Oral and Maxillofacial surgery focuses on surgery for diseases of the mouth, jaw and face. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are expert dental specialist who treats dental and medical problems involving the oral cavity and maxillofacial area of the face like bones of the forehead, face, cheekbones, jaws and are adept with working on both hard and soft tissues. They are trained in the techniques of severe tooth extraction, jaw line alignment, emergency medicine, general surgery and anesthesiology who can administer all levels of sedation to general anesthesia. Some of the procedures performed by these surgeons are:
• Tooth extractions – the most common procedure performed by oral surgeons especially in case of wisdom teeth forming in position where they can’t erupt or grow into the bite properly. This usually requires minor surgery and is often done in the dental clinic by using sedation dentistry.
• Cosmetic/ corrective jaw (Orthognathic) surgery - is sometimes required when orthodontics is not enough to correct a misaligned bite. This surgery is to correct functional and cosmetic problems that occur due to underlying jaw deformities. In some cases, it is necessary to repair congenital abnormalities (birth defects) or to treat severe orthodontics conditions, skeletal problems and other disorders. Surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, the bones and jaw may be reshaped and repositioned or realignment of the teeth. Oral surgeons work closely with orthodontists in planning and carrying out this type of surgery.
• Cleft lip /palate surgery – the surgery is performed to correct the changes in facial structure caused by birth defect. In case of traumatic dental injury, or facial trauma that can be a result of accident or any injury and many other causes.
• Dental Implants - can be used to support a number of dental prosthesis that includes crowns, bridges or dentures. As per the condition of the jaw, bone grafting procedures requires a proper placement of the implants in the jaw. Oral surgeon can smooth and reshape jaw bone as required to ensure a comfortable fit in the mouth in case of dentures used as a tooth replacement.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons may also help in treating the problems such as obstructive sleep apnea, facial pain, infection, biopsies and removal of lesions or diagnosis and treatment of oral cancers.