Dental implants are now the go-to supports for crowns, bridges, and dentures. They make it possible for you to enjoy fixed and permanent replacements for missing teeth. If you are thinking about rebuilding your smile, learning about dental implant surgery is a good place to start.Dental implants do more than just anchor prosthetics and dental…
An Oral Surgeon Shares Types of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
An oral surgeon treats diseases, injuries, cancer and abnormalities associated with the mouth, jaws and face. The oral and maxillofacial part of your body is simply the mouth and all the connected parts.
Types of oral and maxillofacial surgery from an oral surgeon
Head and neck cancer
If left untreated, orofacial cancer can prove fatal. It usually starts with a lump, rough patch or ulcer that forms on the tongue, lip or floor of the mouth. The lesions can spread to the lymph nodes located in the neck. If a surgical incision is performed on time, it may still be possible to cure the cancer before it becomes invasive.
Patients suspected of a malignant disease have to be referred to the oral surgeon immediately. Treatment with radiotherapy is feasible for patients with small and accessible lesions. Often, patients need surgical resection of the tumor, accompanied by reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation.
This surgery is performed to straighten the jaws. For this purpose, the oral surgeon needs to use a technique called osteotomy, which requires cutting areas of the jaw to form detachable fragments of bone that can be readjusted to create a straighter jaw. Patients of osteotomy include those with eating and biting problems caused by malocclusion, facial deformity, speech impairment or poor dental presentation.
Dental alveolar surgery
This involves any surgical procedure performed on the teeth and all its supporting tissues. The procedures may include any of the following:
- Surgical tooth extraction due to fracture, decay or issues with the jawbone
- Impacted tooth removal, usually canine or wisdom teeth
- Removal of jaw cysts
- Tooth transplantation, a technique of repositioning an extracted impacted tooth into the gap created by a missing tooth
- Pre-prosthetic surgery, performed to adjust or improve the functionality of dentures
- Pre-orthodontic surgery, done to expose the impacted teeth instead of removal by surgically cutting away the overlying gum tissue or bone
- Dental implants, which are small titanium posts used to replace the root of missing teeth to provide support for a denture, crown or bridge
Jaw joint issues
Problems with the joint are fairly common. It is often apparent through pain and clicking in the joint and tends to start during adolescence. If the anatomy of the jaw is abnormal, it may cause bone disorders such as arthritis or issues with the soft cartilage, which may demand surgical treatment. The procedure is usually invasive and mostly only considered when extensive conservative treatment fails. The surgery could involve restoring the meniscus, adjusting the joint anatomy or replacing the jaw joint.
This category is concerned with problems affecting the hard and soft tissues of the face and head. Examples of craniofacial conditions include craniofacial dysostosis syndromes, encephaloceles, craniofacial clefts and craniosynostoses.
Other types of oral and maxillofacial surgery performed by the oral surgeon include facial aesthetics (such as rhinoplasty and genioplasty), facial trauma and oral medicine to treat oral ulcers, sore mouth, listers and red and white patches.
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