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Aust Dent J. 1999 Dec;44(4):243-7.

Hyperbaric oxygen in the prevention of osteoradionecrosis of the jaws.

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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Unit, University of Adelaide.


Patients who have had their jaws irradiated as part of management of head and neck malignancy are at risk of osteoradionecrosis (ORN) following tooth extraction. Thirty-seven patients with a history of irradiation to the jaws were managed during a four year period. Twenty-nine patients received hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) consisting of 20 treatments before surgery and ten treatments after. Only one (4 per cent) developed ORN. Seven patients who did not have HBO and one who did (15 per cent) developed ORN. The need for prophylactic treatment with HBO is discussed. It is recommended that prophylactic HBO is used prior to surgery for irradiated facial bones.

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