Oral/dental oncology offered at east- and west-side clinics

March 25, 2016

Providence is adding oral/dental oncology facilities at Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent Medical Centers. Amber Watters, DDS, MPH, FSCD, the only fellowship-trained dental oncologist in Oregon, will provide highly specialized oral and dental oncology services at both facilities.

Dr. Watters joined Providence in December 2013 and currently serves as the director of Oral Oncology for Providence Cancer Center. She partners with the Providence Oral Head and Neck Cancer Program to expand care for patients with those cancers. In addition, she provides care and support for patients experiencing oral side effects from other cancer therapies.

Providence’s oral and dental oncology services now include:

  • Diagnosis of benign or malignant oral cavity lesions
  • Care for oral and facial pain syndromes and dysfunction
  • Medical management of oral dermatological and autoimmune conditions
  • Evaluation and episodic treatment to eliminate potential oral foci of infection prior to cancer therapy for any site
  • Dental/oral consultation prior to anti-resorptive therapy
  • Management of oral side effects related to cancer therapies including:
    • Prosthetic rehabilitation following treatment for oral, head and neck cancers
    • Foundation-funded therapeutic devices to assist patients with trismus, a common side effect after radiation to the head or neck

“We can make a big impact on quality of life for patients undergoing cancer treatment,” says Dr. Watters. “Something as simple as getting the right advice about what toothpaste to use can make a significant difference to a patient’s comfort and ability to eat.”

In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Watters is involved in research. She is currently conducting a quality-of-life study for head and neck cancer patients, and has several future projects planned. In March, she received the Olav Alvares Award for Junior Scholars from the American Association of Dental Educators for a study focused on educating dentists about special-care dentistry.

Dr. Watters is currently accepting patients at:

  • Providence Oral/Dental Oncology West – at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
  • Providence Oral/Dental Oncology East – at Providence Portland Medical Center
  • Providence Oral/Dental Oncology North – at Providence Child Center

To refer a patient, please call 503-215-1676.