Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists that double as mouth face and jaw surgeons. Like all dentists they complete four years of dental school then recieve four to seven years of hospital-based surgical and medical training. Upon completing this training they hold a graduate degree in dentistry and at least four years of ih-hospital surgical residency. This training qualifies them to treat conditions defects injuries and esthetic aspects of the mouth teeth jaws and face and perform a wide range of surgical procedures on the bones and soft tissues of the face mouth and neck. Their training also includes advanced knowledge of and training in anaesthesia and pain management.

OMSs are best known for wisdom teeth extraction. However they do a wide range of other procedures including:

ᄋ Cosmetic surgery--birth defects trauma injury disease or age can upset the appearance of the face. Cosmetic maxillofacial surgery can restore features to a more aesthetically pleasing form.

ᄋ Orthognathic surgery (correcting misaligned jaws)--misaligned jaws can create problems with chewing and swallowing as well as psychological concerns over aesthetic appearance. An OMS can surgically move part of the upper or lower jaw such that the two jaws meet in a more natural position. Such surgeries are usually performed in a hospital setting under general anasthesia.

ᄋ Cancer surgery of the face and neck--OMSs can monitor diagnose and treat potentially cancerous lesions in these areas.

ᄋ Dental implant surgery--the loss of even one tooth can affect chewing and digesting and pose the risk of jawbone resorption (loss). OMSs can create and apply dental implants artificial tooth roots to sit in the place of the lost tooth. Artificial crowns can sit upon these implants and function just as a natural tooth would.

ᄋ Denture preparation--before custom-made dentures can be created for and worn by an individual his or her mouth must be free of both bony and soft tissue irregularities to create a solid ground upon which the dentures will sit. Long-term denture wearers may notice jawbone resorbption or loss that prevents their dentures from fitting as snugly as they used to. If the resorption is severe enough an OMS can perform a bone graft a surgery to replace the lost bone so the dentures can sit properly again.

ᄋ Monitoring Facial Pain--often facial pain comes from the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) the joint that opens and closes the mouth.

ᄋ Treating facial trauma--OMSs can treat broken facial bones stictch deep cuts or wounds and use wires and splints to hold injured bones or muscles together.

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