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The use of intraoral devices in reducing oral and dental side effects in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy a systematic review.

Suresh Nayar BDS, MDS, MPhil/Anna Greer BDS/Ade Mosaku BDS/Joe Vere BDS, MMedSci, PhD

DOI: 10.11607/ijp.6933

Purpose: To evaluate whether intraoral devices reduce the adverse oral and dental effects of radiotherapy in head and neck cancer patients. Materials and Methods: A systematic search of the Medline and Embase databases for articles published before March 2019 was performed by two independent reviewers. Studies published in English that evaluated whether intraoral devices reduced the risk of radiotherapy-related complications in patients receiving radiotherapy to the head and neck region were included. The kappa statistic was used to calculate the level of inter-reviewer agreement. Results: Five studies met the inclusion criteria, although only one was considered to be a low risk of bias. One study reported that intraoral devices did not reduce the severity of mucositis after 7 weeks. The remaining four studies reported that intraoral devices reduced the risk of xerostomia, mucositis, trismus, dysphagia, and dental caries over 2 to 6 months. Conclusion: There are limited data to support the use of intraoral devices in head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Well-designed clinical studies that consider long-term outcomes are necessary to draw definitive conclusions.

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