Oral Cancer Reconstruction – Dallas, TX
Regain Confidence and Function after Cancer Treatment
More is involved in battling oral cancer than just eradicating it from the body. In most cases, the treatment for oral cancer involves surgery to remove the harmful tissue. Such surgery can drastically affect facial aesthetics and oral function. Here at Dallas Esthetics, we have the skills necessary to help you recover from such issues so you can get back to living the fullest life possible.
Soft Tissue Reconstruction
There are a few ways in which it might be possible to repair the soft tissues in the mouth:
- A skin graft, usually taken from a patient’s abdomen or leg, can reconstruct the mouth’s lining.
- It may be possible to rebuild larger areas of lost oral tissue with flap tissue, which consists of skin, fat, and muscle. This type of graft might be taken from the cheek, scalp, chest, or distant parts of the body.
- If your oral cancer treatment caused you to lose movement or sensation in part of the mouth, a nerve graft might be able to restore it. The nerves are taken from a part of the body where their absence won’t be noticed.
Before your oral cancer treatment, imaging machines will record detailed images of your jawbone, which later will serve as the basis for bone reconstruction. The bone used in the reconstruction process is taken from another part of the body, such as the fibula (a portion of the lower leg) or the scapula (shoulder blade). Surgeons take great care to ensure that rebuilding the jawbone does not compromise the function of the part of the body from which the replacement bone is taken.
Our team are true dental implant experts. In fact, Dr. Higginbottom is one of the pioneers who helped dental implants become the gold standard in tooth replacement. These small titanium posts replace the roots of any teeth that had to be removed during the oral cancer treatment process. After they are in place and the rebuilt jawbone has a chance to fuse to them, one of our prosthodontists designs beautiful, functional, and natural-looking restorations to rebuild the visible portions of the lost teeth.
Recovering from Reconstruction Surgery
Your recovery timeline after your surgery for oral cancer reconstruction in University Park will depend on the exact nature of your procedure. If all you need is a skin graft, you might be in the hospital for just a few days. In the cases of more extensive operations, a hospital stay of a week or longer might be necessary. Then, of course, you will need to follow detailed instructions for caring for the surgical sight to prevent infection and other complications. The dental implant process may take several months overall, so you must be patient while you are waiting to regain full dental function.
As part of your reconstructive team, our doctors will always be available to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have. Hopefully, your mouth will once again function so well that your oral cancer — and the aftereffects of its treatment — will be nothing but a memory.