Maxillofacial Prosthetics (Oral and Maxillofacial Prosthodontics) is a super-specialty of Prosthodontics. It is the only recognized sub-specialty of all dental specialties by the American Dental Association. All Maxillofacial Prosthodontists are prosthodontists first and then attain a fellowship training (1year) exclusively in Maxillofacial Prosthetics. Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler both completed a prosthodontic training program at the Los Angeles Wadsworth VA Hospital and then completed a one-year fellowship training in maxillofacial prosthetics at the UCLA Medical School.
They are trained to treat patients with acquired (eg, cancer survivors and trauma patients) and congenital(birth anomalies) defects of the head and neck. Patients who have defects of the upper jaw, lower jaw or face are routinely rehabilitated by Dr. Gulbransen and Dr. Recksiedler. They fabricate maxillary obturators for patients with defects of the hard and soft palate, so they can eat and speak clearly. Patient’s with defects of the lower jaw, tongue and floor of mouth need mandibular resection prostheses for their rehabilitation. Patients who have lost portions of their face (eg, nose, ear, eye) can have facial prostheses fabricated allowing them to re-enter society more confidently.
What is Maxillofacial Prosthetics?
Maxillofacial Prosthetics is a 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 cases, prosthetic devices may be devised to position or shield facial structures during radiation therapy.
Maxillofacial Prosthodontists are accustomed to working cooperatively with 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. Click Here to learn how to take care of your facial prosthesis.