The maxillofacial region refers to the head, face and jaw of an individual. When this area has defects or disabilities, such as result from cancer surgery, tumors, congential birth defects or traumatic injuries, it can lead to altered function and an inability to participate in normal activities. Prosthetic correction and management offers a solution to these individuals who seek a better quality of life.
Maxillofacial Prosthetics is a subspecialty of prosthodontics that manages the replacement and restoration of lost or missing structures and functions in the head and neck region with artificial substitutes. Prostheses are often needed to replace missing areas of bone or tissue and restore oral functions such as swallowing, speech, and chewing. In other instances, a prosthesis for the face or body may be indicated for cosmetic and psychosocial concerns. In addition, prosthetic devices may be devised to position or shield facial structures during radiation therapy.
In certain circumstances, maxillofacial prosthetic treatment offers an alternative to reconstructive or plastic surgery. It is the better option for patients who are in poor health or who have a very large defect or trauma. Patients who have defects of the upper jaw, lower jaw, or face are rountinely rehabiliated by our leading prosthodontist.
A maxillofacial prosthodontist is the primary person involved in many facets of patient care, completing 3 years of advanced training in complex oral rehabilitation and a 1 year fellowship in maxillofacial prosthetics. A maxillofacial prosthodontist is the individual who is in the best position to coordinate the efforts required in this complex rehabilitative process. They are accustomed to working cooperatively with a team of head and neck surgeons, radiation oncologists, oral surgeons, general and specialty dentists, plastic surgeons, neurologists and speech pathologists. Treatment is multidisciplinary. The overall goal of all maxillofacial prosthetic treatment is to improve the quality of life..
Intraoral Prostheses Services:
- Surgical Obturator Prosthesis: covers palate after partial or total loss of the maxilla (upper jaw). This is used after surgery to provide closure
- Interim and Definitive Obturator: covers palate after partial or total loss of maxilla (upper jaw) or due to cleft palate. It restores teeth and gums and has an extension which closes the defect or hole for swallowing, eating, chewing, and speaking.
- Palatal Lift Prosthesis: helps soft palate assume correct position for speech
- Palatal Augmentation (Drop) Prosthesis: alters palate prosthetically for speech
- Mandibular Resection Prosthesis: replaces portion of the jaw that has been lost and restores gums and teeth
- Fluoride Carrier: tray filled with Fluoride gel for patients with dry mouth from medications, radiation therapy, or certain medical conditions. Helps to strengthen, protect and preserve compromised teeth
Extraoral Prostheses Services:
- Ocular Prosthesis: replaces Eye
- Orbital Prosthesis: replaces Eye and surrounding tissues
- Auricular Prosthesis: replace Ear
- Nasal Prosthesis: replaces Nose
- Midfacial Prosthesis: replaces part of the face which may involve more than
- one structure
- Somatic Prosthesis: replaces a body part like fingers, hands, etc
- Radiation Shield: worn during radiation therapy for protection of normal tissues
To learn more, please visit the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics