Maxillofacial surgery

November 12, 2012

Maxillofacial surgery

Maxillofacial surgery deals with problems around the mouth, jaw and neck that can’t be treated though normal dentistry methods and required the skill of a specialist.

Description of Maxillofacial surgery

Maxillofacial surgery is a specialist area of dentistry that requires specialist training. An individual intending on qualifying in this area will usually attend dental school and then follow that up with additional training in the specific area of maxillofacial surgery. Training in this area can often take years to ensure that the individual fully skilled and experienced in the practice. The large numbers of important veins that run through the face and neck make this profession as incredibly skilled and difficult practise .The focus is on the mouth jaw and neck and an individual will be referred if other methods of dentistry cannot be used or have failed to be effective.

When might one require maxillofacial surgery?

In the case that basic dental or orthodontic procedures are not adequate enough, a patient may be referred to a maxillofacial surgeon. Some of the procedures they are likely to undertake rather than an orthodontist include severely impacted wisdom teeth, addressing the source of facial pain and fixing abnormalities or deformities of the jaw. Training will most often include techniques for reconstructive surgery so may also be involved in rebuilding the face of someone who has suffered from a facial trauma or injury. Severe injuries to the face such as those that occur in a severe accident will often be referred to a maxillofacial specialist who may alone or assist a cosmetic surgeon in correcting injuries to the face. They will not only deal with the physical appearance and structure of the face but will also attempt to fix any nerve damage or work on any issues that could lead to the patient suffering from long term pain. The sooner after an accident the patient is treated to the better the outcome of the surgery is like to be, particularly in terms of long term effects.

Someone trained in maxillofacial surgery will also play a role in surgical procedures in cases of cancer or tumours of the face. Working a long side a cancer specialist, the maxillofacial surgeon will ensure that as little physical changes are made as possible. Therefore ensuring that the patients does not fall victim of embarrassment due to a strange facial appearance. Some surgeons chose to have further training, specialising in cancer of the face so that they can offer as much knowledge and skill as possible to cancer patients.

Additionally this from of surgery can improve the lives of individuals born with birth defects such as a cleft lip. Many people with deformities of the face feel great embarrassment and social awkwardness as the face is such a prominent face. Some surgeons chose to offer their services in poor communities, providing those who could otherwise not afford it a change of a more normal life.

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