Facial Prosthetics FAQs

Facial Prosthetics

How can I obtain a facial or ocular prosthesis?
Prostheses are custom made for the individual. They are not "off the shelf" items. Several appointments will be needed to create a safe and effective prosthesis that is also realistic in appearance. Please call 410-955-8215 to set up an appointment or consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.
Are prostheses covered by my health insurance?
Prostheses are considered durable medical equipment and are covered by most medical plans (including Medicare) under the DME rider portion of their policy. A Certificate of Medical Necessity is requested from the referring physician to establish the medical need.
When can a prosthesis be made for me?
The patient will need to wait a period of time after surgery for healing to occur before treatment begins. It is preferable that all swelling subsides so the impression that is taken as the first step is accurate. Otherwise the final prosthesis will show noticeable gapping in previously swollen areas. The physician is consulted to determine when the patient is ready for prosthetic treatment.
How long does a prosthesis last?
The expected lifetime of the device is usually 1-3 years for an adhesive retained prosthesis; whereas osseointegrated prostheses tend to last 3-5 years. Since these are separate from the body and made from artificial materials, prostheses can be lost, damaged, or discolored by smoke and UV light. Subsequent remakes can be made using molds which are kept on file for the patient.
How does the prosthesis stay in place?
Retention of the prosthesis is one area that is of particular concern to the patient. Prostheses should be well retained to the tissues they cover.
Prostheses are removed daily, at the end of the day. They are not permanently attached to the site. Various methods of retention with different strengths are available.
These include: adhesive, attaching to glasses, tape and magnets, engaging anatomical undercuts, and osseointegrated implant fixtures (screws).
How is the method of retention chosen?
The retention method is considered during the treatment planning process and is chosen in consultation with the physician and patient based on factors such as age, visual acuity, manual dexterity, sensitivity of skin, and past radiation treatment.
What is "ossiointegrated retention"?
Osseointegrated retention is considered state of the art. It is much less rigorous on the patient in that it does not require the patient to apply and remove adhesive on a daily basis. The patient simply attaches their prosthesis using a magnet or clip system.
How do I care for my prosthesis?
Your prosthesis requires daily care and maintenance procedures. Prostheses are removed on a daily basis, and the skin, osseointegrated implant abutments and prosthesis are cleaned. If required, adhesive is applied and removed on a regular basis.