Cancer and Oral Health: Oral Complications and Dental Management

8/23/2019 • 3 CEUs
Seena Patel DMD, MPH

Cancer accounts for 23% of deaths in the US. It is a devastating disease that has many physical, emotional and social implications. Specifically, head and neck cancers affect approximately 3% of the US population. These cancers can lead to severe oral complications, even when treated. Despite recent advances in imaging, surgery, radiation and systemic therapies, the overall survival rate has only improved by about 15% in the last 50 years. Dental providers play an integral role in the prevention of head and neck cancers and in the dental management of patients going through cancer treatment. This course will review the epidemiology of head and neck cancers, prevention methods, treatment modalities, and the role of the dental professional.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the epidemiology of head and neck cancers
  • Describe the clinical characteristics of head and neck cancers
  • Learn the characteristics of potentially malignant disorders
  • Learn how to play an important role in primary and secondary prevention of head and neck cancers
  • Explain the dental provider's role in helping to prevent oral cancer
  • Define the necessary steps required for rendering appropriate dental care before, during, and after cancer treatment
  • List the oral complications of cancer treatments

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Seena Patel DMD, MPH:

Dr. Seena Patel is an orofacial pain and oral medicine dentist in Phoenix, AZ. She also practices within the field of dental sleep medicine. Dr. Patel completed her residency in Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine from the University of Southern California and obtained her DMD and MPH degrees from the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health at A.T. Still University. She now serves as an Associate Professor and the Associate Director of Oral Medicine there. Dr. Patel is also an associate at Southwest Orofacial Group in Phoenix, AZ. She is a Diplomate of both the American Board of Orofacial Pain and American Board of Oral Medicine. In addition, Dr. Patel has authored several publications and has also spent a significant amount of her post-graduate training in providing dental care for patients with complex medical conditions. Her other professional activities inlcude speaking at many local and national conferences and conducting research studies. Dr. Patel maintains her membership in the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, American Academy of Oral Medicine, Central Arizona Dental Society, Arizona Dental Association, American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, and Special Care in Dentistry Association.


8:30-9:00am - Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:00-Noon - Lecture


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Arizona Dental Association is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition at