Presented at the Three Rivers Dental Conference at Nemacolin Woodlands
Thursday, November 7, 2024
3:45 pm – 4:45 pm

Teamwork: the Dentist/Hygienist Dynamic for Post-Radiation Dental Care

1 Credit Hours

We will discuss the importance of the hygienist-driven 3-month recall for patients who have undergone treatment for head and neck cancer. There will be a brief overview of the disease state and current treatment modalities, but the program will focus on what the dentist and hygienist can do to support patients through the late and long term side effects of reconstruction and chemoradiation for oral and oropharyngeal cancer patients. How to support and maintain your dental relationship with patients who have successfully completed treatment.

Course Objectives:

  • Understanding the late and long term effects of chemoradiation to the head and neck
  • Understanding current recommendations for proper home care for this patient population
  • Understanding modifications to standard treatments for these patients
  • Understanding the psychosocial needs of these patients
  • Gaining confidence in the hygienist’s ability to treat these patients

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dr michael ribera


Dr. Elizabeth Pawlowicz

Dr. Pawlowicz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine where she has been the director of the General Practice Hospital Based Residency program since 2018. She is a 1993 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental medicine and completed the residency of which she is now the director. Her private practice focuses on head and neck cancer patients. She is faculty at the UPMC Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Clinic, a multidisciplinary group of providers that includes ENT surgeons, nurses and PAs, Speech, Language and Swallowing Pathologists, Physical Therapists, Nutritionists, Audiologists and Behavioral medicine. The focus of the clinic is to support patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer before, during and after treatment. The team has published several peer reviewed articles demonstrating how the early intervention and understanding of late and long term side effects of treatment provide better outcomes for patients.

Prior to joining Pitt, Dr. Pawlowicz was in private practice since 1994. She and her husband John enjoy travelling the A10 to watch their son play baseball and to Scotland to visit their daughter in college.

Dr. Pawlowicz has no financial relationships relevant to this presentation to disclose.

Dental Society of Western PA is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider Approved by Pennsylvania Dental Association.
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.
Dental Society of Western PA designates this activity for 6 continuing education credits.