Oral Cancer Prosthesis for Restoring Oral Function

An oral cancer prosthesis is one way prosthodontists can help patients recover from oral cancer treatment. One of the difficult things about oral cancer is the damage it can do to the mouth. After treatment, patients will often need help restoring their smile and oral function. A prosthodontist can offer a patient an oral cancer prosthesis to replace structures of the mouth lost to surgery or other oral cancer treatments.

How is oral cancer treated?

Oral cancer develops in the oral cavity, including the gums, lips, cheeks, tongue, roof of the mouth (soft and hard palate), and sides and back of the throat. It tends to affect older people more often than younger and men than women. Those who smoke and use tobacco products and those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol are also more at risk.

Treatment of oral cancer can involve radiation and chemotherapy. However, surgery is often involved as well and can result in the loss of oral structures. This can interfere with a patient’s quality of life by affecting their appearance, chewing, speaking, and other important oral functions.

How oral cancer prosthesis can help

For cancer patients in recovery, there are options for restoring oral function and appearance. Here are some oral cancer prosthesis treatments that can help restore oral form and function:

Palatal obturator. This type of prosthesis serves a patient who is missing segments of the roof of their mouth due to oral cancer treatment. There are a few different types, but their goal is to close openings between the mouth and the nasal cavity, preventing food and liquid from passing through.

Mandibular resection prosthesis. This is a prosthesis for patients who have lost part of their lower jaw and teeth due to cancer surgery. A mandibular resection prosthesis helps restore both chewing and swallowing, and speaking functions.

Palatal lift prosthesis. In certain cases where soft palate function is lost due to tumor removal, this prosthesis can elevate the back of the soft palate reducing the hyper nasal speech, which can result from this type of damage to the soft palate.

Dental implants. Patients with healthy enough bone can benefit from dental implants. These are titanium implants surgically implanted in the jawbone. These implants can support replacement teeth or other prosthesis custom designed to restore segments of a patient’s oral cavity.

Oral cancer prosthesis treatment may be implemented alone or as part of an overall rehabilitation plan. The prosthodontist works with each patient to customize a prosthesis that will help restore oral function and appearance after cancer surgery. The care team strives to match each patient with the ideal fit and instructs them on caring for their prosthesis.

Learn more about oral cancer prosthesis treatment

Oral cancer can be a scary diagnosis. Many patients worry about how treatment will permanently impact their appearance and quality of life by affecting their eating and speaking. However, treatment with the right prosthesis can help restore oral health and function and get each patient back to feeling and looking like themselves. To learn more, contact our team today.

Request an appointment here: https://www.drevab.com or call Eva Boldridge DMD PA at (281) 779-4022 for an appointment in our Houston office.

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