Yesterday we went to the dentist. Our Oncologist had requested a dental check up as part of the ongoing treatment plan for my husband’s cancer. My husband’s bones are quite thin, brittle and fragile as a result of the bone cancer and the subsequent radiation. He’s already had an injection of a bone strengthening agent which he will get every six months. The Oncologist has also recommended a bone “infusion” as part of my husband’s treatment. This will be administered at home through the use of a drip.
Prior to commencing the therapy my husband required a dental inspection to ensure that all is well. One of the potential side effects of the drug can be osteonecrosis of the jaw, which is quite painful as healthy bone tissue in the jaw dies. Needless to say, this side effect can cause the patient all sorts of grief. The treatment cannot commence without a dental inspection to ensure that there are no major issues with the patient related to the teeth and jaw.
When I had made the appointment I had advised the dentist that my husband was on a blood thinner as part of the cancer treatment. This was important and meant that they deferred cleaning his teeth. When we attended the dentist’s office we went through all the medications that my husband is presently on, after which they did some x-rays and an inspection. He passed with flying colors. We also talked about thrush and bacteria in the mouth. The dentist and the dental technician gave us some great tips on how to prevent mouth sores and keep thrush at bay. We left with a prescription for a mouth wash in the event he develops mouth sores. I will hold on to the script and hopefully won’t have to get it filled.
I think the dental appointment was very important – regardless of whether he takes the infusion or not. It helps to know that your teeth, jaw, etc., are in good shape and that you have no issues brewing there. So I think it was a good thing, however, I do have questions about the “infusion” and what that means. He’s getting an injection already for his bone density, what will the “infusion” do, does he need both? What’s the difference? Are there any side effects to the infusion? What does it do in the body? What is the timing for it? I want his chemo to have optimal effect and not make the body work twice as hard at processing another treatment at the same time.
We see the Oncologist next week – lucky guy – so many questions, so much to learn ..