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What Happens in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

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A general dentist helps in keeping your mouth healthy through simple cosmetic procedures, restorations, and regular exams. And when such an oral health issue comes up that needs more complex dental procedures, your general will refer you to the oral maxillofacial surgeon. Here are the details of oral maxillofacial surgery.

What exactly is an oral maxillofacial surgery?

Oral maxillofacial surgeons are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries, diseases, and defects of the jaw, mouth, and face. It includes a wide range of oral and dental conditions, such as cleft lip surgery, palate surgery, and wisdom teeth removal.

In other words, this surgery is about correcting all kinds of problems with the neck, facial structures, jaws, and the mouth.

Common types of oral maxillofacial surgeries

You might need an oral maxillofacial surgery for several reasons. As such, here are a few common types of oral maxillofacial surgeries.

Wisdom teeth extraction

Wisdom teeth do not come out properly in many cases. The third molar might lead to overcrowding, come up in the wrong position, or get impacted. The surgeon tries to surgically remove the wisdom teeth to secure your oral health.

Dental implants

Dental implants help to fill in the gaps in the smile due to missing teeth. During this surgery, the surgeon replaces the root area of the tooth with a metal post. It offers a sturdy base for the artificial tooth (called crown) that acts, feels, and looks like your natural tooth.

Trauma surgery

The surgeon helps to repair and treat facial trauma and injuries with the use of their in-depth knowledge of how the jaws come together. It might include any fracture in the jaw or around the orbits of the eyes.

Neck, head, and oral cancer treatments

The surgeon might also surgically treat and eliminate cancer of the mouth, neck, and head. Surgically treating oral cancer usually involves the removal of affected tissues and reconstructing that site to preserve appearance and improve functions.

Corrective jaw surgery

It is also called orthognathic surgery. This type of surgery addresses different functional issues through the correction of the misalignments of the jaw and the teeth. Some of the reasons why people might need this surgery are problems breathing, speaking, or chewing. Dealing with sleep apnea or enhancing the function and appearance of the bite are also the common causes of getting corrective jaw surgery.

Palate and cleft lip surgery

The surgeon also performs cleft palate and cleft lip surgery on young children and infants. This is the type of surgery that helps to restore the facial and jaw structures to ensure normal appearance and function. The oral maxillofacial surgeon plays a crucial role in the team of healthcare specialists treating the patients with palate and cleft lip problems.

If you or someone in your family has to visit an oral maxillofacial surgeon for the reasons mentioned above, talk to a general dentist first. They will take a closer look at the issue, explain the treatment process, and refer an oral maxillofacial surgeon.

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