and receptionists.
Most dentists are general practitioners and handle a variety of dental needs. Other dentists practice in a specialty area, such as one of the following:. Dental anesthesiologists administer drugs anesthetics to reduce or eliminate pain during a dental procedure, monitor sedated patients to keep them safe, and help patients manage pain afterward.
Dental public health specialists promote good dental health and the prevention of dental diseases in specific communities. Endodontists perform root canal therapy, removing the nerves and blood supply from injured or infected teeth. Oral and maxillofacial radiologists diagnose diseases in the head and neck through the use of imaging technologies.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons operate on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck, and head, performing procedures such as surgically repairing a cleft lip and palate or removing impacted teeth. Oral pathologists diagnose conditions in the mouth, such as bumps or ulcers, and oral diseases, such as cancer.
Orthodontists straighten teeth by applying pressure to the teeth with braces or other appliances. Pediatric dentists focus on dentistry for children and special-needs patients. Dentists also may do research. Or, they may teach part time, including supervising students in dental school clinics. For more information, see the profiles on medical scientists and postsecondary teachers. Dentists held about , jobs in Employment in the detailed occupations that make up dentists was distributed as follows:.
Dentists wear masks, gloves, and safety glasses to protect themselves and their patients from infectious diseases. Many dentists work less than 40 hours a week, although some work considerably more. Dentists who practice in a specialty area must complete postdoctoral training.
Although no specific undergraduate major is required, programs may prefer applicants who major in a science, such as biology. Dental schools use this test along with other factors, such as grade point average, interviews, and recommendations, to admit students into their programs. Dental school programs typically include coursework in subjects such as local anesthesia, anatomy, periodontics the study of oral disease and health , and radiology. All programs at dental schools include clinical experience in which students work directly with patients under the supervision of a licensed dentist.
As early as high school, students interested in becoming dentists can take courses in subjects such as biology, chemistry, and math. All dental specialties require dentists to complete additional training before practicing that specialty. Oral and maxillofacial surgery programs typically take 4 to 6 years and may result in candidates earning a joint Medical Doctor M.
Dentists who want to teach or do research full time may need advanced dental training, such as in a postdoctoral program in general dentistry. All states require dentists to be licensed; requirements vary by state. Most states require a dentist to have a DDS or DMD degree from an accredited dental program, pass the written National Board Dental Examinations , and pass a state or regional clinical examination.
In addition, a dentist who wants to practice in a dental specialty must have a license in that specialty. Licensure requires the completion of a residency after dental school and, in some cases, the completion of a special state exam.
Communication skills. Dentists must communicate effectively with patients, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and receptionists. Detail oriented. Dentists must pay attention to the shape and color of teeth and to the space between them. Dentists must be good with their hands. They must work carefully with tools in small spaces to ensure the safety of their patients. Leadership skills. Dentists, especially those with their own practices, may need to manage staff or mentor other dentists.
Organizational skills. Keeping accurate records of patient care is critical in both medical and business settings. Dentists may work for long periods with patients who need special attention, including children and those with a fear of dental work.
Problem-solving skills. Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U. Source: U. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.
In May , the median annual wages for dentists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:. Many dentists work less than 40 hours a week, although some may work considerably more.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program. Demand for dental services will increase as the population ages. Many members of the aging baby-boom generation will need dental work. Because those in each generation are more likely to keep their teeth than those in past generations, more dental care will be needed in the years to come. In addition, there will be increased demand for complicated dental work, including dental implants and bridges.
The risk of oral cancer increases significantly with age, and complications can require both cosmetic and functional dental reconstruction. They will need to provide care and instruction aimed at promoting good oral hygiene, rather than just providing treatments such as fillings.
Job prospects for dentists are expected to be relatively good, especially for dentists who are willing to work in underserved areas.
However, the number of graduates from dental programs has increased in recent years. And the rate at which these workers leave the occupation is expected to be lower than that for other occupations. Therefore, there may be competition for jobs, particularly in areas where there are already sufficient numbers of dentists.
The Occupational Employment Statistics OES program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link s below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.
All state projections data are available at www. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state.
CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of dentists. Chiropractors treat patients with health problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians construct, fit, or repair medical appliances and devices. Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventive dental care.
Podiatrists provide medical and surgical care for people with foot, ankle, and lower leg problems. For more information about dentists, including information on accredited dental schools and state boards of dental examiners, visit.
American Dental Education Association. Academy of General Dentistry. American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. American Academy of Periodontology. American Association of Endodontists.
American Association of Orthodontists. American Association of Public Health Dentistry. American College of Prosthodontists. American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dentists, All Other Specialists. Dentists, General. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.
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Complications are new medical problems that occur during or after a disease, procedure, or treatment and that make recovery harder. The complications may be side effects of the disease or treatment, or they may have other causes.
Oral complications affect the mouth. Cancer patients have a high risk of oral complications for a number of reasons:. These cancer treatments slow or stop the growth of fast growing cells, such as cancer cells.
Normal cells in the lining of the mouth also grow quickly, so anticancer treatment can stop them from growing, too. This slows down the ability of oral tissue to repair itself by making new cells. There are many different kinds of bacteria in the mouth.
Some are helpful and some are harmful. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may cause changes in the lining of the mouth and the salivary glands, which make saliva. This can upset the healthy balance of bacteria. These changes may lead to mouth sores, infections , and tooth decay. This summary is about oral complications caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Sometimes treatment doses need to be decreased or treatment stopped because of oral complications. Preventive care before cancer treatment begins and treating problems as soon as they appear may make oral complications less severe. When there are fewer complications, cancer treatment may work better and you may have a better quality of life. To manage oral complications, the oncologist will work closely with your dentist and may refer you to other health professionals with special training.
