Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 35-

Role of maxillofacial prosthetics in the head-and-neck cancer rehabilitation

Dinesh Rokaya 
 Department of Clinical Dentistry, International College of Dentistry, Walailak University, Bangkok, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Dinesh Rokaya
Department of Clinical Dentistry, International College of Dentistry, Walailak University, Bangkok

How to cite this article:
Rokaya D. Role of maxillofacial prosthetics in the head-and-neck cancer rehabilitation.Saint Int Dent J 2021;5:35-35

How to cite this URL:
Rokaya D. Role of maxillofacial prosthetics in the head-and-neck cancer rehabilitation. Saint Int Dent J [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jun 29 ];5:35-35
Available from:

Full Text


Maxillofacial defects lead to esthetic problems and also compromise oral functions such as speech, mastication, and swallowing.[1] The common cause of maxillofacial defects includes cancer, trauma, and infections. There is a great role of maxillofacial prosthetics in the diagnosis and rehabilitation of head-and-neck cancer patients.[2]

The treatment of head and neck cancers includes surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or in combination. General surgical procedures for the removal of a tumor in the head-and-neck region include maxillectomy, mandibulectomy, glossectomy, and eye surgery (enucleation and exenteration). Following surgical resection, prosthetic rehabilitation should be done by fabricating extraoral/facial (ocular, orbital, facial, nasal, or lip) prostheses or intraoral prostheses (obturator, tongue, and/or mandibular denture).[3] Recently, there has been considerable advancement in clinical dentistry and the current state of the art in maxillofacial prosthetics. These include 3D diagnosis and treatment planning, digital technologies aiding treatment procedures, and computer-designed fabrication of prostheses.[4] Various new biomaterials have been developed which can be used for the prosthetic rehabilitation of maxillofacial defects.[5],[6],[7]

For large and aggressive tumors, radiotherapy is given in addition to surgery. The common debilitating side effects of radiotherapy in the head and neck include mucositis and pain, sore throat, dry mouth, taste changes, radiation caries, osteoradionecrosis, lethargy, and weakness.[8],[9] Such complications require short-term and long-term care.

Successful maxillofacial prosthetic care includes a multidisciplinary approach for the rehabilitation of head-and-neck cancer patients. Still, apparent barriers to services exist, particularly the availability of materials, skilled manpower, and cost.[2] The service providers should be aware of such debilitating problems and treatment options in head-and-neck cancer patients.


1Amornvit P, Rokaya D, Shrestha B, Srithavaj T. Prosthetic rehabilitation of an ocular defect with post-enucleation socket syndrome: A case report. Saudi Dent J 2014;26:29-32.
2Rosen EB, Palin CL, Huryn JM, Wong RJ. The role of maxillofacial prosthetics for the surgically treated patient at national cancer institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers. Laryngoscope 2019;129:409-14.
3Schaaf NG. Maxillofacial prosthetics and the head and neck cancer patient. Cancer 1984;54:2682-90.
4Humagain M, Rokaya D. Integrating digital technologies in dentistry to enhance the clinical success. Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ) 2019;17:256-7.
5Alqurashi H, Khurshid Z, Syed AU, Rashid Habib S, Rokaya D, Zafar MS. Polyetherketoneketone (PEKK): An emerging biomaterial for oral implants and dental prostheses. J Adv Res 2021;28:87-95.
6Da Costa GC, Aras MA, Chalakkal P, Da Costa MC. Ocular prosthesis incorporating IPS e-max press scleral veneer and a literature review on non-integrated ocular prosthesis. Int J Ophthalmol 2017;10:148-56.
7Babu AS, Manju V, Nair VP, Thomas CT. Prosthetic rehabilitation of surgically treated orbital defects – Evisceration, enucleation, and exenteration: A case series. J Indian Prosthodont Soc 2016;16:216-20.
8Rose-Ped AM, Bellm LA, Epstein JB, Trotti A, Gwede C, Fuchs HJ. Complications of radiation therapy for head and neck cancers. The patient's perspective. Cancer Nurs 2002;25:461-7.
9Sroussi HY, Epstein JB, Bensadoun RJ, Saunders DP, Lalla RV, Migliorati CA, et al. Common oral complications of head and neck cancer radiation therapy: Mucositis, infections, saliva change, fibrosis, sensory dysfunctions, dental caries, periodontal disease, and osteoradionecrosis. Cancer Med 2017;6:2918-31.