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: one of the nine specialties of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association.
Oral Surgeons: Changing Lives with a Smile
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only recognized dental specialists who, after completing dental school, are surgically trained in an American Dental Association-accredited hospital-based residency program for a minimum of four years. They train alongside medical residents in internal medicine, general surgery, and anesthesiology, and also spend time in otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), plastic surgery, emergency medicine, and other specialty areas.
Their training focuses almost exclusively on the hard and soft tissue of the face, mouth, and jaws, and their knowledge and surgical expertise uniquely qualify them to diagnose and treat the functional and aesthetic conditions in this part of the body.
Conditions and Treatments
Our oral surgery services are provided by either an oral surgeon or an experienced general dentist.
- 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 have the ability to provide patients with safe, effective outpatient anesthesia, including local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, During their surgical residency, residents must complete a rotation on the medical anesthesiology service, during which they become competent in evaluating patients for anesthesia, delivering the anesthetic, and monitoring post-anesthetic patients.