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Robert L. Brown History of Medicine

History of Medicine News

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Maxillofacial Prostheses Through the Decades

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Prosthetic devices

Prosthetic devices

The History of Medicine Collection received a marvelous donation of various maxillofacial prostheses produced from pre-1940 through the 1990’s. These items are a gift from Norman Schaaf, D.D.S. and David Casey, D.D.S. and are made from materials ranging from vulcanized rubber to Polymethyl methacrylate (acrylic glass) to silicone and acrylic. Some of the uses for the prosthetic devices were for head and neck cancer patients, individuals with Multiple Sclerosis and people with cleft palates. These implements included ears, noses, eyes and a variety of dentures and cleft palate and maxillary speech aids and obturators.

In 1958 Dr. Schaaf met Dr. Harold Solomon, the only dentist in the Department of Dental Surgery at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and later worked with him until his retirement in 1968. In1967 with a grant he received from the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Schaaf established a Regional Center for Maxillofacial Prosthetics and in 1969 was awarded a grant from NIH to develop a Residency in Maxillofacial Prosthetics. Another grant in 1970 enabled research into facial prosthetic materials. In 1998 a new clinic was established in the present RPCI Hospital. Dr. David Casey joined the Department in 1980. Both Dr. Schaff and Dr. Casey are retired Emeritus Faculty of the School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Restorative Dentistry.





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