Maxillary hollow-bulb obturator: A paradigm shift

J Indian Prosthodont Soc. 2019 Jan-Mar;19(1):74-78. doi: 10.4103/jips.jips_181_18.


Maxillary defects, whether congenital or acquired, make a patient encounter an array of physical and psychological difficulties, leading to an extremely poor quality of life. Rehabilitation of such a patient is often challenging due to the extent of the defect area coupled with the absence of adequate retention caused by the size and weight of the prosthesis. Further, providing a proper seal of the oronasal communication is of utmost importance to restore function. Taking the above factors into consideration, a combination of hollow-bulb obturator consisting of a titanium framework and a flexible, snap-on silicone cap is an effective prosthesis providing a long-term treatment, increased retention, and a happy patient. The fabrication protocol included the use of computer-aided design, titanium along with laser welding, and an intraoral trial before final fabrication, hence, reconfirming the success of the prosthetic design. The maxillary obturator presented in this article eliminates several disadvantages associated with a conventional hollow-bulb obturator, thereby providing a novel, viable option for a maxillofacial prosthodontist.

Keywords: Computed-aided design-computed-aided manufacturing; laser welding; obturator prosthesis; silicone cap; titanium.

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