An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a dental specialist who treats many diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws, hard and soft tissues of the mouth, and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region. This type of dental specialist is often referred to as simply an oral surgeon.
There are many reasons why people may need to seek oral surgical treatment, from routine wisdom tooth extractions to more complex facial reconstruction surgery. Here are some of the most common conditions that may require the special expertise that only an oral surgeon can deliver:
Also known as third molars, the wisdom teeth often fail to come in properly and become impacted in either the gum tissue or bone. An oral surgeon can remove impacted wisdom teeth to both alleviate the pain and to reduce the patient’s risk of developing a potentially dangerous infection.
When a patient has missing teeth, an oral surgeon can place dental implants in the jawbone that will serve as permanent replacement tooth roots. Once the titanium implants are implanted in the bone, the patient undergoes a healing process that can take several weeks. Once this process is complete, the titanium implant is fused to the bone and the patient returns to the oral surgeon for the placement of the artificial tooth top or crown. Sometimes it’s necessary for the oral surgeon to perform a bone graft prior to placing the implant. A bone graft is often done if there is not enough bone present to securely hold the titanium post that makes up the implant.
An oral surgeon should quickly see patients who’ve suffered facial trauma (fractured or dislocated the jaw) so the jaw can be reset. Oral surgeons also routinely provide care and treatment to people who’ve suffered from facial and oral lacerations.
When a person has sleep apnea, he or she repeatedly stops breathing while asleep. Sleep apnea is often caused by a poorly positioned jaw or due to an excessive amount of soft tissue in the vicinity of the airway opening. There are a number of surgical procedures used for treating sleep apnea. The oral surgeon will work closely with the patient’s sleep specialists to determine which surgical option is best if surgery is deemed necessary.
If an abnormality in the structure of the jaw is causing a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, an oral surgeon may be able to provide the patient with relief by correcting the problem surgically.
If the upper and lower jaws don’t develop at the same rate, the appearance and function of the jaws may be compromised. Abnormalities of the jaw can also be caused by birth defects. Orthognathic surgery can help improve the alignment of the jaw in such cases.
Many people are hesitant to see an oral surgeon as they’re intimidated by the prospect of having to undergo oral surgery. However, oral surgeons are highly skilled dental specialists who make
A COVID-19 message and well wishes from the Center for Oral Surgery of Las Vegas to all of our patients.
The health and safety of our patients and staff is our number one priority. Per CDC guidelines we will be continuing with or instituting the following measures. Other measures will be instituted as guided by the authorities.
Please fill any forms online at our website.