Oral and maxillofacial surgery corrects diseases, injuries, and defects in the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. They perform the following procedures.
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that emerge, usually during your late teens to early twenties. For some people the wisdom teeth emerge through the gums and have enough room to grow in naturally. For others, wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause structural damage to the jaw and other teeth. They can also provide a place for bacteria to gather since they are hard to reach and clean. These potential problems make it necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth so that larger problems do not arise. Routine x-rays during a dental exam can reveal if you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed.
Bone grafting is where the jawbone is built up to accommodate a dental implant or other restorative device. Bone grafting is a common procedure that is used frequently for dental implants and other periodontal procedures. The bone used to graph is taken from a sample from the patient. Many times, the bone is taken from another area of the mouth when drilling takes place. The bone fragments are suctioned from the mouth and used for the graft. Cadavers bone fragments are also used. They are harvested by bone banks and are a very safe source for bone donation.
Orthognathic surgery is typically performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a craniofacial surgeon, with an orthodontist assisting. The purpose of Orthognathic surgery is to ensure that the necessary structure exists in the mouth so that the orthodontic treatment will be successful. Orthognathic surgery usually involves the jaw bones, where modifications are done by cutting the bones of the mandible or maxilla and putting them back together properly aligned. The surgery is performed under general anesthetic and the teeth are wired together after surgery so the jaw can heal correctly. Usually, the incisions are made inside the mouth and not in the skin.
Oral Pathology is the specialty that identifies and treats diseases of the mouth and maxillofacial region. Diagnosis is completed through radiographic, microscopic, biochemical and other in office examinations. Oral pathologists provide biopsy services for dentists and offer clinical their diagnosis based on their findings. Some of the diseases that Oral pathologists diagnose include mouth and throat cancer, mumps, salivary gland disorders, ulcers, Odontogenic Infection, and others.
Using oral surgery to help sleep apnea seeks to remove the excess tissue in the throat that is vibrating and blocking the upper air passages. One surgical procedure is an Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This procedure involves removing the excess tissue from the upper mouth and throat. This procedure in performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. Maxillomandibular advancement is another type of procedure used to assist with sleep apnea. This procedure involves the upper and lower part of the jaw. In this procedure, the jaw is moved forward from the rest of the facial bones. This allows more room behind the soft palate, thereby reducing the obstruction. Finally a Tracheostomy is a last ditch effort when other treatments have failed. This involves the surgeon inserting a tube in your throat so you can breathe. It is covered during the day, but opens at night while you sleep. All of the aforementioned surgeries are routine and very safe.