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Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Maxillofacial surgery is a specialized field that addresses various diseases, injuries, and defects affecting the face, jaw, and mouth. This surgical discipline aims to reduce facial pain, restore function, and correct deformities. Maxillofacial surgeons, highly trained specialists, are responsible for diagnosing and treating oral issues related to the jaw bones, lips, and palate.

Types of Maxillofacial Surgery:

  • Wisdom Tooth Removal: Surgical extraction of one or more wisdom teeth to alleviate issues caused by insufficient space for proper growth.
  • Tooth Extraction: Surgical removal of teeth affected by decay, infection, or crowding, either through a simple or more complex procedure.
  • Apicoectomy: A dental procedure to remove inflamed gum tissue and the tooth root while preserving the top of the tooth, addressing issues unresolved by root canal surgery.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Surgery: Addresses temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which can cause headaches, jaw pain, earaches, and difficulty in mouth movement.
  • Cleft Palate or Lip Surgery: Corrective surgery for infants born with a cleft palate, improving their ability to eat and speak.
  • Jaw Reconstruction/Reconstructive Surgery: Orthognathic surgery to correct irregular jaw bones, realign jaw bones and teeth, and address issues such as difficulty in chewing or swallowing.

Types of Implantology:

Implantology, a dental specialty, focuses on dental implants, artificial tooth roots typically made of titanium. Various implant techniques include:

  • Bone Augmentation: Restores or regenerates jawbone when inadequate to support implants, commonly performed when there’s insufficient bone.
  • Ridge Expansion: Addresses a narrow jaw by dividing the ridge bone into inner and outer segments, stretching them apart, and filling the space with bone graft.
  • Sinus Lift: Adds bone below the sinus when natural bone deteriorates, ensuring proper support for dental implants.
  • Endosteal Implants: Titanium implants surgically placed in the jawbone to hold artificial teeth.
  • Subperiosteal Implants: Utilized when a person lacks healthy jawbones to support dental implants, placed under the gum and around the jawbone.

Symptoms Indicating Maxillofacial Issues:

Several symptoms may suggest facial, jaw, or mouth problems that necessitate maxillofacial surgery:

  • Changes in facial appearance
  • Deformities or abnormalities in facial bones
  • Double vision
  • Missing teeth
  • Swelling and bruising around the face
  • Bleeding or pus from the gums
  • Facial or oral trauma
  • Severe tooth pain or sores
  • Difficulty in jaw movement or pain in jaw joints and muscles

When to See a Maxillofacial Surgeon:

A visit to a maxillofacial surgeon is recommended for individuals experiencing severe pain, abnormal jaw functioning, bone loss in the jaw, missing or broken teeth, oral diseases, extensive tooth decay, gum disease, impacted teeth, or benign oral pathology.

Diseases Treated by Maxillofacial Surgeons:

Maxillofacial surgeons address a range of conditions, including dental implants, misaligned jaws, head and neck cancer, oral reconstructive surgery, cysts, cleft lip and palate, TMJ disorders, and facial trauma involving jaw and facial bones.

Diagnostic Procedures:

Diagnostic procedures include physical examinations, X-rays for identifying tumours, infections, or changes in bone structure, MRIs for evaluating fractures and TMJ disorders, and oral biopsies to examine tissues for inflammatory changes or signs of cancer.

In summary, maxillofacial surgery and implantology play crucial roles in correcting and treating various facial and oral conditions, enhancing both function and aesthetics. Seeking the expertise of a maxillofacial surgeon is crucial when faced with symptoms or conditions requiring specialized care.

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