Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) of the jaw is considered the most severe long-term adverse effect that can occur in radiation therapy patients. Teeth extractions and dental diseases are the main risk factors for ORN in irradiated patients. The aim of this case series was to evaluate the outcome of primary root canal treatments performed on patients who underwent head and neck radiotherapy and to evaluate any ORN related to the endodontic treatment. In this case series, primary root canal therapies (absence of radiolucency) were performed on 10 teeth of 8 patients who underwent radiotherapy for head and neck cancers. Radiation doses to the periapical area were calculated using the radiotherapy planning computed tomographic scan. After a 277-day mean follow-up, all patients were asymptomatic, no teeth showed periapical radiolucency, and no ORN was observed. Even if a limitation of buccal opening occurred after radiotherapy and complicated the endodontic procedures, root canal therapy seemed to be safe and a valid alternative to tooth extraction.
- Head and neck cancer
- root canal therapy