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In the United States, there are more than 9,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons. And while this type of dental specialist is often called an oral surgeon, they also treat issues related to the jaw and face.
Would you like to know what a maxillofacial surgeon does? If so, keep reading because this post will cover five of the most common services they offer!
1. Facial Reconstruction Surgery
One of the reasons that people visit a maxillofacial surgeon is to have facial reconstruction surgery after an accident or injury.
Most often, the surgery repairs broken bones in the cheeks or jaw. However, they also reset dislocated jaws, reattach knocked-out teeth, and treat facial or oral lacerations.
The main aim of reconstructive surgery is to restore the patient’s oral function. However, oral maxillofacial surgeons also do their best to reconstruct the patient’s appearance and improve their self-esteem.
Since reconstructive surgery is sometimes an urgent matter, maxillofacial surgeons play a vital role in emergency care.
2. Dental Implants
Dental implants are a great way to fill in gaps in a patient’s smile, improving both the function and appearance of their teeth. However, this treatment requires oral surgery to place the metal post in the gum, where it can fuse to the jawbone.
Of course, because implants are attached to the jaw, they are sturdy and feel just like natural teeth!
3. Wisdom Teeth Extraction
It’s not uncommon for wisdom teeth to become impacted in the bone or gum, causing pain and infection.
When this happens, oral surgeons need to extract these molars surgically, which relieves the pain and discomfort. Moreover, removing wisdom teeth can prevent them from pushing your teeth, causing misalignment, or leading to sinus issues.
4. Corrective Jaw Surgical Treatments
Maxillofacial surgeons also correct the jaw’s alignment, whether an overbite or underbite. Sometimes jaw alignment surgery is done for a medical reason, such as:
- Sleep apnea
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty chewing
- Speech issues
However, in some cases, patients choose to have jaw alignment surgery to improve their appearance.
5. Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons also fix cleft lips and palates on infants or children. For example, they may need to remove segments of the upper jaw, repair the cleft of the gum, and improve the function of the patient’s mouth.
Primarily, these surgeries aim to correct congenital disabilities so that the child can enjoy better health. However, they are also important for helping the child achieve a normal appearance.
Understanding the Role of a Maxillofacial Surgeon
After reading this post, you understand the role of a maxillofacial surgeon in the medical community. And, you know some of the services they provide. So, if you need oral or facial surgery, don’t hesitate to contact an oral maxillofacial surgery in your area!
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