Dental Visit and Making the Radiation Mask

Almost a disaster – Question everything!

Radiation mask
My radiation mask. We named it Mike after Michael Meyers from Halloween because it’s a little scary.

I went to the dentist today to get a good cleaning and discuss the need for a crown prior to getting my radiation mask made and starting treatments.. The dentist explained that it would be perfectly fine to proceed with getting my mask and moving forward with radiation treatments. He said after I get the mask made I should call his office and schedule an appointment next week to have the tooth ground down and a temporary cap put in place. I could continue with my treatments and then go back approximately 3 weeks later to have the cap removed and the crown put in place. This sounded reasonable to me but my Doctor said NO WAY!

After my appointment I went to have my radiation mask made. Dr. Ferraro came in asked me how my dental appointment went. When I explained what the dentist told me, he said, “I’m going to call him. I’ll be right back.” When he returned he explained that this plan will not work. He said the dentist was planning to insert a metal temporary cap which would likely cause serious painful ulcers in my mouth or even more severe issues. My options are to either have the tooth extracted prior to treatment or complete the treatment and then have the crown done. Since the tooth has a crack but is otherwise healthy and doesn’t bother me, I opted to have my treatments and try to save the tooth with a crown later. We’ll see if this was a decision I’ll regret later.

I’m so glad that Dr. Ferraro is so diligent and discovered this before we got started. I read as much as I can about my brand of cancer and treatments. I’ve tried to ask as many questions as I can but there are still a lot of things I’m not aware of. Luckily I have good people looking out for me.

The purpose of the mask is to keep your head in the same position so they can mark and radiate the exact area they want to target by fastening it, along with your head to the table. To make it, you lie on the table with your head in a cradle and a neck pillow supporting your neck and head. The warm wet mesh is placed over your face and shoulders and fastened to the table. It took about 15 minutes for it to dry before it is removed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s