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The Alpha Omega Foundation is dedicated to advancing oral health through its Global Oral Health Initiative (GOHI) improving the human condition through dental health, education, research and access to care.

Special focus is on those most economically underserved or underrepresented populations which often include children, elderly and people with disabilities.

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Oral Cancer Patient Gets a New Smile


December 12, 2013

Seattle AO Member Lends a Helping Hand to a
Recovering Oral Cancer Patient
Oral cancer patient gets new dentition
(L-R) Assistant, Sarah Hanvold, Patient, Mary, after Dr. Libman’s procedures, and Dr. Warren Libman rebuilds her dentition

 

Alpha Omegans can and do make a difference in people’s lives.

Mary, of Seattle, Washington, was diagnosed with Stage 3 squamous cell carcinoma (tongue cancer) in July of 2009. As a non-smoker her entire life, this came as quite a shock. She had half of her tongue removed and remade from a skin graft in her arm.

A month after her surgery, she began six weeks of daily radiation treatments and chemotherapy. She lost sixty-five pounds but managed to keep most of her hair, which she considered a fair trade-off. Unfortunately, the radiation also took a heavy toll on her mouth, killing most of her salivary glands. Without the use of saliva, a person's teeth tend to go bad in less than a year and this is what happened to Mary.

Her surgeon and her dentist both told her that dentures and implants were the only way to fix this problem.

This included having her teeth removed and undergoing fifty (50) hours of hyperbaric oxygen treatment at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Center For Hyperbaric Medicine. Additionally, her oral surgeon at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center placed the implants and twice performed a surgical procedure to release the tongue from her lower ridge.

She was then referred to Dr. Warren Libman, a prosthodontist and a Seattle Omega Frater, to rebuild her dentition with a maxillary denture and mandibular implant-supported hybrid prosthesis. Dr. Libman, along with his staff, performed all pertinent services pro bono.  Mary is very appreciative of Dr. Libman and his staff for enabling her with a more functional life. She and her family and friends are fundraising to cover laboratory costs not covered for these procedures.