Oral Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral surgery is a broad term that encompasses a long list of oral surgery procedures involving the mouth's teeth, gums, and structures. An oral surgeon is a specialist who is trained to perform oral surgery. Many people also lump the terms' oral surgery'' and ''oral surgeon'' with the face, jaw, bones, and soft tissue procedures. However, there is a difference between the dentists who do oral surgery on structures inside the mouth and those who work on the face structures. A dentist who also performs surgery on the jaw and face is called a maxillofacial surgeon. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons both have extensive training. Still, maxillofacial surgeons go through more training to treat issues with the structures of the face.
What is Oral Maxillofacial Surgery?
Learning how oral maxillofacial surgery differs from oral surgery will help you determine what type of dentist you should seek out. Oral maxillofacial surgery procedures include surgery that involves the jawbones and face. An oral maxillofacial surgeon is also trained to treat issues that occur inside of the mouth surgically. Oral maxillofacial surgeons get training as oral surgeons and specialize in performing surgery on the jawbone and face.
Why Would You Need an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon?
Many factors can make it necessary for you to see an oral maxillofacial surgeon. A maxillofacial surgeon can address any issues that an oral surgeon can address. Since the structures in your mouth can be interrelated to the structures of your face, you may need a maxillofacial surgeon for issues that start inside your mouth. For example, an infection in your mouth can spread to other facial structures if left untreated. If the infection spreads to your jawbone, you may need the help of a maxillofacial surgeon to address the condition. Likewise, untreated cavities, periodontal disease, and infections inside the mouth can cause issues requiring an oral maxillofacial surgeon.
Trauma to your face and jaw can cause issues that require treatment from an oral maxillofacial surgeon. A broken or dislocated jaw or damage to the jaw joint from an accident are potential reasons why oral and maxillofacial surgery may be necessary. Having an injury to your jaw or bones in your face can make it difficult to eat, create issues with the alignment of your teeth, and lead to infection if left untreated.
Another potential reason you may need an oral maxillofacial surgeon is to address jaw deformities. Jaw deformities can be present at birth or develop over time. For example, benign or malignant growth can create a deformity in your jaw, making it difficult for you to talk, eat, sleep, and function as needed in day-to-day life. In addition, some people experience deformities that cause their jaw to click, get stuck, or lead to a limited range of motion. An oral maxillofacial surgeon can address issues related to jaw deformities.
What Do Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Do?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons assess patients, diagnose issues, and provide treatment. For example, if you are dealing with an issue related to your jaw or facial structure, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can assess you to determine if your problem requires surgery. The process of diagnosing issues related to the jaw and face often includes a physical exam, imaging, and looking at your history of dental treatment and problems.
Once you have a diagnosis, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon will discuss maxillofacial surgery procedures with you. At this point in the process, you can discuss oral and maxillofacial surgery costs and what oral maxillofacial surgery recovery looks like. After you and the surgeon determine which treatment avenue is best, the oral maxillofacial surgeon will provide you with treatment and follow-up care.
Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Procedures
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons go through extensive training and can perform a long list of surgery procedures. Any procedure that an oral surgeon can perform, a maxillofacial surgeon can perform as well. The specialization in maxillofacial surgery means that an oral maxillofacial surgeon can do the face and jaw procedures. Some of the oral maxillofacial surgery procedures that are available include the following:
Reconstructive surgery: Injury, illness, and infection can lead to tooth loss and damage to the structures in the mouth and face. Reconstructive surgery is designed to restore the look and function of those structures. An oral maxillofacial surgeon can provide reconstructive surgery inside the mouth and on the jaw and face.
Oral cancer surgery: Oral cancer treatment often includes oral surgery to remove the diseased areas. Maxillofacial surgeons regularly work with oncologists and other doctors as part of a comprehensive team for patients dealing with oral cancer.
Cosmetic surgery: Trauma to the face, jaw, or mouth can impact the shape and structure of the face. Missing teeth, a misaligned jaw, or improperly healed break are all issues that can change the way a person looks. An oral maxillofacial surgeon can provide cosmetic surgery to restore the structures of the mouth and face.
Dental implants: These are a permanent solution to tooth loss. Implants are placed directly into the jawbone to create a robust and artificial root. Oral maxillofacial surgeons regularly help patients who need dental implants. However, an oral surgeon can also do dental implants, so maxillofacial surgeons often focus on situations where dental implants are complicated by other issues like jawbone deterioration.
Corrective jaw surgery: This is a maxillofacial surgery procedure that can eliminate pain and restore function. Jaw problems can be related to injury, age, malformation, or disease. Corrective jaw surgery can address the underlying issue and allow the patient to return to normal functioning.
Trauma surgery: Maxillofacial surgery can be necessary following some trauma. For example, a car accident that causes the loss of multiple teeth or a broken jaw may require immediate surgery from a maxillofacial surgeon to get the best outcome for the patient.
Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Recovery
Oral maxillofacial surgery recovery time will vary depending on the type of surgery. Trauma surgery, oral cancer surgery, reconstructive surgery, and corrective jaw surgery are all major procedures that will require time and follow-up care before the patient can resume the patient's everyday activities. Dental implant surgery and procedures involving only the structures inside the mouth will also require some recovery time but typically heal more quickly than the surgery options that a maxillofacial surgeon can only address. The maxillofacial surgeon will discuss the recovery process and timeframe with you in-depth during the diagnosis process.
Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Cost
The cost of oral maxillofacial surgery varies based on the type of surgery, insurance coverage, and location. There is often confusion about whether oral maxillofacial surgery is covered by dental insurance or primary medical insurance. The answer to that question is not apparent until a diagnosis and treatment plan has been determined. Suppose you are concerned about the potential cost of oral maxillofacial surgery.
In that case, you can talk with your surgeon about options for paying your balance out over time. Ultimately, determining what you will owe out of pocket for maxillofacial surgery will require you to work with your insurance provider as well as the surgeon's office.
Find the Best Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon Near You
Suppose you suspect that your current oral issues will require the help of a maxillofacial surgeon. In that case, the next question you need to ask is, ''Where can I get oral and maxillofacial surgery near me?'' Oral and maxillofacial surgery often requires a series of pre and post-operative appointments. You will establish a working relationship with your doctor and the other staff members in the office.
Because of this, it is essential to choose an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who provides excellent service and who you like. The Find A Dentist Tool From The Smile Generation can help you find an oral maxillofacial surgeon near you. The Smile Generation has a network of dentists dedicated to providing high-quality care. In addition, it offers dental plans and payment options to afford to get the dental care you need.
Maxillofacial surgery encompasses a long list of procedures designed to address severe oral and facial problems. Your dentist and oral maxillofacial surgeon will work with you to find the least invasive treatment option available to address your issues. However, there are times when surgery is unavoidable. Carefully choosing an oral maxillofacial dentist can provide you with peace of mind when it is time for you to get treatment.
Take the time to explore the oral maxillofacial surgeons in your area. Your general dentist can help you in your search for a maxillofacial surgeon by providing a referral and offer advice about the most suitable options in your area. You, your general dentist, and your oral maxillofacial surgeon will work together to ensure that your needs are met and that you get the level of care you need.