What is a Maxillofacial Prosthodontist?
Maxillofacial Prosthetics is the subspecialty 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 and various ancillary personnel. The overall goal of all maxillofacial prosthetic treatment is to improve the quality of life.
Featured below are some examples of prosthetic treatment which are not all-inclusive. Often these prostheses are combined with traditional dental therapy to restore health, function and esthetics to the oral cavity. This comprehensive care is possible because Dr. Michael Bleeker completed the Maxillofacial Prosthetics Fellowship program at the prestigious M D Anderson Cancer Center at Houston, Texas. If you believe that you might benefit from one of the following services or related treatment, please contact Dr. Michael Bleeker for further information.
Replaces the Eye
Replaces the Eye and surrounding tissues
Replaces the Ear
Replaces the Nose
Replaces parts of the face which may involve more than
Replaces a body part like fingers, hands, etc
Worn during radiation therapy for protection of normal tissues
Surgical Obturator Prosthesis
This used at the time of surgery. This prosthesis will close an opening between the mouth and sinus cavity. It is fabricated when there is a partial or total loss of the maxilla (upper jaw). This is used after surgery to provide closure
of the surgical wound. Typically, there are no teeth on this prosthesis.
Interim and Definitive Obturator
This is fabricated after a period of healing. This prosthesis will close an opening between the mouth and sinus cavity. The denture base will covers the palate after partial or total loss of maxilla or due to trauma, surgery or a cleft palate. There will be teeth on this prosthesis. This prosthesis is necessary for proper swallowing, eating, chewing, and speaking.
Palatal Lift Prosthesis
Helps position the soft palate to improve speech quality and volume. This is used when the patient has nerve damage to the soft palate.
Palatal Augmentation Prosthesis
Alters the palate prosthetically for enhanced speech and swallowing. This is used when the tongue has lost mobility.
Mandibular Resection Prosthesis
Replaces portion of the jaw that has been lost and restores the gums and teeth.
Custom made trays used to hold Fluoride gel intimately against the teeth. This treatment is used for patients with dry mouth from medications, radiation therapy, or certain medical conditions. The fluoride gel helps to strengthen, protect and preserve compromised teeth from dental decay.