Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page. We hope that this will help answer some of your questions, but please also note that every patient’s case is unique. If you have a question that you do not see answered here, or would like more information, please email us at contact@bostonocular.com or call (800) 824-2492 toll free, (207) 352-5001 or (617) 245-0505 local.

What does your office do?

We provide services that include, but are not limited to, artificial eyes (ocular prosthetics), scleral shells, silicone eyes, finger prostheses, and maxillo-facial prosthetics such as ears, noses, orbitals and composite facials. All prostheses fabricated in our lab are made completely custom to each patient. 

Where are your locations?

Our primary office and labs are in Searsport, Maine and Reading, Massachsuettw, with a satellite office in Portland, Maine.  We serve patients throughout the entire state of Maine, as well as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and many more from all over the world.

 We see patients by appointment only, and can be reached by phone at (800) 824-2492 toll free, (207) 352-5001 or (617) 245-0505 local, or by e-mail at contact@bostonocular.com.

For maps and directions, visit our Contact Us page.

If I have a prosthesis and am experiencing pain or discomfort, what should I do?

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, then you should alert our office to the changes.  If you have pain or show any signs of infection, then contact your doctor. It is important to have either a custom prosthesis or a clear conformer in at all times. In some cases, if a prosthesis is left out, the socket may shrink or contract. When receiving a new prosthesis from us, we will discuss all problems to watch out for. 

How much does it cost? Will my insurance cover it?

The cost depends on the services you require. If you would like to discuss your specific needs, we would be happy to help you determine your personal case and medical coverage. Most medical insurance providers do cover all prostheses that we fabricate, but a patient’s personal responsibility will depend on their specific plan. We accept all insurance providers as well as Care Credit. It is important to note when consulting your medical insurance plan that we are covered under durable medical equipment, not under vision care, and that these services are not considered cosmetic.

What kind of results can I expect?

Our main focus for our patients is their full satisfaction with our work. It is extremely important to us that our patients have complete comfort when wearing our prostheses, as this is to become a part of their everyday lives. We also have artistic backgrounds, so we pride ourselves on the aesthetic outcomes of our work. Since all patients are completely different and everything that we make is custom, once we have seen the patient to assess their loss and discuss their expectations, we can better explain what we hope to achieve in their specific case.

 

FAQ’s for Artificial Eyes

What is an Ocularist?

According to the American Society of Ocularists, an ocularist is a carefully trained technician skilled in the arts of fitting, shaping, and painting ocular prostheses. In addition to creating it, the ocularist shows the patient how to handle and care for the prosthesis, and provides long-term care through periodic examinations.

http://www.ocularist.org/resources_faqs.asp#Whatisanocularist

What is an Artificial Eye and what is it made of?

The term ‘artificial eye’ can refer to an Ocular Prosthesis or a Scleral Shell. An Ocular Prosthesis is for a patient who no longer has, or never had, an eye. A Scleral Shell is made for a patient who still has their eye and it is either blind or has been eviscerated. Though many people still refer to these prostheses as ‘glass eyes’, today they are made from medical-grade PMMA acrylic. We also make silicone eyes (soft eyes) in special cases. These prostheses have many purposes in addition to restoring the anatomy of the patient, such as providing comfort, protection and adding stability to the socket.

What is the process of making a new artificial eye and how soon will I be seen post surgery?

In general, we see patients four to six weeks after a surgery. Once a patient is sufficiently healed, we will make an appointment to begin a fitting for a new prosthesis. During the first appointment, we will plan to take an impression, complete a fitting, do paintings, take color samples and measurements, and discuss in detail the patient’s history, concerns and wearing of an artificial eye. At the second appointment, we will have an eye or shell to try. At this point, if the patient and ocularist are happy with the fit, comfort, and cosmesis (how it looks), then the patient will wear the new eye home for a determined trial period (on average three to six months). At this second appointment, we will also teach the patient how to take out and replace the new prosthesis.

How long will an artificial eye last and how often should I come in?

Each patient’s case is different. As long as an eye is comfortable, stable, has good alignment, and has matching color, then it should only need an annual clean and polish appointment. At this appointment, we will clean off all protein and tear build up on the eye, as well as buff out any small scratches that sometimes happen. We will also check to see that the eye is in good condition.

How often do I need to take the artificial eye out? Do I need to remove it every night?

