Dr. Haley Freymiller Brings Dental Oncology to the Smile Design and Wellness Center
May 31, 2019 03:24PM
Dr. Haley Freymiller was born and raised in Melbourne. She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry and was accepted into the General Practice Residency program at Ohio State University where she trained in treating patients who were too sick to see a normal dentist, as well as, learning to treat special needs patients under general anesthesia.
After her general practice residency, she trained in dental oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. Freymiller learned the intricacies of treating cancer patients, particularly head and neck radiation patients, patients starting bisphosphonates and/or chemotherapy, and patients getting ready to undergo stem cell or bone marrow transplants.
Now at Smile Design and Wellness Center (SDWC) in Viera, Dr. Haley Freymiller provides comprehensive care for cancer patients, both pre- and post-treatment, which is done in collaboration with other members of the patient’s cancer treatment team.
“The emphasis for dental oncology is prevention,” says Dr. Freymiller. Prior to starting cancer therapy, Dr. Freymiller performs a complete exam to identify any teeth that are likely to have problems over the next 10 to 20 years. She looks for teeth with a poor prognosis to try and prevent a complication called osteonecrosis, which can be caused from radiation or certain medications. Osteonecrosis is a healing complication that typically happens after extractions but can also happen from ill-fitting dentures or even spontaneously. Her goal is to remove these teeth while the patients can still heal normally.
During the initial exam, Dr. Freymiller discusses the importance of oral hygiene during and after their treatment to help prevent tooth decay. This is critical since they will no longer be able to have their teeth extracted should a big problem arise. She also recommends that these patients see the dentist more frequently, every three months for the first year, so that they can reiterate oral hygiene and catch any problems while they are still small and easily treatable.
For patients who are scheduled to undergo head and neck radiation, radiation mouth guards are fabricated to help minimize Radiation-Induced Oral Mucositis. Oral Mucositis is a normal tissue injury that that is a common side effect of radiotherapy causing the mouth to become incredibly sensitive and painful leading to trouble eating or speaking. When this happens, a patient may not get enough nutrition resulting in the need for a feeding tube. Wearing a customized radiation mouth guard can shield normal tissue from radiation therapy providing more protection than a simple bite-block.
“Patients who have survived cancer are acutely aware of what they put into their bodies and what treatments they will and won’t allow,” says Dr. Freymiller. “They are incredibly educated patients who are seeking to lead healthier lives post-cancer and want to limit their exposures to toxins.”
The philosophy at SDWC is to choose the safest materials and provide the least invasive treatments possible. For example, they offer Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) which is a medical imaging technique that provides images of your teeth, soft tissues and bone using an ultra-low pediatric level radiation dose. Platelet-rich Fibrin (PRF) treatments use the patient’s own blood platelets to infuse stem cells and healing factors into bone grafts, enabling rapid healing with less pain after extraction procedures. Dr. Freymiller states there is even a possibility of using PRF and ozone to treat osteonecrosis. Low-level laser treatments after surgical procedures can also be used to help treat mucositis. SDWC provides safe silver mercury amalgam removals as well.
“I love the caring team at Smile Design and Wellness Center and love using all of the cutting-edge technology, especially the microscopes and lasers,” says Dr. Freymiller. “The technology really does allow us to provide the highest caliber of care to our patients.”
Smile Design and Wellness Center is located at 5445 Village Drive, Suite 100, in Viera. For more information, call 321-751-7775 or visit SmileDesignCenter.us.