Oral and Maxillo Facial Surgery

Oral and Maxillofacial surgery is the surgery to correct a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. A dentist or orthodontist may refer a patient for maxillofacial surgery if an issue in the mouth is too difficult to correct with orthodontics or basic dental procedures alone. A maxillofacial surgeon may remove severely impacted wisdom teeth, address facial pain, or fix overbites and jaw deformities.

Typically, training for maxillofacial surgery includes reconstructive surgery, so that the surgeon can rebuild areas of the face which are in need of it. Doctors who decide to pursue maxillofacial surgery as a career typically attend dental school and than an additional residency for oral and maxillofacial surgery. Because of the important nerves which run through the face, training can take several years before a doctor may sit for medical board exams. This ensures that the surgeon is safe to practice.

Typically, training for maxillofacial surgery includes reconstructive surgery, so that the surgeon can rebuild areas of the face which are in need of it. Doctors who decide to pursue maxillofacial surgery as a career typically attend dental school and than an additional residency for oral and maxillofacial surgery. Because of the important nerves which run through the face, training can take several years before a doctor may sit for medical board exams. This ensures that the surgeon is safe to practice.

Surgical Procedures: After a severe accident, a patient may be referred to a maxillofacial surgeon if he or she has suffered severe facial injuries. Surgery can help to correct cosmetic and other damages to the face as a result of the accident. In addition to cleaning up the physical appearance of a damaged face, the surgeon can address nerve damage and other issues which may cause pain for the patient.

Reconstructive Procedures: Reconstructive surgery is, in its broadest sense, the use of surgery to restore the form and function of the body. Although plastic surgery and plastic surgeons are involved in many aspects of reconstructive surgery, there are other branches of surgery that also perform reconstructive procedures. Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons and Otolaryngologists do reconstructive surgery on faces after trauma and to reconstruct the head and neck after cancer.

Orthognathic Surgery: It is done to correct conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, sleep apnea, TMJ disorders or to correct orthodontic problems that cannot be easily treated with braces. Orthognathic surgery is performed by either an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in collaboration with an orthodontist, often including braces before and after surgery, and retainers after the final removal of braces. Orthognathic surgery is often needed after reconstruction of cleft palate or other major craniofacial anomalies.