What is Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery?

What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Hello and greetings from the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery! In this introductory blog, I will try to acquaint my readers with the super-specialty called Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. If you’re like most people, then you probably don’t know that there are a variety of specializations one can pursue in the dental industry. With each one catering to one specific area of the oral cavity, the level of expertise in each is quite high these days.

Oral & Maxillofacial surgery is a branch of dentistry that deals with the art of diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, injuries and defects involving the orofacial region. To understand the field oforal & maxillofacial surgery, it’s helpful to understand what anoral & maxillofacial surgeon does. Anoral & maxillofacial surgeon is a dentist who has undergone additional training to specialize in treatment of all disorders of the facial region. This specialization requires three additional years of training after completing dental college.

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While all other specialties in dentistry are, in a manner of speaking, concentrated with what is called the oral cavity, it is Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery that encompasses treatment of various conditions that affect not only the oral cavity, but also the complete face. In fact, this specialty is often seen as a bridge between dentistry and medical field. To our medical colleagues, we are the first point of contact in dentistry, and to our dental colleagues, we are the conduit to the medical field.

The field of Oral & Maxillofacial surgery has evolved through the ages. From extracting teeth by tying a thread around the tooth to refined techniques of today, the field has come a long way indeed.

There is a wide range of diseases of the maxillofacial region that are referred to us and are treated by us. These are normally categorized into minor and major conditions.

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Minor conditions are those that normally are treated in the outpatient department under local anesthesia(and completely painless).  These include a wide gamut of conditions like:

  • Removal of teeth due to various reasons
  • Diagnosis and treatments of pathologies
  • Surgical removal of teeth
  • Surgical endodontics
  • Pre-prosthetic surgeries
  • Advanced Implantology and others

Major conditions include all those cases that require admission of the patient in the inpatient department and require general anesthesia. Needless to say, these are extensive cases that require long procedures, often extending to more than 5 to 6 hours. Hence, this specialty thrives on team work. This also makes this specialty unique, because no other branch of dentistry lays so much emphasis on team work. To just name a few examples, major conditions include:

  • Maxillofacial trauma
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
  • Oral Malignancies
  • Salivary Gland disorders
  • Orofacial and neck infections
  • Orofacial Clefts
  • Facial Neuropathies

So as you can see already, we normally have our hands full with patients reporting with a variety of symptoms that may appear overwhelming to others, but with our competent staff and eager trainees, these become routine and easily manageable.

Tag:Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

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