These may include the following specialists :. The goals of oral and dental care are different before, during, and after cancer treatment:. The most common oral complications from cancer treatment include the following:.
These complications can lead to other problems such as dehydration and malnutrition. Oral complications caused by chemotherapy include the following:. Oral complications caused by radiation therapy to the head and neck include the following:. The most common oral complications may be caused by either chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These include the following:. Radiation therapy can directly damage oral tissue, salivary glands , and bone. Areas treated may scar or waste away.
Total-body radiation can cause permanent damage to the salivary glands. This can change the way foods taste and cause dry mouth. Slow healing and infection are indirect complications of cancer treatment. Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy can stop cells from dividing and slow the healing process in the mouth.
Chemotherapy may decrease the number of white blood cells and weaken the immune system the organs and cells that fight infection and disease. This makes it easier to get an infection. Acute complications are ones that occur during treatment and then go away. Chemotherapy usually causes acute complications that heal after treatment ends.
Chronic complications are ones that continue or appear months to years after treatment ends. Radiation can cause acute complications but may also cause permanent tissue damage that puts you at a lifelong risk of oral complications. The following chronic complications may continue after radiation therapy to the head or neck has ended:. Oral surgery or other dental work can cause problems in patients who have had radiation therapy to the head or neck. Make sure that your dentist knows your health history and the cancer treatments you received.
Problems such as cavities , broken teeth, loose crowns or fillings, and gum disease can get worse or cause problems during cancer treatment.
Bacteria live in the mouth and may cause an infection when the immune system is not working well or when white blood cell counts are low. If dental problems are treated before cancer treatments begin, there may be fewer or milder oral complications. Your dentist should be part of your cancer care team. It is important to choose a dentist who has experience treating patients with oral complications of cancer treatment.
A checkup of your oral health at least a month before cancer treatment begins usually allows enough time for the mouth to heal if any dental work is needed. The dentist will treat teeth that have a risk of infection or decay. This will help avoid the need for dental treatments during cancer treatment. Preventive care may help lessen dry mouth, which is a common complication of radiation therapy to the head or neck. The goal of the oral care plan is to find and treat oral disease that may cause complications during treatment and to continue oral care during treatment and recovery.
Different oral complications may occur during the different phases of a transplant. Steps can be taken ahead of time to prevent or lessen how severe these side effects will be. Continuing to smoke tobacco may slow down recovery. It can also increase the risk that the head or neck cancer will recur or that a second cancer will form. It is important to keep a close watch on oral health during cancer treatment. This helps prevent, find, and treat complications as soon as possible. Keeping the mouth, teeth, and gums clean during and after cancer treatment may help decrease complications such as cavities , mouth sores, and infections.
Everyday oral care during chemotherapy and radiation therapy includes the following:. The terms "oral mucositis " and " stomatitis " are often used in place of each other, but they are different. Swishing ice chips in the mouth for 30 minutes, beginning 5 minutes before patients receive fluorouracil , may help prevent mucositis. Patients who receive high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant may be given medicine to help prevent mucositis or keep it from lasting as long.
Treatment of mucositis caused by either radiation therapy or chemotherapy is about the same. Treatment depends on your white blood cell count and how severe the mucositis is. The following are ways to treat mucositis during chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, or radiation therapy:. See the Pain section of this summary for more information on pain control.
Because there can be many causes of oral pain, a careful diagnosis is important. This may include:. Oral mucositis is the most common side effect of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Pain in the mucous membranes often continues for a while even after the mucositis is healed. Surgery may damage bone, nerves, or tissue and may cause pain. Bisphosphonates , drugs taken to treat bone pain, sometimes cause bone to break down.
This is most common after a dental procedure such as having a tooth pulled. Patients who have transplants may develop graft-versus-host-disease GVHD. This can cause inflammation of the mucous membranes and joint pain. If an anticancer drug is causing pain, stopping the drug usually stops the pain.
Because there may be many causes of oral pain during cancer treatment, a careful diagnosis is important. This may include a medical history, physical and dental exams, and x-rays of the teeth. Some patients may have sensitive teeth weeks or months after chemotherapy has ended. Fluoride treatments or toothpaste for sensitive teeth may relieve the discomfort. Pain in the teeth or jaw muscles may occur in patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaws, often because of stress or not being able to sleep.
Treatment may include muscle relaxers, drugs to treat anxiety , physical therapy moist heat, massage, and stretching , and mouth guards to wear while sleeping. Oral and facial pain can affect eating, talking, and many other activities that involve the head, neck, mouth, and throat. Most patients with head and neck cancers have pain. The doctor may ask the patient to rate the pain using a rating system. This may be on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst.
The level of pain felt is affected by many different things. It's important for patients to talk with their doctors about pain. Pain that is not controlled can affect all areas of the patient's life. Pain may cause feelings of anxiety and depression , and may prevent the patient from working or enjoying everyday life with friends and family.
Pain may also slow the recovery from cancer or lead to new physical problems. Controlling cancer pain can help the patient enjoy normal routines and a better quality of life. For oral mucositis pain, topical treatments are usually used.
See the Oral Mucositis section of this summary for information on relieving oral mucositis pain. Other pain medicines may be also be used. Sometimes, more than one pain medicine is needed. Muscle relaxers and medicines for anxiety or depression or to prevent seizures may help some patients. For severe pain, opioids may be prescribed. Oral mucositis breaks down the lining of the mouth, which lets bacteria and viruses get into the blood. When the immune system is weakened by chemotherapy, even good bacteria in the mouth can cause infections.