Maxillofacial rehabilitation: A lesser known treatment modality

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Aug 2018 14:23:14



By Dr Saee Deshpande

Oral cancer is 3rd most commoncancerinIndia. Low-income and disadvantaged groups are generally more exposed to avoidable risk factors such as: environmental carcinogens,alcohol,infectious agents, tobacco use. These groups also have less accesstothehealthservicesand health education that would empower them to make decisions to protect and improve their own health. Additionally, high risk of oral cancer in the Indian subcontinent is related to the popularity of betel leaf, lime, areca nut, and sun cured tobacco chewing. Many patients loose parts of facesuchas jaws, nose,eyes and earsasa resultofcancer surgery and suffer from considerable disfigurement. In many cases where surgical reconstruction of missing parts is not possible, thenprostheticrehabilitationis veryhelpfuloptiontoovercome the disfigurement. This is referred as Maxillofacial Rehabilitation (a sub-specialty of Prosthetic dentistry). Benefits of prosthetic rehabilitation of lost parts of jaws and face

● Restores the form

● Improved appearance

● Improved function

● Most importantly it brings backpatient’sconfidencetoface the society. Lack of awareness about this modality oftreatmentin generalpublic isoneofthe important reasonsbehindtheusefultreatmentremainedlessapproached. Many patients after cancer surgery are debilitated and suffer from lack of motivation, financial constraints, etc and as a result do not seek treatment. Thistreatmentmodalityisnot practiced widely owing to high materialcostandlackofexpertise. Very few centers offer this treatmentincountry.Thankfully in Vidarbha we have centers which offer such surgeries at subsidised rates. Prosthetic treatment is offered at such places. Patients should never loose hope and seek treatment to improve their quality of life post cancer surgery. Those belonging to the lower income groups who cannot afford the high costs of the re-hab should look for centers offering treatment with subsidised rates. Post–Cancersurgerypatients can always look for better restoration of the affected part with the help of maxillofacial surgeries as it is rehabilitation initself.Face is themirrorofour personality; let a Maxillofacial facelift gives real facelift to lives of individuals with concerned issues. (The author is Maxillofacial Prosthodontist,VSPM, Nagpur)