The branch of Prosthodontics concerned with the restoration and/or replacement of the stomatognathic and craniofacial structures with prostheses that may or may not be removed on a regular or elective basis.
Max•il•lo•fa•cial (adj): pertaining to the dental arches, the face, head and neck structures.
Maxillofacial Prosthodontics is a Prosthodontics sub-specialty which is dedicated to the prosthetic correction and management of maxillofacial defects acquired from surgical ablation of cancer or traumatic injuries, congenital-birth defects and alterations in growth and development.
Although often time surgical treatment modalities are the treatment of choice, Maxillofacial Prosthetic Rehabilitation can be considered as a treatment option. Quality of life issue is the number one consideration in Maxillofacial Prosthetic Rehabilitation.
Surgical ablation of cancer in the head and neck area often debilitates the impairment of speech, function and esthetic appearance. Maxillofacial Prosthetic reconstruction often times improves these impairments by achieving functional outcomes to normal or nearly normal. This area of specialty include prosthetic rehabilitation of post maxillectomy defect, partial or total glossectomy, soft palate resection, prosthetic and occlusal rehabilitation for post segmental or marginal mandibulectomy, and prosthetic rehabilitation of facial or part of the facial structure post surgery.
Traumatic injuries sometimes involve disfigurement of the oral and facial structure. A gun shot wound, and burns are the most common cause of this type of injury.
Congenital defects of part of facial structure, e.g.: nasal structure (nose), auricular structure (ear), ocular/orbital (globe), or intra-oral defects (inside the mouth) can be prosthetically restored in some extent as well to achieve optimum results.
Some congenital abnormalities include cleft lip and cleft palate, the most common 1st arch defects which occurring once in 700 to 800 births; and other alterations in growth and development, such as Treacher Collins’ (mandibulofacial dysostosis), Goldenhar’s (oculoauriculovertebral dysplasia, macrostomia with mandibular hypoplasia), Pierre Robin (micrognathia with glossoptosis and cleft soft palate), and Waardenburg syndromes (deafness, partial albinism, and lateral displacement of medial canthi).Return to top of page