Reconstructive Science

Reconstructive Science is concerned with the corrective treatment of patients with malformation, cancer or trauma – especially in the skull, jaw and face.


Healthcare science staff working in this field specialise in the prosthetic reconstruction and therapeutic management of the patient. They design, construct and apply custom-made medical devices such as realistic prostheses, intra-oral prosthetics, therapeutic splints, implantable devices and titanium skull plates. Such treatment could be required for a variety of reasons, such as malformation from birth, the effects of a disease such as cancer, or as a result of trauma (mainly to the jaw, face or skull). Typically, staff work in a maxillofacial or plastic surgery department within an NHS hospital.

Staff in reconstructive science will be involved in:

  • meeting patients for assessment and advice, taking an impression of the patient and booking subsequent appointments
  • attending the operating theatre to give advice on the positioning of any implants for the fixation of the prosthesis
  • follow-up appointments, designing and sculpting a device for the patient using wax, acrylic or clay; try-on and colour-match; fitting the device
  • ongoing monitoring and review of the patient and device
  • giving advice to other clinical colleagues in emergency cases – such as constructing special splints to be used in theatre for a patient who has been in a car accident or suffered other facial trauma

More on Reconstructive Science

Watch this video from ‘Science Saves’ in which Amy Davey shows us how reconstructive scientists make prosthetic eyes which are custom-made.


Watch this video featured on the BBC Breakfast programme highlighting the work of the maxillofacial prosthetics team at Poole Hospital.


Read about what a typical day is like as a Consultant Healthcare Scientist in maxillofacial prosthetics.


Last updated on 15th February 2024