Oral and maxillofacial surgery corrects a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws, and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. It is a recognized international surgical specialty, and one of the nine specialties of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association.
As a general dentistry practice, we are able to do some of the procedures in our office such as wisdom teeth extractions, biopsy service for oral cancer detections, and implant services. For certain treatments, we will refer you to an oral surgeon we work with in our community.
Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to develop. Sometimes they emerge from the gum line, and the jaw is large enough to allow room for them, but more often than not, they fail to emerge and become impacted. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed.
Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly recommends that wisdom teeth be removed by the time the patient is a young adult in order to prevent future problems and to ensure optimal healing.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons recommend that everyone perform an oral cancer self-exam each month. If you notice white or red patches, an abnormal lump, chronic sore throat or hoarseness, or difficulty chewing or swallowing, you should contact your oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He or she will remove a section of tissue to perform a biopsy and diagnose the problem.
Dental implants are long-term replacements for missing teeth that a oral and maxillofacial surgeon places surgically in the jawbone. Composed of titanium metal that fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, dental implants do not slip or decay. Because dental implants fuse with the jawbone, bone loss is generally not a problem.