Ask a dentist

Do you need advice on how to look after your mouth during cancer treatment? Or for help with the effects that treatment is having on your mouth? Ask our volunteer dentists Lynsey and Judith, and they'll aim to respond in 3 working days.

Dental treatment before chemo starts

Posted by

I contacted my dentist to ask for a check up and treatment before I start chemotherapy for breast cancer as  I suspect I need treatment. I was diagnosed on 31st July and still processing the information and only today contacted the dentist. However they were unable to offer me treatment until 19th September by which time I should have started treatment. I have to get my treatment plan on Tuesday 13th August.

What would you advise me to do ?


Judith - Macmillan
Posted by

Good morning Jojodot 

Thanks for bringing your question to us here at Macmillan.  This must be a difficult time for you.  The Macmillan team are here to help support you in any way we can. 

I'm sorry to hear the dentist cannot offer an appointment until mid September.  It is important you get a dental check up to see if there is any urgent dental work before your treatment starts.  But if this absolutely cannot happen, we can still carry out dental treatment during cancer treatments.  It just means we have to wait for breaks in chemo cycles for example and speak closely with your cancer team about the best and safest times to carry anything out.

You have done everything right in contacting your dentist early.  I would perhaps get back in contact with them and let them know the likely start date for your cancer treatment.  They may be able to put you into an emergency slot or cancellation slot.  If you dont have success with your own dentist, I would mention this to your cancer support nurse. She will have advice for your local area.  Some hospitals and community centres carry out exams before cancer treatments. 

Please let us know how you get on.  If you have any other questions just get back in touch. 


Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.