Osteo Odonto Keratoprosthesis (OOKP)
By John Baker
Osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (OOKP) is a surgical procedure implemented to restore vision to patients who suffer from end stage corneal blindness. The procedure involves extracting a tooth from the patient and attaching it to a device in order to improve vision. OOKP is only used when conventional corneal surgery is not a treatment option and no other treatments can be effective.
The Osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis procedure is broken down into two stages. Initially a detailed evaluation of the teeth, mouth and eyes is done in preparation. During the first stage of the procedure the patient's eye is opened up and all of the scar tissue is removed. Once removed a tooth is extracted and then shaped. The newly shaped tooth acts as a support for a synthetic optical cylinder. It is then implanted into the patient's cheek to help grow a new blood supply. Approximately four months after the first stage, the new tooth and optical cylinder are inserted into the eye. Once the procedure has finished the patient will be able see through the cylinder.
After the Procedure
Once the procedure is completed you will be required to schedule follow-up appointments. Generally it is once a week for the first month, then once a month for three months, followed by every two months for six months and then every four months.
How to communicate with a visually impaired patient?
- It is your responsibility to ensure that your patient is as comfortable as possible.
- Speak directly and slowly to your patient
- Determine how the patient wishes to communicate
- Make sure to inform the patient when you are leaving the room
- Prepare the patient for any potential sudden noises or chair repositioning
- Be as clear and descriptive as possible when giving recommendations and explanations
Oral Hygiene Recommendations for Blind Patients
To recommend proper oral hygiene requirements, first ask the patient to demonstrate how they brush and floss their teeth, then make modifications and corrections. Explain the correct positioning of the toothbrush and proper motion by placing the patient's hand over your hand and demonstrating with them. Verbally describe in detail what the correct methods are and why they are important. As a dentist it is your responsibility to ensure that your patient fully comprehends why a procedure is necessary, what to expect during the procedure and what must be done once the procedure is completed.
To learn more about oral hygiene for the visually impaired, check out our Dental Care for the Blind resources page.