Maxillofacial Rehabilitation focuses its efforts to offer services for individuals who have suffered anatomical compromise due to birth disorders, trauma, and oral/facial malignancies. This may be in the form of cleft lip, cleft palate, resection of part of the upper and/or lower jaw due to trauma or cancer.
Patients in need of such rehabilitation services present a wide array of challenges associated with restoring normal appearance, improved function such as speech, chewing, and swallowing through the fabrication of prosthetic replacements for missing structures of the jaws and face.
As an unspoken rule, if it is possible to surgically repair or augment the defect area, then that is the first line of treatment. If surgical repair is not possible due to profound loss of tissue or bone, or if recurrence of the disease is anticipated, then the prosthetic approach is relied upon. The contemporary approach to rehabilitation for individuals seeking such care, largely is being addressed with implant retained and/or supported prostheses. This approach to rehabilitation has revolutionized the ability to restore and normalize function in the face of very challenging anatomical compromise/loss.
In most instances, the team approach to treatment involves a head and neck surgeon, microvascular reconstructive surgeon, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and the maxillofacial prosthodontist.