OBJECTIVES: In paediatric cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy therapy, late effects on dental development are quite common. Oral radiologists are not familiar with the radiographic images of these specific dental consequences of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. With the goal of educating colleagues, to raise awareness of the needs of survivors, and to identify directions for future research, we present dental radiographs of survivors treated for head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Also, based on the survivors reviewed, a radiographic inventory of commonly found late dental developmental effects seen in conjunction with treatment is presented.
METHODS: Panoramic radiographic findings of five illustrative cases are presented, from a group of 42 survivors of head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma treated at the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands over the past 25 years.
RESULTS: Five cases showing dental developmental disorders are presented. These cases show an association of the location of the radiation field and the developmental stage of the teeth with the severity of the effect on dental development. We also report an inventory of severe and moderate effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on the development of molars and anterior teeth.
CONCLUSIONS: This paper presents five cases and a radiographic inventory to illustrate disturbances of dental development associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy in children. Medical and dental professionals involved in the treatment of cancer survivors are relatively unaware of the dental consequences of radiation therapy and the age dependency of specific regional effects. These effects can be severe, with great impact on quality of life. Further research in this area could help improve planning of radiation therapy for children, potentially preventing or limiting dental or maxillofacial sequelae.