Odontogenic Tumors | Diagnosis & Treatment

How are odontogenic tumors diagnosed?

Your child’s doctor will do a complete medical history, as well as a physical exam that includes an examination of your child’s mouth, jaw and teeth. Some or all of these tests may also be prescribed:

How are odontogenic tumors treated?

The type of treatment your child will receive may depend on a few variables, including whether the tumor is benign or malignant.


Surgical removal of the tumor is the most common form of treatment. For benign tumors, surgery may be the only therapeutic treatment given.

Radiation therapy

This treatment can help stop the growth of abnormal cells in specific areas of the body. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays (radiation) from a specialized machine to damage or kill abnormal cells.


This treatment is used in cases of advanced or aggressive tumor growth. This treatment can help stop the growth of abnormal cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy is systemic treatment, meaning it is introduced to the bloodstream and travels throughout the body to kill or slow the growth of targeted cells. Different groups of chemotherapy drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells and shrink tumors. Often, a combination of chemotherapy drugs is used. Certain chemotherapy drugs may be given in a specific order depending on the type of cancer it is being used to treat. Chemotherapy can be given:

  • as a pill to swallow
  • as an injection into the muscle or fat tissue
  • intravenously (directly to the bloodstream)
  • intrathecally (directly into the spinal column with a needle)

While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, the agents don't completely differentiate normal healthy cells from abnormal cells. Because of this, your child could have adverse side effects during treatment.

What is the long-term care for children with an odontogenic tumor?

Your child should visit a survivorship clinic every year to:

  • manage disease complications
  • screen for early recurrence of cancer
  • manage late effects of treatment

A typical follow-up visit may include some or all of the following:

  • a physical exam
  • laboratory testing
  • imaging scans

Through the David B. Perini Jr. Quality of Life Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, childhood cancer survivors receive a comprehensive follow-up evaluation from their cancer care team.