Facial disfigurement caused by birth defects, trauma, disease or surgery doesn’t just affect your appearance, it can also impact your self-esteem, confidence and social interactions. In some cases, surgical reconstruction isn’t possible or desirable. At Naperville Dental Specialists, we have an alternative. Dr. LaVacca can use maxillofacial prosthetics to restore the affected portion of your face to help you look and feel your best, while also improving the way you function.
What is a Maxillofacial Prosthesis?
A prosthesis is an artificial replacement for a missing or impaired part of your body. A maxillofacial prosthesis is for facial, oral or dental defects, such as the replacement of the eye, ear, nose, jaw or teeth. We can produce a custom-made prosthesis using medical-grade silicone rubber that will fit properly, look natural and complement your facial features.
How We Make the Prosthesis
First, we take an impression of your face to make a mold. We pour plaster into the mold, creating a model of your face. Then, a sample prosthesis is sculpted from wax to ensure that the actual prosthesis will be the perfect size and shape and that it’s in the correct position. If the missing or malformed part of your face is a result of surgery, disease or trauma, we may ask you to bring in pictures of yourself before it happened to help sculpt the sample prosthesis.
The next step is determining the proper color for your prosthesis, so it matches your skin exactly. When we have the color and you’re thrilled with the look and fit of the wax prosthesis, we use it as a mold for the actual prosthesis. The finished mold is placed in a special laboratory oven to give the prosthesis a soft, rubbery consistency.
Finally, when your maxillofacial prosthesis is complete, we’ll use skin glue or attachments to small titanium screws to ensure it stays in place. We’ll give you instructions on caring for it and keeping the skin underneath clean and healthy and you’ll be on your way to enjoying your new look and the confidence that will come with it.