Maxillofacial Prosthetics is a branch of prosthodontics that involves rehabilitation of patients with defects or disabilities that were present when born or developed due to disease or trauma.
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 reasons. Prosthetic devices may also be created to position or shield facial structures during radiation therapy.
Patients that typically desire prosthetic care are those that have been in an accident, have had surgical removal of diseased tissues, or have a neuromuscular disorder from ALS or a stroke. Children can also be born without full development of ears, teeth, or palate and need specialized care.
Maxillofacial prosthodontists are accustomed to working cooperatively with ENTs, oral surgeons, general and specialty dentists, plastic surgeons, neurologists, radiation oncologists, speech pathologists, anaplastologists (medical artists that create facial prostheses), and various other ancillary personnel.
The overall goal of all maxillofacial prosthetic treatment is to improve the quality of life.