Oral cancer is a major worldwide problem accounting for a significant part of all malignancies. It occurs mostly in the form of skin cancer (squamous cell carcinomas) with the survival rate still not improved despite great advances in medical sciences.
Oral cancer mostly develops from premalignant conditions of the oral cavity. Sadly, many malignancies are not diagnosed until late stages despite the general accessibility of the oral cavity during physical exams.
We, at Clove Dental, have a qualified and skilled team of doctors to support cancer rehabilitation. At Clove, the interdisciplinary teams work together to improve the lives of cancer survivors, and also to enhance their physical, psychological and social well-being. The teams collaborate to upgrade quality of life in oral cancer patients.
Our pre and post-treatment cancer rehabilitation takes care of various challenges faced by patients, including:
- Oral Mucositis, loss of taste – dysgeusia
- Changes in oral flora
- TMJ dysfunction, Osteo-Radionecrosis, Muscle fibrosis
- Erythema, Radiation Caries, Trismus, Xerostomia
- Care in additions where some of anatomical structures are lost, including teeth, tongue, soft palate, mandible, maxilla
- Oral anatomy alteration such as loss of lip competence
- Care with altered cases of muscle insertion, muscle balance, tongue function loss
- Mastication, Deglutition and speech
- Inability to use dentures
Our cancer rehabilitative practice is based on five principles:
- The rehabilitation process starts at the time of initial diagnosis and treatment planning
- If possible, the dentition should be preserved
- Our rehabilitative treatment plans follow in the principles of Prosthodontics with a philosophy of Conservative Restorative Dentistry and Preventive Dentistry
- Surgery before prosthetic rehabilitation is symbolic of steps to improve the existing anatomic configuration after radiation therapy, ablative cancer surgery and reconstructive surgery
- The optimum function is achieved with multidisciplinary cancer care
- Speech and Swallowing: This therapy is beneficial in the rehabilitation of patients with head and neck cancer. An oral prosthesis is used to improve both swallowing and speech in the patient undergoing treatment for HNC
- Olfaction and Gustation: We provide pharmacological help to limit xerostomia and gustatory dysfunction induced by the radiation therapy
- Pain and psychological impact: Pain is not only natural but also a common complaint among cancer patients. In fact, patients with head & neck cancer complain pain more as they may also face psychological distress. Such patients can be helped with physical therapy, pharmacologic therapy, intervention for depression. The coping methods from us will be key in helping patients overcome the psychologic impact of cancer.
- Prosthodontic Oral Rehabilitation: Oral cancer patients may experience loss of some oral form and function in the wake of the treatment. Such a loss can be restored with the help of prosthodontic oral rehabilitation. Prosthodontic treatment options at Clove include – complete dentures, removable partial dentures, implant-retained prostheses (fixed or removable), fixed prostheses, maxillary obturators and maintenance of a functional dental arch. We help devise a treatment plan to accelerate oral rehabilitation and seek patient’s support for the same. Patients will follow a prosthodontist pathway that includes a pre-cancer treatment oral rehab assessment, primary interventions (during surgery) and secondary intervention post cancer treatment.
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