Published on September 6, 2023

Maxillofacial Surgery: What You Need to Know

Maxillofacial surgery is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with diagnosing and treating diseases, injuries, and defects of the oral and maxillofacial region. The oral and maxillofacial region includes the mouth, jaws, face, neck, and skull.

Surgeons specializing in maxillofacial procedures, like those at Precision OMS, are trained to perform various surgical procedures in this area—ranging from simple tooth extractions to complex reconstructions.

Benefits of Maxillofacial Surgery

Maxillofacial surgery can provide a range of benefits for patients. It can help to relieve pain, improve jaw function, and treat oral diseases. For example, maxillofacial surgery can be used to diagnose and treat chronic dental pain, prepare the mouth for dental implants or prostheses (such as dentures), place dental implants, and remove impacted teeth.

In addition, maxillofacial surgeons can utilize their expertise to address various jaw issues. These include performing bone grafting, reconstructing the jaw to correct an abnormal bite, treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and managing facial, jaw, and mouth trauma injuries.

Types of Maxillofacial Procedures

Maxillofacial surgery encompasses a wide range of procedures that can be classified into different categories based on the area or purpose of the surgery. Some of the common types of maxillofacial procedures are:

Dentoalveolar Surgery

Involves teeth and their support structures like gums, alveolar bone, and implants. Procedures include tooth extraction, wisdom tooth removal, bone grafting, dental implant placement, and socket preservation.

Orthognathic Surgery

Corrects jaw and teeth alignment, often with orthodontic treatment. Procedures include maxillary osteotomy (upper jaw), mandibular osteotomy (lower jaw), genioplasty (chin), and segmental osteotomy (multiple jaw segments).

Facial Trauma Surgery

Here, injuries caused by accidents, violence, or sports are repaired. The process includes fracture reduction, fixation, soft tissue repair, and scar revision.

Oral Pathology Surgery

This addresses oral and maxillofacial tumors or lesions. Procedures involve laser or radiofrequency biopsy, excision, reconstruction, and ablation.

Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery

Corrects congenital anomalies in the face and skull. Procedures include cleft lip and palate repair, alveolar bone grafting, nasal and ear reconstruction, craniosynostosis correction, and craniofacial distraction osteogenesis.

Recovery after Maxillofacial Surgery

The recovery after maxillofacial surgery depends on several factors, such as the type and extent of the surgery, the patient’s general health, and post-operative care. Some general guidelines for recovery after maxillofacial surgery are:

  • Follow the surgeon’s instructions carefully regarding medication, diet, activity, wound care, and follow-up visits.
  • Take painkillers as prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation. Avoid aspirin or ibuprofen as they may increase bleeding.
  • Apply ice packs to the surgical site to reduce swelling and bruising. Do not apply heat, as it may worsen inflammation.
  • Eat soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow. Avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, spicy, or acidic foods that may irritate the surgical site.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and prevent dry mouth. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or carbonated drinks that may dehydrate or interfere with healing.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity or exercise that may increase blood pressure or heart rate. Resume normal activity gradually as tolerated by the body.

Conclusion

Maxillofacial surgery is a specialized field of dentistry that can provide many benefits for patients. Many different types of maxillofacial procedures are available to treat a wide range of conditions. Recovery after maxillofacial surgery will vary depending on the type of procedure performed. 

If you are considering maxillofacial surgery, it is important to consult with a qualified surgeon to discuss your options and determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.


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