Oral Maxillofacial Surgery: Definition and Procedures

What exactly is Oral Maxillofacial surgery? What treatments does it cover? Here are a few essentials from Surgery.about.com to help you:

Definition: Maxillofacial is a field of expertise in surgery that primarily deals with issues and problems involving the face, head, and neck. It also includes the jaw and sinuses. To qualify as a Maxillofacial surgeon, dentists are often trained in oral surgery to ensure surgeons have the necessary skills and practical hands-on experience to offer patients with a variety of treatment.

Called Oral and Maxillofacial specialists, these surgeons often straddle the line, since they can be known as a dentist or either a doctor of medicine. Usually, the country where the dentist or surgeon is practicing has say over what title to recognize or what is more commonly used.

Oral Plus Maxillofacial

In an oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral diagnosis, surgery and treatment are practiced with surgery that deals with the diagnosis, surgery and treatment of the face and neck, along with the sinuses.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons basically take care to address the problems of the facial area, whether this involves a crushed cheekbone or an impacted tooth.

The most usual cases of oral surgeries often have to do with the following:

  • Wisdom tooth removal
  • Replacement of teeth with dental implants
  • Preparation of the mouth for dentures
  • Treatment of jaw problems
  • Preparation for root canal therapy
  • Consultations to know if an aesthetic surgery should be made or not

More serious cases of oral and maxillofacial surgery though often involve the following:

  • Oral surgical procedures that require the use of an anesthetic
  • Diagnosis and removal of any growth, cyst or tumor in the oral and facial area
  • Tooth alignment treatment via an orthognathic surgery which might involve realigning the cheek and orbital bones along with the nasal structures or any of the lower or upper chin and jaws
  • Reconstruction of the jaw and facial area right after a cancer surgery and might often involve cosmetic surgery of the neck, facial skin and ears along with the brows, eyelids and forehead
  • Reconstruction of the jaw area and facial bones after extensive or traumatic damage to the area
  • Surgery that supports the use or placement of oral and facial prosthetic devices
  • Temporomandibular Joint Surgery that treats inflammatory illnesses that affect soft tissues of the joint along with disorders involving the bone like osteoarthritis

These are simply some of the possible procedures you could seek under oral and maxillofacial treatments. If you’re in MS and want to know more about the procedure, the Harbor View Oral and Facial Surgery Center offers such oral and maxillofacial services in the area.


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