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Hi. I was diagnosed with stage 1 cancer located on the base of my tongue. I'm scheduled for radiation/chemo treatments next week. My oncologist said I could expect some side effects from the treatment right away, such as loss of saliva and taste. I might also experience difficulty swallowing. Before diagnose, I had scheduled appointment with my oral surgeon for my dental implants in my lower jaw. After diagnose I contacted him, and he said he wants to do the implants after the radiation therapy, because of possible complications. But my oncologist said that dental implants should be done before the radiation. He didn't mention anything about possible complications. Now I'm confused. What is better, to do dental implants before or after radiation? Could dental implants complicate radiation therapy? I also have old implants in my upper jaw. I spoke to my regular dentist and he agrees the implants should be done after the radiation. I would appreciate your suggestions.

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Hello, Guest... I would think that having the dental implants after the radiation would be better.  If you will have many treatments in addition to have the side effects you will have, you may want to hold off.  Radiation can cause burns and it would be a bad thing to have skin breakdown around new implants where they may come undone.  I am unsure if this could happen but depending on how much radiation you are subjected to.  Your old dental implants have had the chance to heal and shouldn't come out as easily.

Has anyone else ever had radiation to the mouth and had dental implants near the time of treatments?  Did it affect your dental implants at all?

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