Dental Oncology

dental oncology logo | Dr. Clay Couvillon Sullivan Dental Center

As an oncology focused dentist, Dr. Clay Couvillon and his team have firsthand knowledge of the emotions and questions that result from a cancer diagnosis.

Our experience in treating and managing the complications that arise as a result of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other immunosuppressive treatments can reduce the emotional and physical toll these can take on our patients. By seeing patients soon after diagnosis, we work to prevent significant oral pain and infection by addressing oral health before treatment begins. For those patients who have already begun receiving care, we can effectively manage oral health and dental needs throughout treatment and beyond.

What is Dental Oncology?

Dental Oncology is a focus of dentistry dedicated to meeting the distinct dental and oral health care needs that arise as a result of cancer therapy. It is devoted to improving the well-being and quality of life of people battling cancer. Dental oncology goes beyond the scope of general dental treatment to include management of the soft tissue of the mouth and care for oral side effects specific to cancer treatment. It also emphasizes oral cancer prevention and early detection.

Dental Oncology Testimonial 1 | Dr. Clay Couvillon Sullivan DentalPatient Services Offered

  • Pre-therapy assessment and oral health plan
  •  Management and treatment of mouth and throat sores
  • Management and treatment of dry mouth and reduced salivary flow
  •  Management of oral, head, and neck pain
  •  Restorative and therapeutic dentistry
  •  Dental hygiene instruction
  • Management of taste alteration and/or taste loss
  •  Oral cancer screening and early detection, diagnosis and plan
  • Regular consultation with other members of your oncology team

Dental Oncology Treatments

  • L-PRF Platelet Therapy – Leukocyte-Platelet Rich Fibrin Therapy uses a small sample of a patient’s own blood to create an all natural healing agent. The end results are improved healing and recovery times by virtually eliminating post-operative infection and inflammation.  
  • Ozone Therapy – A breakthrough therapy that provides an effective way to eliminate infection and inflammation from the mouth without any chemical or toxic side effects.
  • IV Sedation – With the assistance of highly trained CRNAs, patients can experience complete relaxation in order to become dentally healthy in as little as one visit.
  • CBCT 3D Imaging – This is a revolutionary way to identify potential sources of infection and oral pathology quickly and easily.
  • Phase Contrast Microscopy – The study of plaque samples allows for the identification of potentially harmful bacteria that could potentially lead to septisemia, delay treatment, and/or negatively impact the outcome of immunosuppressivecare.

Dr. Clay Couvillon talks Dental Oncology

Dental Oncology Consultation FAQ’s


Should I see an Oncology Focused Dentist?

If you answer YES to any of the following questions, you owe it to yourself to have an experienced oncology Focused Dentist on your cancer care team.

Will your cancer treatment involve chemotherapy?

For most chemotherapeutic drugs, severe dry mouth is a major side effect. Untreated dry mouth can lead to rapid decaying of the teeth and increase the risk for oral infection. Dry mouth also affects chewing and swallowing.

Will your cancer treatment involve radiation therapy to your head or neck?

Head and neck radiation therapy affects the bone that supports the teeth. Dental work should be completed and dental clearance given before the commencement of radiation therapy. Salivary glands are often included in the field of radiation and extreme dry mouth may result. Oral ulcers are common when radiation is administered to the head and neck. The patient undergoing head and neck radiation must make oral hygiene a top priority for his or her lifetime.

Do you want an oral health care provider for any oral issues throughout your treatment?

Oral pain can affect eating which ultimately influences proper nutrition. Mouth sores are painful and can become so debilitating that scheduled cancer therapy may be placed on hold until the ulcers are resolved. Delaying cancer treatment may affect a successful outcome.

Will your cancer treatment include a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates?

Bisphosphonates may be included as part of the drug regimen for patients with bone metastases. These drugs affect the jaws causing some concern for certain dental procedures. The risk for complications could last a lifetime, but can be well-managed with proper dental care from an oncology focused dentist.

Has it been more than one year since your last dental cleaning?

Dental plaque contains bacteria. Most cancer treatments lower the immune system’s ability to combat microorganisms. A bacterial load that would be well-controlled under normal circumstances may easily turn into an infection requiring hospitalization. A significant number of bacteremia (bacteria in the blood) cases during cancer therapy are believed to be of an oral origin.

Dental Oncology Testimonial 1 | Dr. Clay Couvillon Sullivan Dental

Schedule a consultation

We hope to provide and build feelings of strength and peace so that your journey through therapy is never walked alone. Dr. Clay Couvillon

For more information on Dental Oncology and which treatment is best for you. Call Dr. Clay Couvillon at Sullivan Dental Center today at (225)635-4422.

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