Mouth Checks Ups

Have you seen the word “Maxillofacial” and wondered what it meant? Chances are you have seen this term when searching for oral surgeons, perhaps because you need a tooth extraction, or other dental work.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Surgeons who work on your mouth complete a four-year graduate degree in dentistry, as well as at least four years of additional residency time in the surgical program of a hospital. They are called “oral and maxillofacial surgeons” because their works involves not just the mouth (oral), but the face and jaws as well (maxillofacial).

Oral surgery covers a great deal of territory. The most common oral surgery is the removal of teeth, either impacted wisdom teeth or other teeth. But there is a lot of other work that falls into the purview of such a surgical practice:

  • Facial pain

There are many causes of facial pain, and most do not require surgery. For some ongoing conditions, however, a visit to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon may be called for.

  • Misaligned jaws

Jaw alignment has a dramatic impact on eating, smiling, talking, and breathing. Some surgeries can help patients align their jaws and correct any issues that may inhibit typical function.

  • Reconstruction after an accident

When any bones of the face are fractured in an accident – cheekbone, jaw, nose, skull, or eye socket in particular – this can also damage the soft and hard tissue of the mouth and face.

  • Tumor or cyst removal

These growths are surprisingly common, and the surgeries that lead to their removal can be complicated.

  • Dental implants

Getting dentures or other prosthetic dental wear requires implants. Bone grafting calls for surgery to make these implants work.