Oral and maxillofacial surgeons receive extensive and formal anesthesia training during residency, alongside Anesthesiologists and Anesthesia resident physicians, which uniquely allows them to offer a range of anesthesia options in the outpatient setting. Different procedures may require different levels of anesthesia, from local anesthesia to general anesthesia. Patients should discuss anesthesia options with their OMS before surgery.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Many people believe that as long as they are not in pain, they do not have to worry about their wisdom teeth (aka 3rd molars). However, pain free does not mean disease or problem free. In fact, wisdom teeth that come in normally may still be prone to disease – studies and research have shown that over one’s lifetime, the risk of developing some issue with retained wisdom teeth (pain, cavities, pathology, hygiene issues, etc.) is over 75%. The AAOMS strongly recommends that third molars be evaluated by an OMS by the time a patient is a young adult (between the ages of 13-18) in order to assess the presence of third molars, disease status, and to suggest management options ranging from removal to a monitored retention plan to ensure optimal patient-specific outcomes. It is a general consensus amongst OMS that having wisdom teeth removed earlier (i.e. before the roots are fully developed, which typically occurs around the age of 18-20) rather than later in life is advantageous for multiple reasons: 1) Easier surgery with lower post-op morbidity, 2) Faster and easier recovery (i.e., less pain, swelling, risk of dry socket or infection), 3) Minimal-to-no risk of damage to the nerve in the lower jaw that provides sensation to the lower face, lower lips, and teeth.
You may need to have a tooth extracted for several reasons such as decay, injury, or as a part of orthodontic treatment. Removal of teeth is the most common and EASIEST procedure that OMS are trained to do – thus, you can rest assured that having tooth removal completed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (instead of other dental professionals) will generally be easier, faster, and a more pleasant experience.
Every day, people around you are getting dental implants to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone. They are a long-term solution to missing teeth (edentulism) and can be very similar to your natural teeth. Plus, unlike fixed bridges or removable dentures, dental implants likely will not affect neighboring healthy teeth or lead to bone loss in the jaw. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime. Dental implant surgery is, of course, surgery – and is best performed by a trained surgeon. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) has the specialized education and training in the complexities of the bone, soft-tissue and nerves involved to ensure you get the best possible results.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons frequently utilize bone grafting techniques in conjunction with tooth extractions, dental implant placement, facial trauma treatment, and reconstructive surgery of the mouth, face, and jaws. Bone grafting aims to provide a good quantity and quality of bone at the desired site for proper form and function. Bone grafting is sometimes necessary to facilitate dental implant placement, especially when teeth have been missing from these sites for an extended period of time. They are also used in reconstructive cases to improve a patient’s capacity for more effective chewing and improve speech and facial appearance.
Oral, Head, & Neck Pathology
Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) is the expert for diagnosing and surgically treating abnormal pathology of the head, neck, and mouth. Pathology represents any deviation from a healthy normal condition, and can mean a lot of different things, including (but not limited to) lesions, tumors, or cysts. Tumors can be benign or malignant (cancerous). It’s important to know that while oral cancer is a form of oral pathology, NOT all oral pathology is cancer. A biopsy will help determine the nature of the condition, and the appropriate treatment that needs to be rendered.
Expose And Bond (Impacted Teeth)
An impacted tooth is simply one that has been blocked from entering the mouth. In some situations, impacted teeth may require removal while other impacted teeth can be brought into proper position through an expose-and-bond procedure – a process combined with orthodontic treatment that can bring the impacted tooth into its proper position.
Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADS)
Temporary anchorage devices, or TADs, are small titanium anchors used in certain orthodontic cases to help achieve quicker tooth movement with more efficiency and comfort. TADs may be used in addition to braces or as an alternative to headgear.
If you have questions about TADs, please contact our practice. We will answer any of your questions and provide you with detailed information about your orthodontic treatment.
Frena are small folds of tissue located in the mouth: under the tongue, inside the upper lip, inside the lower lip, and connecting the cheeks to the gums. A frenectomy is a surgical procedure to loosen or release these bands. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) typically performs a frenectomy to increase the range of motion of the tongue (removing the lingual frenum) or to close a gap in a patient’s upper front teeth (removing the labial frenum).