What is Maxillofacial Surgery?

October 01, 2012 at 6:20 AM

Surgical dentistry specifically focusing on jaw, mouth, and neck concerns is collectively known as maxillofacial surgery.

Maxillofacial surgeons attend dental school followed by an additional residency for maxillofacial surgery. In order to pursue this career path, doctors must complete extensive training regarding the important nerves which run through the face. Ensuring safe surgical practice, doctors commonly train for several years prior to siting for medical board exams.

Maxillofacial surgery patient referrals come from dentists and orthodontists when an issue in the mouth is too difficult to correct with orthodontics or just basic dental procedures. Maxillofacial surgeons remove severely impacted wisdom teeth, fix overbite complications, remedy jaw deformities or facial pain, perform bone grafts, and much more. Training for a board certified maxillofacial surgeon includes reconstructive surgery because one of the areas of expertise for a maxillofacial surgeon is rebuilding areas of the face which are in need.

After a severe accident, for instance, a person may see a maxillofacial surgeon due to suffering severe facial injuries. The surgery may be cosmetic, functional, and/or medical. Reconstructive surgery may involve restoration of the physical appearance of a damaged face. Additionally, such a skilled surgeon may also need to address nerve damage and other medical issues which may cause pain and/or functionality problems. Often, if the patient can be treated quickly, longer term impacts of accident damages can be greatly reduced.

The skills of maxillofacial surgeons are required in many venues. Cancer or tumors patients, where the diagnosed area involves the facial region, may need maxillofacial treatment. In addition to working with a cancer specialist in medical realms, patients may request the expertise of a maxillofacial surgeon to remove the damaged tissue and rebuild facial areas that may adversely affect physical appearance. Surgeons choosing to dedicate their work toward cancer patients generally pursue specific training for increased expertise.

Unfortunately, many people have various birth defects and deformities. Maxillofacial surgery can be a life changing experience in many instances. There are surgeons who specialize in treating cleft lips and palates as well as other disfigurements.

The face is a visible and prominent part of a human being’s daily life and interaction. Many individuals with facial deformities or irregularities (whether from birth, accident, or cancer) feel uncomfortable in society. Maxillofacial surgery can give a person more confidence in daily life.