Maxillofacial prosthodontics is a specialization in the field of prosthodontics. Not every prosthodontist chooses to take on maxillofacial cases.
The field involves the use of prosthetics to treat defects in the mouth, face and neck region. Maxillofacial prosthodontists treat patients who:
suffer from congenital or birth defects
have had surgery
have experienced trauma
How is a maxillofacial patient treatment planned?
The treatment of a patient is often multidisciplinary. It may involve a variety of healthcare professionals. Treatment often involves surgeons, ENT doctors, oncologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists. The prosthodontist develops a treatment plan to take care of the aesthetics and the functional aspects of your facial region.
What specifically do prosthodontists do in maxillofacial cases?
Prosthodontists specialize in the reconstruction of the teeth and associated tissues. This includes the fabrication and placement of obturators, speech-aid prostheses, and jaw prostheses. If needed an anaplastologist can fabricate facial protheses. Prosthodontists use their artistic and technical abilities to apply comfortable, natural looking solutions.
Do prosthodontists treat congenital-developmental mouth defects?
There are several congenital and developmental defects of the mouth. These include cleft lips or palate, missing or extra teeth and issues with tooth structure or enamel. Dental specialists, including prosthodontists, can treat all these conditions.
Do prosthodontists treat patients with Ectodermal Dysplasia (ED)?
Patients with ED visit a prosthodontist throughout their lives. This begins with tooth development through the replacement of missing teeth.
Dr. Klostermyer has experience with small children. Around the time of kindergarten, their parents first become aware of their child’s missing teeth. This can cause both esthetic concerns and functional problems. Advanced Dentistry of Richmond welcomes patients with ED. In some cases, the ED Foundation can provide financial help for treatment.
What is cleft palate?
A cleft palate is a congenital deformity in which the two plates that form the roof of the mouth are not completely joined. It may cause problems with speech, breathing, eating, and can impact facial development and the growth of teeth. A cleft palate results in an incomplete separation between the nasal and oral cavity.
How can cleft palate be treated?
Reconstructive surgery can fix a cleft palate. The doctors involved determine the appropriate time for surgery. If done at a young age, then more surgeries may be required once permanent teeth appear. If delayed, then extensive speech therapy may be needed. A prosthodontist can assist in the early stages of life with a feeding prosthesis and later on with other restorative appliances. Sometimes implants are involved.
What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)?
TMD patients experience jaw pain, head, neck and ear aches. Tooth sensitivity issues are also common. This discomfort or pain occurs often in the morning hours but some patients suffer all day long. Those expressing symptoms may have difficulties closing and opening their mouths. The jaw muscles of these patients are sensitive and feel tired. TMD is a condition that impacts the lives of millions of people. The good news is there are several TMD treatment options available.
How is TMD treated?
At Advanced Dentistry of Richmond, we are familiar with the various TMD treatments. Each one starts with a visit to our office. During the visit, Dr. Klostermyer will conduct a thorough examination to determine cause. Once she’s identified its origin, she will recommend a TMD treatment. In some instances, an occlusal orthotic TMD prosthesis will reduce the problem. This mouth guard is designed to keep a person’s jaw muscles relaxed and prevent teeth grinding.
Are there additional TMD treatments?
Mouth guards are also sometimes combined with other TMD treatments. These include physical therapy, a soft or pureed diet and using medications. Medications may include prescription muscle relaxants and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs.
In severe cases of TMD, patients may opt to choose extra treatments. These include TENS therapy. This may include acupuncture, trigger point injections, ultrasound therapy and surgery. The type of surgery needed will depend on the individual’s unique situation. Two of the more frequent surgeries are open joint and arthroscopy. They are often used when tumors and major disk problems are involved. Both are serious undertakings. As such, they are used as a last resort.
Please contact us for more information about TMD and treatment options.
For an assessment of your situation please call us during our business hours at 804.767.1002.
Our prosthodontist office is open by appointment only. We provided ample time for a non-rushed consultation.