Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a branch of surgery which aims to treat soft and hard tissues of mouth alongwith maxillofacial region. Maxillofacial region describes the area of facial skeleton. Facial skeleton includes bones of the forehead, soft tissues, cheekbone, face, and jaws. The treatment procedure ranges from removal of impacted teeth to facial trauma repair.
Specialization of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgery specializes in many other treatment procedures which include:
- Dentoalveolar surgery
Dentoalveolar surgery mainly aims to remove damaged or impacted teeth. It provides methods to completely manage the diseases affecting teeth and surrounding structures. The other procedures under this surgery include tooth extraction, bone reshaping, reduction of bone ridge, and skin grafting. Dental implants are also used to replace the space of natural tooth.
- Reconstructive surgery
Reconstructive surgery mainly involves bone grafting procedure to improve the quality and quantity of the bone structure. The bone grafts can be extracted either from own body or donor site. This surgery is needed in conditions such as less bone structure, soft tissue correction, skin graft and lost teeth correction, etc. This procedure provides a strong infrastructure for dental rehabilitation. In addition, it aids speech and nutrition.
- Facial trauma
Oral and maxillofacial surgery involves expert medical professionals to diagnose and repair facial trauma. The facial injury or trauma includes fracture in upper or lower jaw, facial lacerations, and orbits around the eyes. The trauma can be simple as well as complex.
- Oro-facial deformities
Oro-facial deformities, if not properly treated in time, are usually life-threatening. These deformities include pain or swelling near face region, skeletal growth problems, chewing or speech or swallowing problems, and some psychological defects. The causes of such defects are difference in skeletal growth, nerve pathology, infection, and malocclusion. Appropriate medical or surgical procedures are employed to correct full spectrum of conditions.
- Oral pathology
Oral pathology treats various conditions such as malign tumors or cancers, local and systematic infection, and other systemic disorders. These disorders are detected using certain tests such as biopsy, x-rays, and blood tests. A group of expert medical professionals is used to diagnose and correct various mouth and jaw disorders.
- TMJ disorders
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are very common these days. This joint is mainly employed with movement and function of lower jaw. Injury or trauma to this joint often causes headaches, limited jaw movement, earaches, pain, clicking sound in joint, etc. The causes for such disorders include cartilage injury, stress, or arthritis.
Who’s at risk?
The oral and facial deformities are not epidemic in nature. Some factors are involved which increases the chances for such defects:
- Tobacco chewing
- Intake of pan masala and beetlenut
- Congenital conditions
- Short or long term trauma
- Constant exposure to sun