Craniofacial Prostheses are made by either dental specialists trained in maxillofacial prosthodontics or individuals trained in anaplastology who medically help rehabilitate those suffering from facial defects caused by disease (mostly progressed forms of skin cancer, and head and neck cancer), trauma (outer ear trauma, eye trauma) or birth defects (microtia, anophthalmia). The anaplastologist has the ability to replace almost any part of the face, but most commonly is the ear, nose or eye/eyelids. An ocular prosthesis and hair prosthesis can also be classified as craniofacial prostheses. Many of these are held in place by osseointegrated implants.
When surgical reconstruction is not ideal, craniofacial prosthetics are favored when they can better restore the form and function of the absent facial feature. Craniofacial prosthetics are not considered as cosmetic because they replace the physical form and functional mechanics of the absent anatomy and serve a significant role in the emotional stability and rehabilitation of those suffering from facial defects.
Surgeries which most often require prosthetic rehabilitation are:
- Rhinectomy - Surgical removal of nose (if part of the nose is removed it is called a partial rhinectomy. For the entire nose it is called a total rhinectomy)
- Auriculectomy - Surgical removal of the ear
- Orbital exenteration - Surgical removal of the eye along with the eyelids and other structures
- Enucleation - Surgical removal of the eye, but the eyelids and other structures are left in place
- Maxillectomy - Surgical removal of the upper jaw (maxilla) or the cheek bone, with or without orbital exenteration. As the palate or the roof of the mouth is lost the person wears a device called an obturator.
The main reason for these above operations is cancer.
- Facial prosthetic - Prosthetics for entertainment or recreational use
- American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics
- Prosthetic Rehabilitation After Craniofacial Surgery
- Doctors Work to Restore Damaged Faces of Iraq War Soldiers PBS