Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is a surgical specialty involving the treatment, diagnosis and surgery of many diseases, defects and injuries in the head, face, neck, jaws, maxillofacial (jaws and face) region and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) region. It’s recognized as both a specialty of medicine and dentistry, and an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is generally considered as the orthopedic and plastic surgeon of the facial region.
We, at Clove Dental, have the expertise and skills to deliver the world-class oral & maxillofacial surgery to patients in need. Our Maxillofacial surgeons – from the Indian Armed Forces – are trained in complex reconstructive procedures with experience in carrying out advanced surgical procedures for the treatment of deformities, malignancies and pathologies. They have skills for impaction surgery, skin grafting and reconstructive surgery for the jaws and facial features.
Ask the dentist to remove fractured or carious teeth if they can’t be restored else they will frequently lead to severe pain and infections. To remove your teeth, the dentist can rely on procedures varying from simple extractions to complicated surgical procedures. Losing one or more of the natural teeth can make chewing difficult, deteriorate dental alignment, pose problems with speech and may bring changes that make the face look older. Your dentist however can use implants or bridges to replace the missing tooth/teeth in most cases.
You can also discuss tooth replacement options with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Wisdom teeth (third molars) are the last teeth to develop. They however are at risk of frequently getting trapped under the bone due to lack of space in the jaw or blockage by other teeth. Your other teeth may thus also become similarly trapped. These same un-erupted teeth are called ‘impacted teeth’ which must be removed else they can cause severe pain and infections.
More importantly, impacted teeth may also lead to the development of cysts and tumours which can cause crowding, or damage other teeth in the mouth. In fact, infections from such teeth can not only spread to the neck, throat and cheeks but may also turn serious to the extent of requiring hospitalization. The surgery thus needed to remove impacted teeth may vary according to the position of the teeth.
Cyst & Tumours of Facial Region
Cysts and tumours can be dangerous, and they must always be removed immediately. They may occasionally develop in the jawbones and the nearby soft tissues such as the lips and cheeks.
Biopsies are done to remove any abnormal tissue growth in the body. You should consider a biopsy for any growth that is present for over two weeks. The tissue is sent for analysis to check the nature of abnormal growth. Based on the results, further treatment can be started.
Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge connecting the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull (in front of each ear). This joint helps in moving the jaw up and down, side to side, therefore making us talk, chew, and yawn. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are thus the result of problems with the jaw and the muscles in face.
TMJ dysfunction may lead to a number of symptoms, including:
- Clicking sounds in the TM Joint
- Pain in the facial region
- Difficulty in chewing food
- Limited, and sometimes painful, opening and movements of the jaw
- Secondary headache as a result of misalignment of the teeth and jaws, trauma and pathological conditions
Diagnosis and Treatment of TMJ Disorders
Doctors may rely on both non-surgical and surgical ways to treat the TMJ disorders, according to the severity of the problem/s. In most cases however, the attempt is to manage the issue without using the surgical route.
Conservative Non-Surgical TMJ Disorders Treatments
Physical therapy, medicines, lasers, appliances, and counselling are some of major non-surgical treatment methods for TMJ disorders. Since stress is one of major factors to TMJ disorders, counselling and psychological evaluation easily become two of most widely used non-surgical methods for many patients.
Surgical Treatments for TMJ Disorders
In treating TMJ disorders surgically, two of most widely used treatments often include joint osteotomy and replacement of the mandible’s condylar head.
Dental Implants are a good option for people who have lost one or more of their natural teeth due to periodontal disease, or injury or some other reason. It’s an ideal option when you’re in good general health yet have missing teeth. An implant is basically an artificial tooth root which a surgeon (maxillo-facial) inserts into your jaw bone to make it a replacement for a tooth. Dental implants are among the latest advancements in dentistry and they are patient-friendly as well for saving the tooth/teeth and not harming the surrounding teeth structure. Plus, they won’t rely on neighbouring teeth for support unlike conventional bridgework.
Advantages Of Dental Implants
Dental Implants have added a new dimension to tooth replacement. They have completely changed the way people see their replacement of missing tooth. They are more comfortable, efficient and secure than bridgework or dentures. With implants, people find the ease and comfort to eat, speak, laugh and conduct life in a hassle-free manner.
Following reasons best sum up why dental implants are superior to dentures or a bridge when it comes to replacing missing teeth
- Function and Aesthetics: Teeth supported by dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth and also function like your real pearly whites. Unlike dentures and bridge work, they prevent bone loss and gum recession for being integrated into your bone structure.
