According to the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics, maxillofacial prosthetics is a subspecialty of prosthodontics which involves rehabilitation of patients with defects or disabilities that were present when born or developed due to disease or trauma.
Maxillofacial prosthetics provide a prosthetic alternative in the form of a functional-aesthetic reconstruction when a complete reconstructive surgery cannot be applied. The main goal of all maxillofacial prosthetic treatment is to improve quality of life for individuals with an anatomical defect. This process often involves working hand in hand with the medical team (including oral maxillofacial surgeons, head and neck surgeons, plastic surgeons, radiation oncologists, speech and language pathologists, anaplastologists, etc.) to ensure an outcome that allows the patient to lead a normal life.
Maxillofacial prosthetics can be broken down into two categories, intraoral and extraoral prosthetics.
The goal of intraoral maxillofacial prosthetics is to replace missing areas of bone or tissue and restore oral functions such as mastication, swallowing and speech. Examples of intraoral maxillofacial prosthetics are obturators, resection prostheses, palatal augmentation prostheses, and palatal lift prostheses.
Extraoral prosthetics are prostheses for the face or body that may be indicated for cosmetic and psychosocial reasons. Examples of extraoral maxillofacial prosthetics are auricular (ear), nasal (nose), and ocular and orbital (eye) prostheses.
After completing prosthodontic training, Dr. Spatz received further extensive training in the restoration of maxillofacial patients during his fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. This training and his continued commitment to being an active member of the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics ensures he is up to date and knowledgeable in helping to restore these complex cases with care and compassion.