An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is a specialized dentist who focuses on treating diseases, injuries, and defects in the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region (the face and jaw). They undergo additional years of hospital-based surgical and medical training after completing dental school, allowing them to perform a range of procedures that encompass both simple and complex situations.
Role and Responsibilities:
Removal of impacted teeth, particularly wisdom teeth.
Pre-prosthetic bone grafting for implant placement.
Placement of dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Bone grafting to support implants.
Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery):
Surgery to correct misaligned jaws.
Treatment for issues like underbites, overbites, and asymmetry.
Facial Pain and TMJ Disorders:
Diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Surgical procedures on the TMJ.
Facial Injury Repair:
Treatment of facial injuries, including fractures of the jawbone, cheekbone, and nasal bones.
Repair of facial lacerations and intraoral lacerations.
Cleft Lip and Palate Repair:
Surgical repair of cleft lips and palates in infants.
Removal of tumors or cysts of the jaws and mouth.
Treatment of infections in the oral and maxillofacial regions.
Treatment of oral cancers.
Cosmetic Facial Surgery:
Procedures like rhinoplasty, facelifts, or botox injections (though many of these are more commonly performed by plastic surgeons).
Administering local, sedation, or general anesthesia for surgeries.
Skills and Qualifications:
Licensure as a dentist, often requiring passing written and practical exams.
In some regions, additional licensure might be required to practice as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Mastery of various surgical techniques, ranging from basic tooth extractions to complex facial reconstructions.
Attention to Detail:
Ensuring that procedures are performed with precision to achieve optimal outcomes.