Barnes-Jewish Hospital has expertise in maxillofacial prosthodontics that is unmatched in our region. Our specialists develop custom devices for people whose faces and mouths are affected by serious illness or injury.
For these patients, we do more than restore smiles. People from all around the St. Louis region turn to us for care that allows them to speak, eat and do other everyday activities with less difficulty.
What Is Maxillofacial Prosthodontics?
A prosthodontist is a dentist with additional training in caring for people who are missing teeth and other mouth structures after an illness, such as cancer, or severe (traumatic) injury. Prosthodontists make custom devices (prosthetics) that restore a more normal appearance. The devices also make it possible to chew, speak and swallow more naturally.
A maxillofacial prosthodontist has specific, advanced training to treat conditions affecting the head, neck and face. The maxillofacial prosthodontist uses skill and science to create prosthetics that improve your function and appearance.
Maxillofacial Prosthodontics: Why Choose Us?
Barnes-Jewish Hospital has the only medical center-based maxillofacial prosthodontic practice in the St. Louis region, led by Azadeh Afshari, DDS.
Dr. Afshari has fellowship training in meeting the unique needs of cancer patients. Our program also delivers focused care for traumatic injuries and congenital (present at birth) abnormalities. This level of expertise leads to exceptional results.
Conditions We Treat With Maxillofacial Prosthodontics
Maxillofacial prosthodontics can provide prosthetic rehabilitation for conditions including:
- Head and neck cancer, and surgery to treat it
- Complications from cancer treatment, including effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy
- Congenital defects, such as microcephaly, in which parts of the face do not form correctly
- Head and neck injuries (trauma)
Prosthodontics for Cancer, Trauma and Congenital Birth Defects
We create custom prosthetics to replace missing or damaged structures in the head, face and neck, including your:
- Teeth and nearby tissue
If you are having difficulty speaking, eating or swallowing, you will receive care from our speech therapists (speech- language pathologists). Therapists work closely with Dr. Afshari to develop a comprehensive care plan to achieve your goals for function and appearance.
Positioning Devices for Radiation Therapy
Positioning devices are necessary to hold your mouth, teeth and surrounding tissues in the best position while receiving radiation treatment. Our custom positioning devices reduce exposure to nearby healthy tissue by pushing parts of your mouth, such as your tongue, away from the radiation beams. Find out more about radiation therapy.
Internationally Recognized Head and Neck Cancer Care
The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine delivers world- class care for head and neck cancer. Their expertise includes maxillofacial prosthodontics and anaplastology (customizing prosthetics, including facial prosthetics). They offer the latest care to preserve your ability to eat, speak or swallow. Find out more about Siteman Cancer Center.
If you need maxillofacial prosthodontics, our coordinated approach helps you receive timely care that keeps your treatment moving forward. Dr. Afshari regularly attends tumor board meetings where our internationally recognized cancer experts gather to plan head and neck cancer treatments. We determine the maxillofacial prosthodontic rehabilitation or other services you need and help you receive care as quickly as possible.
Our services require a referral from a specialist.
Specialists who typically refer patients for our services include:
- Ear, nose and throat doctors
- Head and neck surgeons
- Plastic surgeons
- Radiation oncologists
- Sleep medicine doctors
- Speech-language pathologists
To refer your patient to a maxillofacial prosthodontics specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.