We recommend that our patients do not remove it every night and only remove it in cases of discomfort due to a material such as an eyelash being stuck behind the eye. We teach all patients how to remove and replace their prosthesis, but recommend that the less they touch it, the better. If a prosthesis is removed, it is always important to wash your hands and the prosthesis before replacing it. We recommend original Dawn dish detergent or unscented baby shampoo. Rinse well before reinserting.

As with all other advice on this page, we will discuss with each individual patient what their daily routine involving their artificial eye should be. If you have any questions about what you or a family member should be doing, please call or email us and we would be happy to speak with you. 

How do I care for an artificial eye?

A downloadable pdf of the care and keeping of an artificial eye will be available soon on the For Patients page on our website. If you have questions about the care for your prosthesis, please call our office at (800) 824-2492 toll free, (207) 352-5001 or (617) 245-0505 local.

Does an artificial eye move?

In short, yes, but this varies widely amongst patients. Since we take an impression of the patient’s socket, any movement that the patient has will be transferred to a properly fitting prosthesis. Some people have greater movement than others, depending on surgery, muscle development, or trauma. 

Should I use eye drops?

Eye drops should be used if a patient is experiencing discomfort that drops can alleviate, not as a precaution or preventative. If you are not experiencing any discomfort, then there is no need for drops. If you are experiencing discomfort, and have never used drops before, please call our office, as it could also be that the eye needs to be polished or that it needs a fitting adjustment.

FAQ’s for Facial Prostheses

What is an Anaplastologist?

An anaplastologist (also known as a maxillofacial prosthetist and technologist in the UK) is an individual who has the knowledge and skill set to provide the service of fitting and fabricating a completely custom facial (craniofacial prosthesis), ocular or somatic prosthesis.

http://www.anaplastology.org

What is a Maxillofacial Prosthesis and what is it made out of?

This term refers to prostheses of a portion of the head or neck and includes, but is not limited to, ears (auricular), nose (nasal), orbital, and hemi-facial prostheses. We also make finger (digit) prostheses. In most cases, these are made from a silicone rubber. We have different varieties of silicones that we work with, depending on the patients individual needs. Some patients have implants placed to help anchor their prosthesis, in which case there would be reciprocating clips or magnets in the prosthesis. These all have advantages in addition to restoring anatomy to the patient. For example, an artificial ear can aid in hearing if the patient still has an ear canal, and a mid face prosthesis can help with speech.

What is the process of making a new maxillo-facial prosthesis and how soon will I be seen post surgery

There are different recovery periods depending on the surgery, and this will be discussed with you by your surgeon and will be relayed to us in the referral. In general at the first appointment, we will take an impression, make a quick mold of the site, begin a sculpt of the prosthesis, take photos for finish work, and mix color samples. If it is an ear, we will also take an impression of the other ear as reference. At the next appointment, we will have fabricated a prosthesis to try. At this appointment, we will also teach the patient how to care for, remove and replace the new prosthesis.

How is a maxillofacial prosthesis attached?

There are three types of maxillofacial prostheses pertaining to the way they are attached - adhesive-held, implant-held, and self-retaining. Some are a combination. An adhesive-held prosthesis is retained by an adhesive made specifically for this purpose. There are a variety of adhesives, so there are plenty of options to try. An implant-held prosthesis has clips or magnets that attach to implants placed by a surgeon. Self-retaining prostheses may be able to be worn without adhesives or implants. Depending on the bone and tissue structure, the site may have the ability to support the prosthesis

How long will a maxillofacial prosthesis last?

This varies widely, but the average range is generally 2 to 6 years. For example, an extremely active child may need replacements more often than an less active adult. 

How often do I need to remove the prosthesis?

We recommend removing the maxillofacial prosthesis every night and storing it in a safe, dry place. Avoid storing your prosthesis in the bathroom or in a place that a pet could easily get to. Patients learn over time what works best for them, but it is always a good idea to give one’s skin some time without the prosthesis to breathe.

When should I make an appointment to see the anaplastologist?

If you are experiencing any discomfort, the prosthesis may not be fitting properly anymore; or if the color does not look as good as it used to, then please make an appointment to see us. We are always happy to answer any questions.

How do I care for a maxillo-facial prosthesis?

A downloadable pdf will be available soon on the For Patients page on our website. If you have questions about the care for your prosthesis, please call our office at (800) 824-2492 toll free, (207) 352-5001 or (617) 245-0505 local.