Former Quarterback Jim Kelly's Upper Jaw Bone Cancer: Prosthodontists Team with Physicians to Improve Patient Outcomes in Similar Cancer Case

What can Jim Kelly Expect? Watch ACP Digital Dentistry Video for Sylvia's Story, She Survived the Same Cancer

Sylvia is an upper jaw bone cancer survivor, the same cancer striking Jim Kelly who is newly diagnosed. Her story is shared in a four-minute broadcast quality video "Digital Dentistry" as her prosthodontist applies advanced training to help treat patients with a similar cancer, regain normal function and the ability to speak, chew and swallow.

Jun 03, 2013, 19:56 ET from American College of Prosthodontists

CHICAGO, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, national news outlets including CBS news, CNN, Fox News and NFL blogs report that former Buffalo Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly will undergo surgery this week to remove cancer in his upper jaw bone. Board Certified Prosthodontist Lars Bouma, D.D.S., M.S., F.A.C.P., is a specialized dentist with advanced training in oral health issues including planning for and treatment of patients with skin cancer, or squamous cell carcinoma, in the head, neck and jaw bones.



To help patients better understand how prosthodontists apply their advanced training to help jawbone cancer patients like Mr. Kelly, the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) has produced a broadcast-quality video – Digital Dentistry – to show patients what's possible. This four-minute video shows how prosthodontists use current and new technology to improve patient outcomes. It features upper jaw bone cancer survivor Sylvia – the same cancer as news outlets report that Mr. Kelly faces.

"As a board certified prosthodontist, I know that Mr. Kelly will benefit from the advanced technology available today including CAD/CAM where prosthodontists use computer aided design to fabricate and plan how to reconstruct a patient's jaw," said Dr. Bouma, a prosthodontist in private practice in Oklahoma City, Okla. "From designing prosthetics as they did for Roger Ebert after his cancer battle, to creating a surgical obturator that's placed immediately after upper jaw bone surgery, as in Sylvia's case, prosthodontists apply advanced training in new technology to improve patient outcomes."

Sylvia had upper jaw bone cancer, and by the time it was found a large part of the roof of her mouth had to be removed. She sought the services of a prosthodontist to reconstruct  her mouth during and after her cancer was being treated. Dr Bouma made her a surgical obturator which was placed the day of surgery. An obturator prosthesis is designed by a prosthodontist to replace missing structural components of the maxillary arch (all of teeth on the top of your mouth, including the hard palate and associated soft tissue structures). When her cancer was cured, he made her an implant and bar assisted definitive obturator prosthesis, which allows her to function, smile, chew, speak and eat.

The ACP advises that like with all advancements, it's not simply the technology that determines the quality, the fit, and the materials – it's the prosthodontist (a dental specialist) who applies their advanced specialty training to design and control the outcome.

"While it may seem new to patients, prosthodontists have been using digital dentistry technologies for more than a decade to help patients find solutions to help people speak, chew food and smile," said Dr. Bouma. 

With digital dentistry and new technologies rapidly advancing, patients can take advantage of this technology by seeking the care of a prosthodontist.  Simply type in your local zip code to find a prosthodontist at  

The American College of Prosthodontists is the professional association of dentists with advanced specialty training who restores and replaces teeth to create optimal oral health, both in function and appearance including dental implants, dentures, veneers, crowns and teeth whitening. For more information or to find a prosthodontist near you, visit

Carolyn Barth, Media Relations 

SOURCE American College of Prosthodontists