Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are experts in treating and repairing facial injury and trauma, including fractures of the upper and lower jaws and the orbits as well as facial lacerations. Their fundamental principles of treatment with sound surgical basis and knowledge of how jaws come together (dental occlusion) is critical when repairing complex facial fractures.
If you or a loved one suffers a facial or mouth injury that requires a trip to the emergency room, be sure to ask that an OMFS is called for consultation. With their background and training, OMFS are the specialists most qualified to deal with these types of injuries. In some cases, they may detect a “hidden” injury that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Facial injuries must be considered in a slightly different light unlike the injuries of the other parts of the body where function is the prime concern, where as in facial trauma the restoration of esthetics and function is equally important as any improper treatment can cause facial disfigurement and psychological impact to the patient.
Orthognathic surgery (Corrective jaw surgery) is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the malalignment of jaws and teeth. Patient’s appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of the surgery. In addition to that breathing, chewing and speaking are also improved.
The following are some of the conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery:
The oral and maxillofacial surgeon determines which corrective jaw surgical procedure is appropriate and performs the actual surgery. It is important to understand that your treatment, which will probably include orthodontics before and after surgery. Your OMFS and orthodontist understand this is a long-term commitment for you and your family, and they will try to realistically estimate the time required for your treatment.
There are many reasons that patients develop oral cancer or cancer in the head and neck region. It is important that you perform regular oral cancer checks and visit your oral surgeon as soon as your notice any irregularities.
The OMFS work with a multi-disciplinary team in cases that involve head and neck cancers. Depending on the specific situation, the course of action for treatment may vary.
Dental Cyst and Tumor formation is not a rare occurrence in the jaw bone. These can be extremely destructive to the Jaw bones and the associated teeth. The size of such pathologies vary from small to massive requiring surgical removal by the specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon.
The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. It connects the jawbone to the skull. There is one joint on each side of the jaw. The joint permits the lower jaw to move and function.
The functioning of the TMJ is very complex and involving numerous process. TMJ can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement and can cause disturbances in bite.
The TMJ pain may be due to many factors, such as genetics, arthritis or jaw injury, abnormal usage, stress, abnormal habits like clenching and teeth grinding etc.
Disorders of the TMJ can also cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you open your mouth or chew. In early stages it may not be painful. Late stages will be troublesome with persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, or inability to open or close jaw completely.
The pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders in early stages is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments. Surgery is typically a last resort after conservative measures have failed.
TMJ disorders can be complex and may require different diagnostic procedures. Special imaging studies of the joints may be needed. A specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon has the expertise to correctly diagnose the problem. Once TMJ disorders are correctly diagnosed, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon can provide appropriate treatment to relieve the problem.
Injury to the TMJ from trauma or infection during birth or early growth period may cause damage to the joint and lead to fusion of the joint and immobility and stiffness. This defect may be one sided or affect both the sides.
This disorder if not corrected in the early stage will lead to severe facial asymmetry and inability to open the mouth and other growth disturbances and severe malocclusion.
After detailed assessment the specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon corrects this defect by a major surgery under general anesthesia after which patient will be able to open the mouth and do other functions and chewing efficiently.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are uniquely qualified to perform cosmetic procedures involving the face, mouth, teeth and jaws. Extensive education and training in surgical procedures involving skin, muscle, bone and cartilage finely attune the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to perform well for the betterment of facial appearance and function.
Some of the aesthetic surgery of the head and neck area performed by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon include rhytidectomy (facelift), brow lifting, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), otoplasty (ear surgery), rhinoplasty (nose surgery), septoplasty (for deviated nasal septum), malar (cheek) augmentation, chin augmentation or reduction, periorbital surgery, neck liposuction, lip enhancement, chemical peels, cosmetic skin resurfacing, injectable cosmetic treatments including Botox, Restylane and collagen.
Cleft lip surgery is usually performed by the time an infant is 3 months old. By contrast, a cleft palate often requires multiple surgeries over the course of 18 years. The first surgery to repair the palate is usually performed by the time a child is 6 to 12 months old. The initial surgery creates a functional palate, reduces the chances that fluid will develop in the middle ears and aids in the proper development of the teeth and facial bones.
As a member of a team of healthcare specialists, your oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) plays an important role in the carefully orchestrated, multiple-stage correctional program for cleft lip and palate patients. The goal is to help restore the jaw and facial structures, leading to normal function and appearance. Care and treatment must consider function, appearance, nutrition, speech, hearing as well as emotional and psychological development.
Patients who had sustained severe head injuries following Road traffic accidents might have undergone craniectomy where a part of the skull bone is removed to prevent further severe brain injuries. This skull bone will have to be replaced back in position to give the normal shape of the skull and head and also to protect the brain. This major surgical procedure is performed under general anaesthesia by the team of specialist Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon & Neurosurgeon.