Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery
Specialised procedures with the highest level of care
When severe injury, defect or disease occurs to the face and jaw, corrective surgery may be required. Understanding the procedures and being able to talk to your specialist is vital.
If you have sustained a trauma or defect to your face, jaw, neck and mouth, more than anything you will want to know what can be done to get you on the road to recovery.
Depending on the situation, you may end up needing the care of a maxillofacial oral surgeon. These specialists work on hard and soft tissues in the head, neck, face and jaw.
Oral maxillofacial surgery procedures are commonly used to treat facial trauma. Motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and even a fall by the pool can cause severe damage to the bones of the face, intra oral lacerations, and soft tissue abrasions which threaten the palate, facial nerves and other important functions.
Surgery can also include care for misaligned jaws, teeth or growth abnormalities and birth defects which require corrective jaw surgery or other treatments.
If you are concerned about any trauma or defect on your face, jaw, neck or mouth or would simply like to be prepared in the event of an accident, your Dental Care Network practice can advise you of specialists in your community and may also assist you with a second opinion.
Contact us with your enquiry or continue to read more below to learn more about maxillofacial surgery and procedures.
Learn more about Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery
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The ‘cranimaxillofacial complex’ is the anatomical reference to the mouth, jaws, face, skull and all associated structures. Maxillofacial and oral surgeons are dental and medical specialists trained to operate in this region.
The underlying structures of the mouth, jaw, face and skull sometimes require surgical attention. A Maxillofacial and Oral surgeon is a highly trained specialist that has received extensive training in surgical procedures pertaining to this area of anatomy.
Additional training for Oral Surgeons includes full surgical residency in a hospital, where they will train in anaesthesiology, plastic surgery. After completing dental school, oral surgeons complete a surgical residency in a hospital. During the years of this residency, they undergo training in a variety of related areas, including bone grafting, plastic surgery and anaesthesiology.
These specialists will typically study for up to 10 years before they are licensed to operate.
This form of surgery can be conducted on the teeth, gums, jaw, the surrounding soft tissue and even the facial structures. The reasons for surgical attention are wide and range from wisdom tooth removal to the treatment of TMJ dysfunction all the way through to highly specialised micro-vascular reconstructive surgery to address the damage caused by cancer in the cranimaxillofacial complex.
The most common form of Oral Surgery is the removal of wisdom teeth and any large scale extraction of teeth. Maxillofacial specialists can operate on congenital facial deformities such as cleft palate and cleft lips in children.
Oral surgeons may also form part of a surgical team working together to help address facial trauma, fractures and breakage when someone has been badly injured as the result of an accident.
Depending on the nature and severity of the condition requiring surgery, procedures will be undertaken under general anaesthesia in a hospital, day surgery or at a suitably equipped dental practice.
Aside from major extractions such as wisdom teeth removal, some of the surgical procedures that may be carried out by a Maxillofacial/Oral surgeon include:
Bone and Soft tissue grafting is often used throughout Oral and Maxillofacial surgery to replace or provide additional bone or soft tissue. This bone or tissue is retrieved from either a donor site (nominated part of the patients’ body) or a synthetic source.
The graft bone or tissue is obtained through a small incision in the donor site to obtain the necessary section to be used in the surgery to build up an area where bone or soft tissue area which is lacking but is necessary to complete the procedure.
Soft tissue injuries and lacerations of the maxillofacial region are repaired carefully with a technique called ‘’suturing’ that uses methods such as sewing and surgical glue to hold sections of the maxillofacial region together. Expert care is taken to retain and restore optimum aesthetic appearance and also repair structures such as salivary glands, ducts and facial nerves.
Traumas and Fractures to the bones of the face are treated in a similar way to other regions of the body. Often wiring is used to hold stabilise the jaw and facial fractures in place for treatment. Depending on the severity and nature of the injury surgical plates or screws may be used to stabilise the jaw.
- Bone and Soft Tissue Grafting
- Soft Tissue Facial Injury and Trauma
- Bone Trauma and Fracture
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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