Have you been wondering what exactly an oral and maxillofacial surgeon does? We specialize in diagnosing and treating various diseases, injuries, and defects involving the head, neck, face, and jaws, as well as the hard and soft tissues in the oral and maxillofacial areas of the body.
We train to administer anesthesia and provide surgical care in our office. Do you need to have your wisdom teeth removed? Do you have misaligned jaws? Do you need to have tumors or cysts in the jaw and mouth taken out? Our team can do all of that and more.
Education and Training
Our specialty is recognized by the American College of Surgeons as well as the American Dental Association. We begin by studying for either a two or four-year undergraduate degree. Then we train for a dental specialty; a BDS is a dental degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery). We can also earn a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine), which are actually the same degree, and we are considered a General Dentist.
After that, we spend four to six years earning our residency, plus two more years earning a medical degree. Once we have finished our surgical training, we are certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. By then, we have logged 12 to 14 years of study and training and pursued a one- to two-year fellowship in one of the following areas:
- Head and neck cancer (microvascular reconstruction)
- Cosmetic facial surgery (facelift, rhinoplasty, etc.)
- Craniofacial surgery and pediatric maxillofacial surgery (cleft lip and palate repair, surgery for craniosynostosis, etc.)
- Cranio-maxillofacial trauma (soft tissue and skeletal injuries to the face, head, and neck)
Surgeries We Can Perform
We are experts at correcting diseases, injuries, and defects occurring in your face, jaw, or mouth like these:
- Diagnose and treat chronic dental pain
- Prepare your mouth to receive tooth replacements options like dental implants or dentures
- Place dental implants
- Extract impacted teeth
- Provide treatment for oral diseases
Fixing Jaw Problems
- Graft or transplant bone to replace bone material you don’t have in your jaw
- Fix an abnormal bite with jaw reconstruction
- Treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- Repair injuries from trauma to the face, jaw and mouth
Other Maxillofacial Surgeries
- Fixing birth defects like cleft lip and palate
- Treating cysts, tumors, cancer, and other neck and head growths
- Diagnosing the cause of chronic facial pain
- Treating facial trauma injuries like fractures or maxillofacial tissue that are damaged
In-Office or Hospital Setting
Typically, maxillofacial surgeons are oral surgeons, but some of us provide more oral surgery and treatments done in an office setting, while others perform our treatments in a hospital setting. Depending on what kind of procedure you will be undergoing, you may be treated in an outpatient setting (as with wisdom tooth extraction) where you can go home that same day or in a hospital setting, especially for fixing facial issues. Rest assured, we train to provide you with the most comfortable treatment possible with the help of anesthesia. Our team will review a recommended anesthesia for your unique situation and the procedure.
Recovering from an oral and maxillofacial surgery involves some sensitivity, swelling, and bleeding for the initial days afterward, and pain medication can make you more comfortable. You may have to avoid certain foods and activities for a while. You can enhance with pain management and ice packs to relieve inflammation, stick to eating soft foods and smoothies and get plenty of rest. You will want to stay away from tobacco products and alcohol. It is also the time to take reprieve from exercising to avoid bleeding and swelling.
Whatever your needs, rest assured you will be in great hands with our experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon. We are happy to answer your questions. Call today!