17 Oct Conditions Treated by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
Oral surgery may be recommended for patients in a number of scenarios, from facial trauma to congenital defects to temporomandibular joint disorders. Often, a dentist will make a referral to an oral surgeon for interventions that are beyond the scope of general dentistry.
Oral surgery can be routine and completed in an outpatient setting, such as wisdom tooth extraction, or extensive, as in the case of reconstructive jaw surgery. [pullquote]Oral surgery can be routine and completed in an outpatient setting, such as wisdom tooth extraction, or extensive, as in the case of reconstructive jaw surgery.[/pullquote]
An oral surgeon will be involved in the following interventions:
- Dental implants – This permanent replacement for a missing tooth’s root requires a surgical procedure for implant placement.
- Bone grafting – Patients with significant bone loss may not be immediate candidates for dental implants, but an oral surgeon can perform a bone graft to increase those patients’ chances of dental implant success.
- Wisdom teeth – When the wisdom teeth become impacted, numerous problems can result.
- Corrective jaw surgery – When the upper and lower jaws develop at different rates, malocclusions will result, and an oral surgeon can perform surgery to correct this issue.
- Facial trauma – People may suffer a variety of facial injuries due to trauma, such as broken jaws and other facial bones and lacerations. An oral surgeon can help to restore the facial structures.
- Reconstructive surgery – If a patient is born with some sort of defect in the jaw bone or one develops as a result of medical treatment, such as radiation for head and neck cancers, an oral surgeon can help to restore a complete structure.
- Sleep apnea – An oral surgeon can design a custom mouthguard to be worn at night to stop sleep apnea, or surgery may be indicated as well.
- Oral pathology – In addition to treating various oral health issues, oral surgeons are also often involved in their diagnosis by determining the oral pathology that is present.
- Botox – You may think you need to see a plastic surgeon to get Botox injections, but with their expertise in facial symmetry and structures, oral surgeons are well-positioned to provide this treatment as well.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have extensive training in their specialty that begins with a post-graduate residency in which they gain hands-on experience with surgical techniques. They go on to fine-tune their skills and stay updated on developments in the field through continuing education.
Oral surgeons often collaborate with other dental specialists, such as orthodontists or prosthodontists, on an overarching treatment plan designed to achieve optimal outcomes for patients.
If your dentist has suggested that oral surgery may be involved in your treatment, contact one of our four convenient locations to learn more about our approach and your treatment options.