- Tooth-saving: Implants don’t require neighbouring teeth to be reduced in size or get altered for support which bridge does, so they will never compromise the quality of your adjacent teeth. With implants, you should be sure of no harm to the remaining natural teeth and your oral health because major part of your teeth is not even touched during the procedure.
Jaw Deformity Correction
Jaw or orthognathic surgery becomes the procedure of choice when deformities of the jaws and teeth are too severe for orthodontics. In most cases, malformations of the jaws and face are often the result of disease, trauma or heredity. The surgeon however can reposition the jaws and let you avoid future problems with your bite. This is how a better cosmetic appearance is provided. Jaw deformities may also be the result of growth differences between your lower and upper jaws. They may also be caused by trauma, genetic factors, and certain birth defects, such as cleft palate and cleft lip.
Signs and Symptoms
There are some problems which make it necessary to get your jaw deformities corrected. They include:
- Over bite or under bite caused by the improper teeth alignment (malocclusion)
- Gummy smile characterized by an upper jaw grown too far down
- Your lower jaw is bigger (Prognathic Jaw)
- Your upper jaw is too small causing toothless smile
- You have an open bite with long-looking face (Long face syndrome)
- The face may look disproportionate due to a chin either over or under developed
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will make a diagnosis of your jaw deformity by asking about your medical history. A thorough physical and dental evaluation is also conducted to evaluate the following:
- Your face’s proportions
- Abnormalities and functional issues related to your jaws and teeth
- Dental hygiene problems
- Periodontal problems such as gum pockets, gum recession and gum infections
- Abnormalities and functional problems related to your air passage which may lead to issues such as sleep apnea
In addition, your surgeon may also look at your dental casts, imaging tests, and photographs of you face to asses one of treatment approaches.
Surgical correction is possible for jaw deformities caused by unequal jaw growth. By getting treated your jaw deformity, you can greatly reduce any issues related to the existing condition, such as difficulties in chewing, speaking or breathing. This will also help restore the aesthetic balance of your entire face.
With corrective jaw surgery, the surgeon can move all or part of the lower or upper jaw, or both, into a more balanced position. The major part of the surgery is done inside the mouth with no external scarring. While a same-day treatment is possible for minor procedures, some of the surgeries may require a hospital stay and recovery period as well.
- Enlargement of the space behind the tongue and palate by surgically placing maxilla and mandible in a forward position
- Excess tissue removal from the nose and throat surgically
- To prevent snoring or blocking of the respiratory passages
- The treatment needs one to adapt some lifestyle changes such as losing weight, avoiding smoking, alcohol & other sedatives
- Sleep on the side or abdomen, not on the back
Pre-prosthetic surgery is basically referred to the preparation of your mouth before the placement of a prosthesis.
Minor oral surgical procedures may be required in some patients before receiving a complete or partial denture to ensure maximum comfort. The bone has to be in proper shape and size as a denture sits on the bone ridge. In case a tooth need extraction, the underlying bone may be sharp or uneven. The bone may need to be reshaped or smothered out to ensure the best fit for a denture. Sometimes though, the excess bone might need to be removed before denture insertion.
To prepare your mouth for a denture, one or more of these procedures might be performed:
- Bone smoothening and reshaping
- Excess bone removal
- Bone ridge reduction
- Excess gum tissue removal
- Impacted teeth exposure
- Deepening of the vestibules
Possible causes of facial trauma could be many such as road accidents, sports injuries, violence, and work-related injuries. Facial injuries too can come in different types, including injuries from teeth to injuries of the face bones to the sever injuries of the skin.
Suiting is used to repair soft tissue injuries that occur on the face.
Wiring of the fractured jaws together and bone plating are the ways to treat fractures of the facial bone.
Teeth injuries are quite common and often treated by various dental specialists together.
Laser dentistry has been a precise and effective way to perform many dental procedures. Used since 1994, dentistry has been seeing the use of both, soft and hard tissue lasers. It’s the dentist’s ability to control power output and duration of exposure on the tissue that can help improve denture procedures through laser. Only this can allow for treatment of a specific area without damaging surrounding tissues.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry comes with a whole host of benefits, including:
- Precise cutting of the hard or soft tissues possible
- Minimal to no bleeding while cutting soft tissues
- Zero chances of infection since lasers can sterilize the area operated upon
- No need of antibiotics after laser surgery in cases where tissues are not infected
- Minimal or no pain post laser surgery which therefore eliminates the need of pain killers
- No need of anesthesia with certain laser dentistry procedures
- High-energy beam can sterilize the area to minimize risks of bacterial infection
- No damage to surrounding tissue
- Faster wound healing with tissues able to be regenerated
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