Oral and maxillofacial surgery treats a broad range of disorders affecting the head, neck, face, jaws, and other oral and maxillofacial tissues. The American Dental Association recognizes it as one of nine dental specialties, making it a recognized worldwide surgical specialty.
Oral Surgeons: Changing People’s Lives with a Smiling Face
To become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, one must complete a four-year residency in an American Dentistry Association-accredited hospital-based training program after graduating from dental school. Internal medicine, general surgery, anesthesia, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), plastic surgery, and emergency medicine are some of the specialties they work on with medical residents. Their education concentrates almost solely on the hard and soft tissues of the face, mouth, and jaws, making them particularly qualified to diagnose and treat disorders relating to both function and aesthetics in this area of the body. They are also very skilled surgeons.
Disorders and Their Solution
He or she has extensive training in oral and maxillofacial surgery, and he or she can treat a broad variety of disorders.
Surgery to Straighten the Jaw
It is possible to realign the teeth and the jaws of patients who suffer from a variety of skeletal or dental issues, including a misaligned bite, using a procedure known as orthognathic (jaw) surgery. Jaw surgery may be necessary if you have difficulty swallowing or biting food, severe tooth wear, a receding chin, a projecting jaw, or sleep apnea.
The wisdom teeth are the final pair of teeth to erupt in the human body. The jaw can accommodate them if they emerge from the gum line, but this is not always the case, and the teeth get impacted as a result. In certain cases, extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth may be necessary. Wisdom teeth that have partly or completely erupted because of an impacted jaw are more prone to decay, recurrent infections, and gum disease than those that have not. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons highly advises that wisdom teeth be removed at the time the patient is a young adult to avoid future issues and to guarantee maximum recovery.
All or parts of the mouth and nasal cavities may not fuse correctly during fetal development, resulting in cleft lip and/or Cleft palate. When this happens, the mouth’s roof splits wide, leaving a gap in the upper lip. A cleft palate may create issues with nutrition, speech, and hearing unless it is surgically repaired. These issues are addressed by a multidisciplinary team of oral and maxillofacial surgeons over the course of years of therapy and surgery.
Any damage to the mouth, face, or jaw is considered maxillofacial injury or facial trauma. Bone fractures are one of the most prevalent forms of significant facial injuries. Lower and upper jaws as well as cheekbones and eye sockets may all be fractured. The ability to see, breathe, talk, and swallow may be compromised as a result of these impairments. Therefore, oral and maxillofacial surgeons’ knowledge is essential. Using seatbelts, mouthguards, and proper helmets and masks is essential for everyone who engages in any kind of sporting endeavor, regardless of their degree of experience.
Temporomandibular Joint Surgery
Located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) permits the lower jaw to move and function. There are several symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder, including jaw discomfort, earaches, headaches, restricted mouth movement, clicking, and grating noises (TMD). Treatment options for TMJ disorder vary widely, from simple medical and dental procedures to more involved surgical procedures. Arthroscopy or direct surgical repair of injured tissue may be necessary if non-surgical therapy fails or if there is evident joint injury.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons suggest that everyone undertake an oral cancer self-examination once a month as a precautionary measure. Contact your oral and maxillofacial surgeon if you observe white or red spots, an atypical lump, a persistent sore throat or hoarseness, or trouble chewing or swallowing. They will do a biopsy to correctly identify the condition.
When a patient loses a tooth, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon will surgically implant a dental implant in the jawbone. Dental implants are non-removable and non-degradable because of their composition of titanium metal and the osseointegration process by which they become one with the jawbone. Bone loss is seldom an issue with dental implants because of the way they integrate with the jawbone throughout the healing process.
Patients may be given safe, effective outpatient anesthesia from oral and maxillofacial surgeons, including local anesthetic, nitrous oxide, intravenous sedation, and general anesthetic. Residents must do a rotation in medical anesthesiology as part of their surgical residency, where they learn how to assess patients for anesthesia, administer anesthesia, and follow patients after anesthesia.