The treatment for head and neck cancer can be broken down into three parts: resection, reconstruction, and rehabilitation. Resection is the surgical removal of the lesion, reconstruction is the process of replacing the hard and/or soft tissue, and rehabilitation is providing a prosthesis to regain function, speech, swallowing, and esthetics.
The iRSM team provides highly specialized care to people who have altered oral anatomy after treatment for head and neck cancer or after other major head and neck surgery or trauma.
Oral rehabilitation after jaw reconstruction often involves the surgical installation of osseointegrated implants. Osseointegrated implants are titanium ‘screws’ which are placed into the bone. The implants fuse (osseointegrate) with the bone and serve as an anchor to hold the oral prostheses. Your treatment will be tailored to your specific needs and may require hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or other treatments.
Throughout your treatment you will be meeting with various members of the iRSM team including: head and neck surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, maxillofacial prosthodontists, patient navigator, registered nurses, dental hygienists, osseointegration technologists, speech-language pathologists, clinical assistants, and administrative and patient schedulers. This team will gather information and various records required for your treatment. Each step of treatment will be explained to you during your appointments and through various joint appointment clinics. You may see the clinicians individually or in a joint clinic as required.
Some or all of the following may be required:
- A medical CT or Cone Beam CT scan(CBCT)
- 3DMD scan - three dimensional surface scanner (no radiation)
- Speech, swallowing and chewing functional assessment
- Dental charting
- X-rays - The type and amount of x-rays will be discussed with you
- An educational session with Clinical Assistants
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO)