In simple terms, maxillofacial prostheses are artificial appliances or devices that are used to replace missing facial or oral structures. The purpose of a maxillofacial prosthesis is to preserve residual structures, reconstruct function and/or improve esthetics. Like many other dental appliances and prostheses, maxillofacial prostheses are also available in its fixed and removable forms.
Here are a couple of examples of Removable Maxillofacial Prostheses
1. Auricular Prostheses
An auricular prosthesis is an artificial substitute for malformed, lost or removed parts of the ear pinna. Many materials have been used to manufacture such kinds of prostheses, but silicone has proved to be the most effective one so far.
2. Ocular Prostheses
An ocular prosthesis is an artificial eye, which is implanted in patients who have lost their eye due to causes such as trauma, surgery or cancer, or in patients with shrunken, damaged eyes, congenital absence of one or both eye/s (anophthalmos) or unusually small eyes (microphthalmos) which lack visual potential. Cryolite glass is commonly used for the manufacture of ocular prostheses.
“Does it matter who treats me and manufactures my prosthesis?”
In one word – Yes.
Picking the right doctor and a reliable laboratory for charting out a treatment plan and executing it to maximum effectiveness is of utmost importance, although the two are often interlinked. Factors such as durability of the prosthesis, avoidance of pre-operative and post-operative complications, frequent treatment analysis and adequate damage control are often directly related to the level of expertise, precision and professionalism of the specialists that are responsible for the patient’s prosthesis and related wellbeing.
The quality and longevity of the prosthesis is of a high value when the right measurements are taken, the impression obtained is accurate, and the materials used in fabrication of the prosthesis are of high quality.
CAD/CAM (Computer-aided Design and Computer-aided Manufacturing) techniques are the techniques of choice when it comes to the manufacture of maxillofacial prostheses. These systems provide consistently accurate measurements of the facial morphology and help in accurate reproduction of the same. A non-contact three-dimensional laser system is generally used for this purpose. These systems are operated by Dental Creations lab experts and qualified professionals.
Other Maxillofacial procedures that require Maxillofacial Prostheses
Hemimaxillectomy - A procedure where half of the maxilla is removed. The removed bone along with the void of the sinus is replaced by obturators in most cases. These can be of surgical, temporary or definitive type.
Hemimandibulectomy - It is the surgical removal of one lateral half of the mandible. It is usually treated with implants or bone grafting, depending on patient preference and choosing the best way forward.