Are you familiar with the term oral and maxillofacial surgery? Oral surgery involves the mouth and maxillofacial surgery involves the face and jaw. With extensive training, our oral surgeons have 4 plus years of post-graduate on top of dental training, as well as surgical residency so that we can diagnose and treat the hard and soft tissues of the head and neck. In addition to the surgical aspects of our training, we are also trained in pain control and anesthesia.
Common surgical procedures we perform include tooth extractions, correcting abnormalities in the jaw, performing dental implants, bone grafting, biopsies, cleft palate surgery, reconstructive surgery and surgery pertaining to sleep apnea. Let’s take a closer look:
If you have missing teeth in your mouth, you are at risk for a variety of problems. Leaving gaps between teeth can lead to supportive bone loss and a diminished facial profile, not to mention that the neighboring teeth can migrate from their proper position, causing problems with chewing as well as the bite. Dental implants can close this gap by restoring a lost tooth or teeth with sturdy, long-lasting restorations.
Missing teeth can cause bone resorption. This is a condition where you can lose anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of supportive bone within two years of losing a tooth. If this jaw bone material is lost, you can’t successfully place dental implants. With a bone-grafting procedure, we can replace this missing bone structure to allow for restored tooth function with the help of dental implants.
When it comes to tooth extractions, you might have primary teeth that haven’t erupted and are blocking the permanent teeth from coming in and require removal. You may also have a wisdom tooth that is impacted (stuck in the bone) or has only partially broken through and needs to be removed. Another factor for removal might be if you have a tooth with severe decay or damage from an injury such as a root fracture. If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, certain teeth may need to be removed to facilitate correct alignment.
Sometimes there are severe enough issues with the jaw that it requires orthognathic surgery to fix. If you grind or clench your teeth (bruxism), your teeth may wear down prematurely. If you have problems with your temporomandibular joints or suffer from TMJ, surgery can help. If you have suffered a severe injury to the jaw, or have an overbite/underbite or other malocclusions where the bite does not line up, oral surgery may help. If your jaw is out of alignment, your facial profile can benefit from surgical correction. And if you have chronic problems when you speak, chew, or open and close your mouth, surgery can make a big difference.
Oral cancer is a threat to the American populace and is responsible for killing over 8,000 of us every year. To help determine if a problem in the mouth is connected to oral cancer, a biopsy can be performed by removing a piece of oral tissue. If it turns out positive for cancer, oral surgery can treat the disease, sometimes used in conjunction with radiation treatment.
Cleft Lip or Palate
This oral surgery can repair altered facial structures caused by cleft lip or palate (a birth defect) to facilitate a normal life and avoid severe complications.
If you have suffered a traumatic injury to the mouth or face, like say, from a car accident or falling down, or have had a tumor removed, reconstructive surgery can restore your mouth and facial tissues (both hard and soft).
One surgical procedure that helps sleep apnea sufferers is called an uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty (UPPP). This treatment is done in the back of the throat and soft palate of the mouth. A laser version of this treatment is referred to as a laser assisted uvulo-palatoplasty (LAUPP). Through orthognathic surgery, it is also possible to reposition the upper and lower jaw bone to open up the obstructed airway.
Schedule a consultation with us right away if you believe you have one of these conditions or need to be treated. We’ll be happy to help you get the treatment you need to live a healthy and happy life, so give us a call today!