Questions About Medical Art Prosthetics
What is Prosthetics? Anaplastology?
Prosthetic is a general term referring to an artificial or man-made part of the body. The term “Prosthetics” is often associated with the field of prosthetic limbs (artificial arms and legs). However; dentures, plastic eyes, mastectomy forms, wigs and artificial hip joints are all prostheses too. Each kind of prosthesis is generally created by a different type of practitioner. Anaplastology (coined by Dr.Walter Spohn circa 1980) is a newer term also referring to the art and science of restoring the body with prosthetic materials. In contrast to prosthetic dentistry, ocularistry or limb prosthetics, anaplastology is highly diverse and adaptive to patient conditions involving many parts of the body. Therefore, its practitioners are highly diverse in their education, training and talent. Today’s anaplastologists often provide prosthetic restorations of external soft tissue structures of the face, hand, foot, breast or other area of the body. Anaplastologists often team with other prosthetic specialists like prosthodontists or physicians to prepare custom prosthetic devices, some for surgical implantation in the body.
What should I look for in getting my facial/aesthetic prosthesis?
We recommend that you always have a personal interview with a dedicated facial anaplastologist and view a comprehensive portfolio of full-face or close-up high quality photographs of the clinical results before deciding to begin treatment with the anaplastologist. Good photos will provide some reference for how closely the colors and textures will match and blend in with your skin. Photographs go a long way in building your confidence in your anaplastologist’s ability to instill a life-like quality in your prosthesis that faithfully reflects your individual characteristics. A comprehensive portfolio of cases will indicate the breadth and depth of the anaplastologist’s overall clinical experience and versatility specifically in facial restoration. Photos should include examples of various designs and attachment methods to substantiate knowledge of and willingness to employ the most effective and appropriate methods for you. Often the most technically demanding and time consuming methods for us to devise are the methods that ultimately make life with the prosthesis easiest for you – and we enthusiastically explain the best methods for you.
We encourage candidates for any facial prosthesis to look beyond subjective claims about “aesthetic beauty”, “invisible margins” or other relative terms. Also the stature of medical or dental institutions might be indicative of sophistocated technologies and comprehensive care, but not necessarily the quality or effectiveness of the final facial/somatic prosthetic results they deliver. For example, we find that some scanning and prototyping machines are impressive tools, and we sometimes use them to streamline and enhance our processes and results for our patients. However, they still are only tools. The accuracy and aesthetic quality of the final visual result; just the way the prosthesis looks seated on the face remains the most unscientific, unpredictable and inconsistently delivered attribute of facial prostheses . The convincing life-like quality of your restoration will be solely determined by the visual acuity, the artistic skill and the will of the practitioner you have selected. Please review the entirety of our website as an educational first step in your restoration process.
How will I manage the prosthesis on my own? Will I have to come back in the future?
Every prosthesis will be delivered with full verbal and written instructions as well as a thorough demonstration in how it is used. Check-ups are very helpful to assure maximum comfort with and benefit from the prosthesis. Any prosthetic device will require repair/replacement at some point, but need of these services will depend on the type of prosthesis and individual use and wear habits. Since we treat silicone as an art media constantly we have developed the capability to perform some repair/replacement services without requiring your presence at our facilities. Our goal is to keep patients happy with their prosthesis, and hundreds still return for service.