Ameloblastoma care at Mayo Clinic

Your Mayo Clinic care team

At Mayo Clinic, ear, nose and throat specialists (otorhinolaryngologists) work with experts in plastic and reconstructive surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, pathology, radiation oncology, and oncology, to form a multidisciplinary team to care for people with ameloblastoma. Other professionals are included as needed.

Advanced testing and analysis

Ameloblastoma sometimes causes pain and swelling in the jaw, but often it causes no signs or symptoms. It may be discovered on a routine dental X-ray.

To gather more information about the tumor and make a diagnosis, doctors may recommend tests and procedures such as:

  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT and MRI, help doctors determine the extent of an ameloblastoma.
  • Removing a sample of tissue for testing. A biopsy is a procedure to remove a sample of tumor cells for laboratory analysis.

Mayo Clinic pathologists are known for their expertise in analyzing and diagnosing rare tumors. Pathologists examine biopsy samples to determine what types of cells are involved in the tumor and whether the cells are noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Your doctor uses this information to put together a treatment plan that's best for you and the most effective option for treating your tumor.

Personalized treatment options

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 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 surgeons will repair the jaw. Surgeons work to restore your ability to eat and speak, as well as to improve the appearance and return the function 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).

Mayo Clinic doctors will work with you to review all of your treatment options and choose the approach that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to people with ameloblastoma includes surgery to remove the tumor and reconstructive surgery to restore the ability to speak and to eat, if needed. Radiation therapy may be an option in certain situations.

Expertise and rankings

Ameloblastoma is a rare tumor. Mayo Clinic doctors have experience treating many cases of ameloblastoma.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

July 28, 2017
References
  1. McClary AC, et al. Ameloblastoma: A clinical review and trends in management. European Archives of Otorhinolaryngology. In press. Accessed Dec. 31, 2015.
  2. Rizzitelli A, et al. Incidence and overall survival of malignant ameloblastoma. PLOS One. 2015;10:e0117789.
  3. Payne SJ, et al. Management of ameloblastoma in the pediatric population. Operative Techniques in Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. 2015;26:168.
  4. Wenig BM. Neoplasms of the oral cavity. In: Atlas of Head and Neck Pathology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 31, 2015.
  5. Jaw tumors. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/tumors-of-the-head-and-neck/jaw-tumors. Accessed Dec. 23, 2015.