Oral and maxillofacial surgeons operate on most of the structural elements of the face. They perform treatments on the craniomaxillofacial complex, which includes the mouth, jaws, neck, face, and skull- both hard and soft tissues. Some of their common procedures include head and neck cancerous tumor removal, cosmetic facial surgery, and jaw alignment. Surgeons also regularly treat fractures to jaws, cheek bones, nasal structures, the skull, and eye sockets.
These specialized doctors must receive a degree in dentistry before studying surgery, which is why they are qualified to do difficult tooth extractions, impacted teeth treatments, and preprosthetic surgery, which makes the anatomy more suitable for the placement of implants, dentures, or other dental prostheses. Maxillofacial surgeons work in hospitals and have private practice clinics, and accept health insurance.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons need to be ready for emergency surgery, as well as those that are scheduled in advance. For example, when a person has been in a car crash and has suffered trauma to the face, and is in need of immediate facial reconstruction, a maxillofacial surgeon is called in. They are qualified to work with the various hard and soft tissues, and bone.
Surgeries, like tumor removal and cosmetic surgery, can be scheduled in advance, and aren’t considered emergencies, and will more likely be performed at a clinic as opposed to the hospital. When people are looking for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, they should first consult with their insurance to see if any specific doctors are listed under their coverage. The surgery will be scheduled depending on the urgency of the procedure.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons assist millions of people all over the United States. As you may know, these medical professionals handle tasks like removing wisdom teeth, jaw reconstruction after an accident, and even dental implants. While some dentists handle tooth removal as well, if actual surgery is involved, a maxillofacial surgeon is often required. You might find that certain oral surgeons and wisdom teeth experts specialize in specific procedures. Before you acquire the assistance of any oral surgeons or maxillofacial specialists, become acquainted with the terms found below.
- Periodontist – Also referred to as a periodontic specialist, this is a professional that addresses and assists with gum health, disorders, and diseases. In other words, the structures that surround and support teeth. Periodontists often treat patients with gum inflammation and gingivitis, and even handle dental implants.
- Maxillofacial – This essentially refers to the jaws and the face. Therefore experts in this field commonly help correct facial defects, jaw injuries, mouth disorders, and diseases that pertain to the neck or jaws. This is a specialty surgery.
- TMJ – This basically means tempero-mandibular joint. It is the joint that hinges or connects the lower jaw to the skull. Maxillofacial specialists often assist people with TMJ problems, such as jaw clicking or teeth grinding.
- Palatal Lift – An oral prosthesis that is used to elevate or lift the soft palate or velum. This lift essentially assists by restoring the functions of the soft palate. This medical condition is often called a cleft palate or lip.
- Facial Moulage – This is a negative impression or reproduction of the face. It is used to record bony contours and soft tissue. The purpose of a facial moulage is to create a prosthesis or some type of implant.
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