Modern prostheses can look very natural. Their main purpose is daily use in all sorts of circumstances, such as going to work, shopping, travelling by bus, visiting a doctor or going for a walk. A facial prosthesis helps one to regain self-confidence and makes socialization easier.
A prosthesis is made by a prosthetic technician. He starts with making an impression of the defect area, then makes a facial prosthesis that matches individual proportions of the patient, and adjusts its colour to the surrounding skin shades. The finished prosthesis looks realistic, and its texture feels natural.
Creation of a facial prosthesis is rather an art than technical science, thus the aesthetic result largely depends on the talent of the prosthetic technician. Anatomical peculiarities, proportions of the face and symmetry are essential for the creation of a realistic prosthesis.
A facial prosthesis can be retained in two major ways:
1. Glue attachment or spectacle frame retention
Glue attachment of the prosthesis presupposes application of safe glue to the inner surface of the prosthesis to retain it in its place. This method requires daily removal and cleaning of the prosthesis. The main advantage of glue attachment is absence of any extra surgery. To patients with orbital prostheses, wearing eyeglasses can be recommended as an additional means of concealment that can considerably improve the impression produced. A prosthesis can also be attached to a spectacle frame that retains it, but in this case, the prosthesis will be put on and removed together with the spectacles.
2. Retention supported by titanium osseointegrated implants
This type of attachment provides stronger retention than glue attachment or spectacle frame retention. At the first stage, short facial implants are placed in the bone. Then 3-6 months later (subsequent to osseointegration), abutments that will retain the prosthesis are attached to the implants. This type of attachment also presupposes daily hygienic procedures for the prosthesis and the implants.
An auricular prosthesis usually has an aesthetic and cosmetic function. But if the acoustic meatus is preserved, the prosthesis can help to direct acoustic waves through the acoustic meatus and maintain the necessary environment for the inner ear membranes. This alone can improve hearing by 20%. An auricular prosthesis makes it possible to wear glasses or use hearing aids if necessary.
A prosthetic nose artificially restores all or part of the nose that has been lost due to radical cancer surgery, traumatic amputation or serious burns. The nasal prosthesis not only restores the shape of the face, it also performs a practical function by moisturizing the air coming through the nose.
The prosthesis partially duplicates the function of the nose by directing air flow to the nasopharynx, helping to maintain proper humidity for the sinuses and respiratory mucosa, and restoring normal speech resonance. Besides that, the nasal prosthesis can provide support for eyeglasses.
Ectoprosthetics of the orbit is one of cosmetic and psychological rehabilitation methods for patients with severe deformity of the orbital region and a missing eyeball.