Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to perform surgery and other procedures on the oral and maxillofacial regions to treat injuries, diseases or defects. They may operate on the soft and hard tissues of the affected regions on the face. They are dental specialists who perform surgery for sleep apnea treatments, removal of wisdom tooth, cosmetic repairs, dental implants, and tumor removal.
Maxillofacial surgeon duties
A typical day at work for oral and maxillofacial surgeons includes spending time in a hospital emergency room or at an outpatient dental clinic, doing rounds to check on the patients’ progress or prepare them for surgery, managing inventory and ordering supplies, monitoring test results, performing major and lesser oral surgeries at dental clinics, entertaining patients at follow up after a procedure, and fulfilling several administrative duties.
Maxillofacial surgeons usually use general and local anesthetics on their patients. They work with other health care professionals, such as orthodontists and restorative dentists, to develop a treatment plan for the patients.
They usually operate on the mouth and jaws to treat a cleft palate and lip and jaw growth problems. They also operate on the mouth to help regenerate deficient gum and bone tissues, as well as put dental implants.
Maxillofacial surgeons are trained to provide emergency treatment to patients with facial injuries, such as intra-oral lacerations, facial lacerations, and fractured facial bones. It is their job to remove damaged, impacted or non-restorable teeth. They also remove abnormal growths, such as tumors, on the oral and maxillofacial regions of the patients. They perform surgery on the patients by removing some skin, nerves, bones, tissues, or other parts of the body to reconstruct the face and the jaw.
When it comes to oral concerns, they check the wisdom teeth positioning to determine if there are problems or possible problems in the future.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform minor facial rejuvenation procedures and enhancements on the cheekbones and chin. They may use laser technology and Botox to perform such minor cosmetic procedures. They can treat infections of the salivary glands, oral cavity, neck, and jaws. They also attend to problems in the oral mucosa, such as infections and mouth ulcers. They even address problems concerning snoring using laser surgery.
Maxillofacial surgeon services
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons usually offer several services. First, they provide dental implants. They usually work with restorative dentists on these cases. They use the implants to replace the missing teeth. This service usually requires bone reconstruction to anchor the implant and change gingival tissue around the implants. This is needed to make the implants look like the rest of the natural teeth.
They also remove impacted and diseased teeth. They administer anesthesia to prepare the patients as they remove the affected teeth.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have to deal with facial trauma. They fix routine and complex facial skin cuts, reconnect severed ducts and nerves, set fractured bones and jaws, and treat other injuries. They care for the jaws, oral tissues, the forehead, nasal and cheekbones, and eye sockets.
As surgeons, they care for patients with malignant and benign tumors and cysts of the oral and maxillofacial regions. They treat pathologic conditions caused by severe infections of the salivary glands, oral cavity, neck, and jaws.
Maxillofacial surgeons even perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. They correct facial soft tissue problems due to trauma or pathological conditions, facial bone, and jaw.
They address facial pain, including those caused by temporomandibular joint disorders. They are trained to diagnose and treat pain disorders due to temporomandibular joint problems.
Another service that oral and maxillofacial surgeons offer is the correction of bites and birth defects. They collaborate with an orthodontist to reconstruct and realign the upper and lower jaws for better facial and dental relationships and for restoring biting function and appearance. They also correct cleft lip, cleft palate, or any other birth defects.