State of the Art (Blog)
How long does a silicone prosthesis last?
Although the useful life of a prosthesis will vary, the average lifespan is 1 to 3 years. We encourage our patients to come in for annual recall appointments during which we clean the prosthesis thoroughly, touch up the color, and do repairs if necessary. This refreshes the prosthesis and can extend its useful life. For patients with an implant-retained prosthesis, the six month follow-up and annual recall appointments are especially important because they allow us to check soft tissue and ensure that all components are secure and in good condition.
This prosthesis is more than a year old, but after a color touch-up at an annual recall appointment, it looks almost like new.
We use the most up-to-date and durable materials and pigments available to fabricate each prosthesis, but the lifespan of a prosthesis is still limited. A prosthesis is ready for replacement when the silicone has deteriorated (patients might notice tiny tears developing or the silicone becoming stiffer or unhygienic), the color has shifted toward yellow or faded significantly, or if it’s not fitting well or feeling secure. Our patients who wear a prosthesis daily in a work environment with frequent exposure to sun, dust, or chemicals, may notice that replacements are needed more often (every 12 to 18 months). Wearing a prosthesis past its prime can negatively impact the appearance and security of the prosthesis and lead to skin irritation or inflammation.
A prosthesis will also last longer when it is cleaned regularly. We recommend cleaning your prosthesis each time it’s removed with a dye-free, fragrance-free dish soap, or with rubbing alcohol. Read more detailed cleaning instructions here.
We are always happy to see patients to evaluate a prosthesis and determine if it can be touched up or repaired, or if a replacement is necessary. Thanks for reading!