Our charity is working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and University Hospital Southampton to provide dental care for people affected by head and neck cancer. Our fortnightly clinics deliver a dental service for patients before, during or after head and neck cancer treatment.
Many patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer require dental treatment before undergoing radiotherapy. For those who are not registered with a dentist, our volunteer clinicians ensure they can have this dental care in a timely way so they can start their cancer treatment as quickly as possible.
We also see cancer patients who are undergoing treatment and have developed problems with their teeth along the way. Left untreated, these problems lead to additional discomfort at an already difficult time. Our volunteers are able to ensure that head and neck cancer patients at University Hospital Southampton are able to see a dentist if they need to.
This service also benefits patients long after they have finished their cancer treatment. Radiotherapy can have a detrimental effect on oral health and many patients experience problems with their teeth several years later. Some of our patients have not been able to secure a dentist or are unable to pay for private care – particularly if their income was affected while they were undergoing cancer treatment.
Our volunteers provide ongoing care including emergency treatment, dental health advice and dentures so patients can enjoy a new smile.
This two-year pilot project has been jointly funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and Southampton Hospitals Charity.
Dentaid to Dentaid The Dental Charity hopes to expand this project offering dental treatment for patients with other cancers and at hospitals in other parts of the UK.
"What I didn’t know before, is that after radiotherapy the teeth are very susceptible to damage and decay, although the effect might not be seen for several years. One of my teeth has caused me pain but mostly it’s the loss of confidence. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find Dentaid. It’s such a huge relief.” Pam Myatt head and neck cancer patient, Southampton.