Stanley W. Lane DDS, PA
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Osteoradionecrosis is the death of previously radiated bone. Patients who have had radiation treatment to their jaws for cancer become predisposed to this condition. Radiation causes bone to become less cellular, less vascular and have less oxygen. This results in a compromised ability of the bone to heal after a traumatic event. Because radiation also destroys salivary glands and dental decay is more likely to occur in the absence of active salivary flow, a common traumatic event is the extraction of a tooth. Unfortunately, the otherwise innocent removal of a tooth from an irradiated jaw very often results in osteoradionecrosis (ORN) and the loss of the jaw! This dreaded complication is quite preventable and the failure of physicians and dentists to be cautious in treating radiated patients has resulted in great heartache for many patients. The highest dental malpractice verdict in the State of Florida, and the third highest dental malpractice verdict in the entire U.S.A., was an osteoradionecrosis case.

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