Maxillofacial surgery is an area of specialization that focuses on treatment for problems in the mouth, jaw, face and neck. Procedures can address both functional and aesthetic issues caused by injuries, diseases, disorders and congenital defects.
Because maxillofacial surgery is an invasive treatment, only a qualified, board-certified surgeon can determine whether you can benefit from a procedure. But certain information may help you decide if you should schedule a professional consultation.
When Is Maxillofacial Surgery Recommended?
Dentists and orthodontists refer patients to a maxillofacial surgeon when an issue with the teeth, mouth or jaws is too complex to correct through dental procedures alone. Doctors may recommend surgery when facial trauma, structural abnormalities or medical conditions are interfering with a patient’s health or affecting their quality of life.
Who Performs Maxillofacial Surgery?
Maxillofacial specialists complete four years of dental school along with an additional four to six years of hospital-based education and hands-on surgical training. To become board-certified, surgeons must pass the required tests and the arduous peer review process. As they pursue their studies, they may also specialize in oral surgery, and thus are known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
What Does a Maxillofacial Surgeon Treat?
Board-certified maxillofacial surgeons — particularly those who are also board-certified in oral surgery — can diagnose and treat a vast range of problems concerning the soft and hard tissues in the mouth, jaw, face and neck. Depending upon the patient’s concerns, surgery can improve function, relieve pain, treat disease, alleviate deformities and enhance facial appearance.
Maxillofacial surgeons routinely perform many types of procedures. Some of the surgical treatments these specialists provide include:
- Removal of impacted wisdom teeth and canines
- Jaw realignment to correct overbites, underbites and open bites
- Repair of congenital facial defects, such as cleft lip and palate
- Facial and jaw reconstruction following trauma or injury
- Airway enlargement procedures to alleviate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder relief through arthrocentesis, arthroscopy and arthroplasty
- Bone grafting to rebuild jawbone density after tooth loss or extraction
- Pre-prosthetic procedures to prepare the mouth for dentures
- Standard and same-day dental implant placement
- Removal of dental abscesses and oral cysts
- Brush biopsy cancer screening and removal of benign and cancerous tumors
Could treatment from a board-certified maxillofacial surgeon benefit you? If you live in central Indiana and would like an expert opinion, make an appointment at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
With over 40 years of combined experience, Dr. Garrison or Dr. Kelly have the skill to provide expert diagnosis and treatment — and the compassion to ensure that every patient has a positive experience. To schedule a consultation, contact Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Indianapolis today.