Maxillary Reconstruction: Functional and Aesthetic Considerations

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Learning Objectives: After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. List the reconstructive options for maxillary defects, from simple to complex. 2. Discuss the pros and cons of prosthetic versus autogenous maxillary reconstruction. 3. Discuss the use of osseointegrated implant technology in maxillary reconstruction. 4. Compare and contrast the most commonly used free osseocutaneous flaps for maxillary reconstruction.Maxillary reconstruction is a challenging endeavor in functional and aesthetic restoration. Given its central location in the midface and its contributions to the key midfacial elements—the orbits, the zygomaticomaxillary complex, the nasal unit, and the stomatognathic complex—the maxilla functions as the keystone of the midface and unifies these elements into a functional and aesthetic unit. Maxillary defects are inherently complex because they generally involve more than one midfacial component. In addition, most maxillary defects are composite in nature, and they often require skin coverage, bony support, and mucosal lining for reconstruction. In the reconstruction of maxillary defects secondary to trauma, ablative tumor surgery, or congenital deformities, the following goals must be met: (1) obliteration of the defect; (2) restoration of essential functions of the midface, such as mastication and speech; (3) provision for adequate structural support to each of the midfacial units; and (4) aesthetic reconstruction of the external features. This review will discuss the pertinent anatomic considerations, the historical approaches to maxillary reconstruction, and the merits of the techniques in use today, with an emphasis on state-of-the-art reconstruction and dental rehabilitation of extensive maxillary defects. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 104: 2172, 1999.)

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