Which treatment is best for your ameloblastoma depends on several factors. Your doctors will consider your tumor's size and location, as well as the type and appearance of the cells involved. Your treatment team also considers your treatment goals and your personal preferences when making a treatment recommendation.
Treatment options may include:
- Surgery to remove the tumor. The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor and a thin margin of healthy tissue that surrounds it. Ameloblastoma often grows into the nearby jawbone, so oral and maxillofacial surgeons remove the affected portion of this bone. An aggressive approach to surgery reduces the risk that ameloblastoma will recur.
- Surgery to repair the jaw. If surgery involves removing a portion of your jawbone, reconstructive and plastic surgeons will repair the jaw. Surgeons work to restore your ability to eat and speak, as well as to improve the appearance of your jaw.
- Radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may be recommended in certain situations, such as in the case of a large tumor or one that shows signs of cancer. Radiation therapy may reduce the risk of the tumor recurring. When a tumor can't be removed with surgery, radiation therapy may be the only treatment.
- Supportive care. A variety of professionals will work with you to help you maintain your quality of life during and after treatment for ameloblastoma. At Mayo Clinic, these professionals may include dietitians, speech therapists, swallowing therapists, physical therapists, and specialists who make artificial replacements for missing teeth or other damaged natural structures in the mouth (prosthodontists).