Artificial Eyes

At La Fuente Prosthetics we specialize in Custom Artificial Eyes. We have over 30 years in fabricating Each prosthesis is custom fitted from an alginate impression and hand painted to match the patient’s natural eye using earth pigments. The fabrication process from start to finish is typically done the same day. Our goal is to provide our patients with the best quality prosthetics as well as the best possible cosmetics.

Patients are often referred to us by their physician’s office. Once the referral is established the patient will: We pride ourselves on providing the patient with excellent service from start to finish.

Our specialties include:

  • Artificial Eyes
  • Maxillofacial Prosthetics
  • Prosthetic Limbs

The Steps To Follow

1.Make an appointment with our office.

2.The ocularist inspects the condition of the socket. The horizontal and vertical dimensions and the periphery of the socket are measured.

3.The ocularist paints the iris. An iris button (made from a plastic rod using a lathe) is selected to match the patient's own iris diameter. Typically, iris diameters range from 0.4-0.52 in (10-13 mm). The iris is painted on the back, flat side of the button and checked against the patient's iris by simply reversing the buttons so that the color can be seen through the dome of plastic. When the color is finished, the ocularist removes the conformer, which prevents contraction of the eye socket.

4.Next, the ocularist hand carves a wax molding shell. This shell has an aluminum iris button imbedded in it that duplicates the painted iris button. The wax shell is fitted into the patient's socket so that it matches the irregular periphery of the socket. The shell may have to be reinserted several times until the aluminum iris button is aligned with the patient's remaining eye. Once properly fitted, two relief holes are made in the wax
shell.

5.The impression is made using alginate, a white powder made from seaweed that is mixed with water to form a cream, which is also used by dentists to make impressions of gums. After mixing, the cream is placed on the back side of the molding shell and the shell is inserted into the socket. The alginate gels in about two minutes and precisely duplicates the individual eye socket. The wax shell is removed, with the alginate impression of the eye socket attached to the back side of the wax shell.

6.The iris color is then rechecked and any necessary changes are made. The plastic conformer is reinserted so that the final steps can be completed.

7.A plaster-of-paris cast is made of the mold of the patient's eye socket. After the plaster has hardened (about seven minutes), the wax and alginate mold is removed and discarded. The aluminum iris button has left a hole in the plaster mold into which the painted iris button is placed. White plastic is then put into the cast, the two halves of the cast are put back together and then placed under pressure and plunged into boiling water.  This reduces the water temperature and the plastic is thus cured under pressure for about 23 minutes. The cast is then removed from the water and cooled.

8.The plastic has hardened in the shape of the mold with the painted iris button imbedded in the proper place. About 0.5 mm of plastic is then removed from the anterior surface of the prosthesis. The white plastic, which overlaps the iris button, is ground down evenly around the edge of the button. This simulates how the sclera of the living eye slightly overlaps the iris. The sclera is colored using paints, chalk, pencils, colored thread, and a liquid plastic syrup to match the patient's remaining eye. Any necessary alterations to the iris color can also be made at this point.

9.The prosthesis is then returned to the cast. Clear plastic is placed in the anterior half of the cast and the two halves are again joined, placed under pressure, and returned to the hot water. The final processing time is about 30 minutes. The cast is then removed and cooled, and the finished prosthesis is removed. Grinding and polishing the prosthesis to a high luster is the final step. This final polishing is crucial to the ultimate comfort of the patient. The prosthesis is finally ready for fitting.