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Wheaton Oral Surgery and Implant Center

Prosthetic Rehabilitation Options After Oral Cancer Surgery

Posted on 4/1/2024 by Weo Admin
Dentist talking with reclining patientOral cancer surgery, like all cancer treatments, aims to remove the cancerous tissue. However, this can leave defects in the oral cavity. Prosthetics may help restore form and function. Here, we explore common prosthetic rehabilitation options after oral cancer treatment.


Obturators are prostheses used to close openings between the oral and nasal cavities after maxillectomy surgery. This surgery removes part or all of the maxilla bone when cancer occurs in the rear of the mouth. Obturators improve speech and eating ability. They come in interim and definitive forms. Interim obturators get placed immediately after surgery. They provide protection and restore some function while healing occurs. Definitive obturators get made later to provide better fit and function based on healed anatomy.

Mandibular Resection Prostheses

Cancer in the oral tongue area often requires the removal of part of the mandible. This resection surgery leaves gaps that allow food or liquid into neck tissues. Mandibular resection prostheses serve as a replacement jaw segment. This blocks open areas to permit eating and speaking. As with obturators, interim prostheses first get placed post-surgery before more definitive, custom prostheses. Multiple fittings may occur over weeks or months as tissues continue to heal.

Palatal Augmentation Prostheses

Some cancer surgeries require removing parts of the hard or soft palate. This can greatly impact speech and swallowing. Palatal augmentation prostheses essentially fill these defects. Speech aids restore enough structure to allow functional speech. Feeding aids do the same for eating needs. In severe cases, both speech and feeding functions require help. Combination prostheses aim to fulfill both purposes. They come as interim and definitive devices as healing progresses.

Jaw Reconstruction With Prostheses

Total or near-total maxillectomy and mandibulectomy surgeries require major jaw reconstruction. Plates, flaps, and bone grafts work to provide support. Large prostheses attach to implants placed in grafted bone. They serve as complete upper or lower jaw replacements.

Consult Your Oral Surgeon About Options

If facing oral cancer surgery, meet with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Discuss possible prosthetic rehabilitation needs after tissue removal. Custom devices can help you regain critical oral functions.

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Wheaton Oral Surgery and Implant Center, 2323 Naperville Rd, STE 160, Naperville, IL 60563 ^ (331) 204-0314 ^ ^ 6/14/2024 ^ Related Terms: oral surgeon Naperville IL ^