April awareness is to remind us of things to look out for concerning oral cancer. It is a good rule of thumb that if you have a non-healing oral ulceration or sore that does not heal in 7 to 10 day, the lesion needs a biopsy. This fact is especially true for people who consume alcohol and use tobacco products.
In the event that you have oral cancer, you will want to discuss resection options, reconstruction options, the use of dental implants and the need for chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
In the event chemotherapy is needed, you will want to find out if bisphosphonates will be indicated and what risks you have of osteonecrosis. This is also true for radiation therapy. You will want to know how it affects the use of implants, the need for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO), and the risk of osteonecrosis.
Often times your general dentist and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon are valuable members of your team. Please call the office of John Freeman MD, DDS, FACS if you are in need of a consult.