Who is a maxillofacial surgeon?
A maxillofacial surgeon is a medical practitioner having expertise in treating defects as well as injuries of head, neck, jaws and mouth. They are responsible for the aesthetic reconstruction and revision of the regions on the said organs in event of an accidental injury.
What are the procedures falling under the purview of maxillofacial surgery?
Maxillofacial surgeries are unique and complex procedures. Hence, these below mentioned surgeries are performed by expert and qualified surgeons.
(a) Wisdom teeth surgery
(b) Corrective surgery for jaws
(c) Bone grafting
(d) Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
(e) Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
(f) Cosmetic head and neck surgery
What are the common reasons for people to undergo maxillofacial surgeries?
Maxillofacial surgeries are minimally invasive surgery techniques. Meaning that, their aim is to provide maximum comfort and results out of minimum pain to patients. Maxillofacial surgery becomes a necessity due to many reasons. These are few common reasons that necessitate people to go in for maxillofacial surgery techniques:
- Correction of overbites: Misalignment of lower and upper jaws causes protrusion of upper jaw more than necessary. This leads to overbite. Extreme cases of this condition demand that the patients undergo maxillofacial surgery for the same.
- Jaw Deformities: Deformities in the jaws as a result of uneven growth is a condition similar to overbites. Chewing, breathing and speaking become a great difficulty for people suffering from jaw deformities. Maxillofacial surgery for correction and proper balance between jaws is important.
- Tooth decay: Tooth decay creates cavities in the teeth and also is responsible for destroying the adjoining teeth. Impacted wisdom tooth are also subject to decay and gum disease. As a result, maxillofacial surgery is utilized for treatment.
- Wisdom tooth extraction: Impacted wisdom teeth which crowd and damage adjoining teeth require maxillofacial procedure for curing it. Timely treatment for wisdom tooth should be taken as bacteria and cyst formation can take place if left untreated.
- Oral tumors: Tumors may develop between partially and totally impacted teeth. Such tumors need to be treated through maxillofacial surgeries.
- Dental implants: Dental implants or artificial teeth similar to prosthetics require maxillofacial surgeries. For more information on dental implants.
- Head and neck cancer: Head and neck cancer or orofacial cancer are usually characteristic of lumps or ulcers developing in tongue, lips or insides of mouth. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon comes into the picture for referring the patient within 14 days of diagnosis for further treatments and surgery.
- Cleft lip and palate: Uneven development of portions of mouth and nose cavity during fetal growth gives rise to cleft in lip and palate. As a result, the person has problems in simple everyday activities like speaking, chewing and even hearing. Cleft condition can be treated through expertise of maxillofacial surgeons with the help of medication and stages of surgery.
What are the benefits of maxillofacial surgeries?
Maxillofacial surgery, a specialty born out of amalgamation of dentistry and medicine, is a very unique internationally recognized medical discipline. It imparts a wealth of benefits to the person undergoing it. The benefits coming with are as listed below:
- Impacted wisdom teeth:
Wisdom teeth as aforementioned, can cause a lot of oral health issues and pain to people. Maxillofacial surgery can be used for its removal through minimally painful techniques.
- Birth defects:
Birth defects or congenital anomalies such as cleft lip and cleft palate can be treated using maxillofacial surgery.
- Facial fractures:
- Jaws and facial bones when fractured as a result of accidental trauma can be corrected through oral maxillofacial surgeries for facial reconstruction.
- Aesthetic appeal:
Restructuring of chin and jaws through maxillofacial procedures enhances one’s looks and grants him/her a better appearance aesthetically.
- Sleep disorders:
People suffering from sleep disorders due to a protruding jaw are treated using maxillofacial surgery technique. This helps them sleep better and also breathe in a proper way.
- Ease in chewing and swallowing food:
Maxillofacial surgeries enable people having misaligned jaws to chew and swallow food without experiencing a piercing pain.
The medical field has made a lot of advancements. There are treatment options for disorders available, which wasn’t the case some years back. Likewise, maxillofacial surgery is a double purpose surgical option. It can be availed of for cosmetic as well as medical purposes. But, it is always prudent to be well-informed about its risks and benefits before going under the knife.