Polishing an eye prosthesis can feel repetitious and mundane, but putting in the time and effort to do it properly is important and ultimately rewarding. Any pits or scratches can make a prosthesis uncomfortable to wear. They can also be a breeding ground for bacteria which could cause irritation and infection. Even when an eye has been removed, the eye socket is still incredibly sensitive. Any fine scratches left behind feel like an eyelash in the socket.
There is definitely an art to perfectly polishing an eye prosthesis and it starts with making sure the mould of the prosthesis is smooth before the plastics are made. Once the plastics have been cured there are six steps to get the right finish.
Firstly we grind off the flashing that sits around the edge of the mould. Next the eye is sanded with fine sandpaper. We then use pumice with a calico mop which smooths out the sandpaper scratches. After that, polishing paste is applied with a cotton buff. This process removes all the very fine scratches. Then we use a swan down buff to put the sparkle in the eye. Finally the eye prosthesis is sterillised in an ultrasonic cleaner.
We encourage people to come back at least once a year for a polish because it improves the look and feel of the prosthesis. With the annual polish we would only use the last few steps. Many clients make this annual visit just before Christmas. With family and friends dropping in from abroad, they like to look and feel their best.
Do have regular times in the year when you get your eye polished?