Is A Maxillofacial Prosthetist?
a rare breed, a maxillofacial prosthetist is a highly specialized
dental doctor who helps restore a sense of normalcy to cancer, trauma
and congenital defect patients. These doctors replace defective eyes,
ears, noses, jaws, palates and other facial abnormalities. Once a
defective facial feature, such as a nose, has been surgically removed,
the prosthesis will reconstruct the area using many of the techniques
perfected by today's greatest make-up artists.
There are about 500 of these specialists in the U.S. and they are
dedicated to restoring the health and dignity of thousands of people
who live with severe facial deformities. Missing or disfigured limbs
can be hidden by clothing, but facial defects can only be improved
by the skill and artistry of the maxillofacial prosthetist.
Medical Chair Becomes The Make-up Chair
it comes to the creation of application of a prosthesis, there are
many similarities between the doctor and the makeup artist. The Medical
chair becomes the make-up chair. Doctors use the same materials and
techniques as make-up artists, to create for their patients a prosthesis
as anatomically correct and realistic as possible.
Once the prosthesis is made, the same make-up materials and techniques
are also used for the application process. Skin preps and surface
primers are applied to the skin to reduce irritation and increase
adhesion. Solvents or adhesive removers are used to remove prosthesis
and to clean the skin and the appliance. Finally, skin toners and
facial creams are used to help soothe and revitalize the skin.
Although the chairs are similar and the products are the same, there
is one critical difference: an actor will wear a prosthesis for a
day; a patient must wear a prosthesis for life.