Oral and maxillofacial surgery is usually reserved for severe cases of dental conditions. It is always advisable to consult a dentist whenever you have oral health concerns. A maxillofacial specialist from Orange Coast Dental Specialty can develop a tailored treatment plan before your oral surgery in Huntington Beach.
What is oral and maxillofacial surgery?
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a field of dentistry concerned with the health of your jaw, gums, and teeth. Some maxillofacial surgeons may also specialize in cosmetic procedures. They undergo additional training after years of studying dentistry.
Additional training may include learning aspects of sedation. Maxillofacial specialists have a thorough understanding of local and general anesthesia. They keep anxious patients calm during dental procedures with medication and therapeutic techniques.
Why you may need maxillofacial surgery
Oral surgery is essential for some procedures like dental implants and tooth extractions. Implants are prosthetics that replace the root of your missing tooth. When you have missing teeth, your jawbone may deteriorate due to a lack of pressure. A dental implant prevents bone resorption, which could worsen oral health problems.
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorder is characterized by stiffness and pain around the ear. It affects the joints connecting the jaw to the skull. In many cases, medication and therapy can effectively treat TMJ.
However, your maxillofacial specialist may recommend surgery for severe cases. The initial diagnosis will review your medical history and symptoms before prescribing the procedure.
An overbite or underbite is the overlap of the upper and lower teeth. In an overbite, the upper arch extends over the lower teeth. An underbite is the reverse of the overbite, where the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth.
Orthodontists can treat mild to moderate overbites and underbites with metal or clear braces. Braces pull the teeth gradually into the desired position.
But your orthodontic specialist may recommend oral surgery for severe cases. A surgical procedure is ideal for older adults whose gum tissue and bone have hardened.
Orthodontic devices are more effective for children and teens with misalignments. Nevertheless, the procedure is rare, even for adult patients with overbites and underbites.
The surgery may involve making incisions on the jawbone to correct its alignment. Special orthodontic devices shift the jaw to the correct position or address jaw misalignment and trauma.
Maxillofacial surgery is also necessary for unblocking the airways to treat sleep apnea. Your specialist may utilize a CPAP machine to ease breathing and minimize sleep disruption for mild cases. Some patients may need surgery to remove tissue obstructing the airways.
Oral cancer and oral surgery
Oral cancer patients may require a surgical procedure to remove cancerous tissue. Like with other conditions, a health assessment will determine if surgery is the ideal treatment for your case.
Your oral surgeon will evaluate the extent of the cancerous growth. It is not always the best treatment for tumors that have spread to other parts of the body.
Sometimes reconstructive surgery is required to replace skin or gum tissue after the procedure. Your oral surgeon could perform grafting by removing tissue from elsewhere in your body. 3D imaging reconstruction can enhance your look and prevent further bone degeneration.
Consult Orange Coast Dental Specialty to book a consultation today.