What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon? How do they differ from other specialists in the dental field? This article will talk about what this type of dental specialist does. After reading the article, you can read more about licensed surgeons by clicking the link.
What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a dental specialist that focuses on complicated surgeries and procedures of the face. After dental school, these specialists go on to have an additional four years of surgical training and education alongside other medical residents in a hospital. They learn about proper surgical techniques and anesthesiology principles. They are the only other healthcare specialists aside from anesthesiologists who can administer sedation and anesthesia to patients.
Even if they had their additional training in a hospital, they rarely set up an office in a hospital. They mostly have private practices and offices of their own. In some cases, they can also be a part of dental practice as part of the team.
Procedures performed by this type of specialist
There are many procedures that an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can perform. If a patient will have the need for this type of specialist, their dentist will be able to recommend a specialist who can take over.
Impacted wisdom teeth
A simple wisdom tooth extraction can be handled by a general dentist. However, when it is a complicated type of impacted wisdom tooth, the case is usually handed over to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
If jaw surgery is needed, these specialists will be able to handle the situation. These corrective jaw surgeries are usually done to correct a misaligned bite. They are also used to treat birth defects that affect the jaw, along with skeletal problems and other bone defects of the jaw. Many people who need this type of surgery have other health issues that are caused by the jaw problem.
Cleft lift or cleft palate surgery
A cleft palate or cleft lip is a birth defect that can be fixed by an oral surgeon. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons work to correct the differences in the facial structure in individuals who have this defect.
If a patient had been involved in an accident and needs reconstructive surgery done on their face, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon can also do cosmetic and restorative dental work.
They can also be part of the team that puts in dental implants for the patient. Especially if the procedure for dental implants will require bone grafting, these specialists will work hand-in-hand with the dentist in the procedure.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons also help in many other types of complicated surgeries, such as ones for obstructive sleep apnea and surgeries to help patients cope with oral cancer.
In short, these specialists can offer help where their patients and colleagues in the dental field need them. Their extensive training and expertise make them a very helpful and useful member of the dental practice.