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Oral Maxillofacial Treatment

What is meant by oral and maxillofacial surgery?

As one of the many aspects of dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery is performed by a professional oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Being a specialty in dental practice, this specialized surgery is done to treat defects, diseases and injuries in the jaw, face, head and neck. Including placing of dental implants, removing teeth that are decayed and impacted, oral and maxillofacial surgery involves reconstructive surgery of the jaw, treating facial trauma, removing of cysts and tumours of the jaws and mouth with biopsy. Focusing on the jaws, facial skin, facial muscles, mouth, bones and jaws, oral and maxillofacial surgery corrects jaws that are misaligned besides dealing with oral cancer, pain in the jaws and/or face and cosmetic surgery. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons work together with health care specialists to operate on cleft lip and cleft palate deformities.

What does an oral and maxillofacial surgeon specialize in?

After an intensive period of study with surgical and medical training, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon specializes in all the categories of surgery concerning the neck, mouth, the bones and the facial tissues.

What are the different types of treatments that can be treated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?

With experience and expertise, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can diagnose and treat oral cancer, deformities of the face, teeth which are impacted and severe infections in the maxillofacial areas. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon can perform dentoalveolar surgery, facial cosmetic surgery, reconstructive surgery, render pathological tests and biopsies with treatment and undertake placement of dental implants in spite of serious and severe health conditions of the patient with bone loss and gum disease besides correcting facial deformities.

Who are the candidates who need corrective surgery of the jaw?

People or patients who have an irregular bite that results from jaws or teeth that are misaligned need corrective jaw surgery. Some people have the problem where the lower and upper jaws do not have a synchronized growth rate with others having birth defects and injuries that impact jaw alignment. When there is misalignment of the jaws, corrective surgery of the jaw is needed.

How is the need for corrective jaw surgery evaluated?

The need for corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery is determined by the dentist and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery is normally carried out to correct a receding chin, a jaw that protrudes, reposition the lower jaw and the upper jaw besides correcting major and minor dental and skeletal defects. This also includes aligning the teeth and jaws so that the person can speak, breathe and chew in a normal fashion. Corrective jaw surgery is also performed in cases of sleep apnea, abnormal wear of teeth and difficulty in biting or chewing of food.

The oral and maxillofacial surgeon will evaluate the condition of the patient before deciding on the appropriate surgical method for the corrective jaw surgery. Your dentist would advise the patient that orthodontics may be required before and after the corrective surgery which may involve some years to complete. The orthodontist and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon would estimate the actual period that would be needed for the treatment.

Do oral and maxillofacial surgeons also perform temporomandibular joint surgery?

Yes. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons also perform temporomandibular joint surgery with skill and expertise. Limited in size or small, the temporomandibular joint or TMJ is a joint that at the point where the lower jaw meets the skull. This joint permits the lower jaw to function and move. In case there is restricted movement that does not allow the mouth to close or open easily, if the person has headaches, ear aches or if there is a grating noise, jaw pain or clicking sound when the mouth is opened, then it is a clear indication that the person has temporomandibular joint or TMJ disorder. As a condition that needs careful treatment, the oral and maxillofacial surgeons should determine if the condition needs complex surgery or conservative medical and dental care. If at first the non-surgical treatment is not effective or if there is visible joint damage, surgery will be recommended by the oral and maxillofacial surgeons involving a direct surgical approach or arthroscopy.

What are the other treatments that oral and maxillofacial surgeons are involved in?

As oral and maxillofacial surgeons are experts in their field, they have the competence, the confidence and the experience to treat various oral and maxillofacial and also remove wisdom teeth that are impacted, treat facial trauma, place dental implants, correct cleft palate and cleft lip defects. They also advise, diagnose and treat oral cancer besides having the capability of providing patients with effective and safe outpatient anesthesia that includes general anesthesia, nitrous oxide, local anesthesia and IV sedation.

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