We know that oral surgery is surgery of the mouth, but maxillofacial surgery sounds a bit more complicated. This type of surgery actually addresses issues of the jaw and facial structures, and it involves the use of prosthetic materials to rebuild the tissues that have been damaged – whether due to an accident or a disease.
These are complex surgical procedures that maxillofacial and oral surgeons specialize in. These surgeons usually work with other healthcare specialists in order to provide optimum results for the patient.
These surgeons can extract teeth that cannot be saved and can replace them with artificial (prosthetic) teeth. They also correct cosmetic imperfections and jaw abnormalities, such as an underbite, and they can help to relieve jaw pain in patients with jaw disorders.
Patients who have oral cancer are treated by a multidisciplinary medical team that includes oral and maxillofacial surgeons, oncologists, and dentists. It is likely that your own dentist will be the one to initiate the diagnosis and treatment.
The most common surgeries performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons include the following:
Dental implant surgery is one of the most commonly performed oral surgeries in the United States. The oral surgeon typically performs this type of operation if the tooth cannot be salvaged or if there is overcrowding of the teeth, so crowded teeth are removed and replaced with natural-looking prosthetic teeth.
A titanium implant is first inserted into the jawbone. After it is fully healed into the bone, a dental crown is placed on top of the implant to look like a real tooth.
Jaw surgery is usually performed to correct bite problems that may cause more serious problems in the future. A misaligned jaw can cause difficulty in eating, speaking, and even breathing.
Other maxillofacial issues that are addressed with jaw surgery include temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which can cause headaches, earaches, and pain or disability when opening the mouth. TMJ can easily develop after a jarring blow to the head, such as in a car accident or sports accident.
Cleft Lip Surgery
This type of maxillofacial surgery addresses a birth defect of the palate. The defect will affect a child’s ability to speak, eat, and smile. Cleft lip surgery is ideally performed when the baby is still an infant, and it may require multiple surgeries to fully correct the palate and to implant prosthetic teeth.
Oral Cancer Treatment
Oral cancer is usually first detected during a regular visit to the dentist, since it presents physical symptoms such as lumps and nodules in the mouth area. An oral surgeon will perform a biopsy to determine whether the growth is indeed cancer, and the surgeon will then recommend next steps. Your treatment plan will depend upon the type and stage of your disease, and treatment may involve surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy.
If you have any kind of oral pain, bleeding, or sores, have Dr. Ernie Soto provide an evaluation. He will be able to diagnose the issue and recommend a treatment plan in order to ensure your optimum oral health.
Dr. Soto is a reconstructive dentist who also specializes in cosmetic dental procedures. He has more than 20 years of experience in everything from general dentistry to tooth and gum disease.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Soto, call our friendly team today at (954) 368-6264 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your dentist!