Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a specialty of dentistry. It includes the diagnosis, surgical, and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects, including both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions.
The scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery encompasses diagnosis and related management of various conditions such as impacted/embedded teeth, misaligned jaws, facial pain and trauma, snoring/obstructive sleep apnoea and oral cancer. The oral maxillofacial surgeon also offers patients suffering from tooth loss an excellent alternative to natural teeth, in the form of dental implants, in collaboration with the restorative dentist.
Oral maxillofacial surgery procedures may be carried out in an office (clinic) setting or in a hospital environment.
ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY (JAW SURGERY)
Orthognathic Surgery refers to a variety of surgical procedure to position the jaw(s) to a new position to correct the facial skeleton and jaw structures. They are usually indicated for individuals with facial disharmony such as retruded upper jaw or lower jaw, protruded upper or lower jaw, facial asymmetry and severe malocclusion that cannot be corrected with orthodontic treatment alone. The surgery aims to improve on both normal function and facial aesthetics.
Pre-surgical orthodontic treatment is typically carried out first by the orthodontist for a period of time before patients are ready for orthognathic surgery. Some patients may be suitable candidates for the surgery-first approach, whereby orthognathic surgery is performed first and orthodontic treatment follows later.
Dr. Phan works closely with oral maxillofacial surgeons both in the public and private practices. He would collaborate with the surgeon of your choice to formulate a treatment plan and surgery unique to the condition of your jaws.
Medisave and some health insurance policies cover certain aspects of types of orthognathic surgery.
Watch the video to learn more about various jaw problems and orthognathic surgery.
Fig 1. Third Molars
Fig 2. Cyst associated with impacted wisdom tooth.
Fig 3. Resorption of adjacent tooth by an impacted wisdom tooth
WISDOM TOOTH SURGERY
Wisdom teeth or third molars are the last molars on both sides of the jaws (Fig. 1). They are last to appear, usually in late teens or early twenties. They can cause painful diseases or may only partially emerge, or appear in a crooked way, causing problems. A flap of a skin may grow over them, leading to food entrapment and infection. Wisdom tooths are not strictly necessary in maintaining a healthy function of your teeth, and could lead to future problems if they do not appear in a painless and straight fashion.
There are several reasons to extract third molars:
- The presence of symptoms, such as pain, gum swelling and caries.
- Difficulty in cleaning poses higher risks of gum infection and caries.
- To prevent development of pathologies such as cysts (Fig. 2) and resorption of adjacent tooth (Fig. 3).
In Smile Avenue, removal of wisdom teeth is carried out by trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Single-tooth surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure, but if you are at high risk for complications or having multiple wisdom teeth removed, the procedure may be done in a hospital setting under general anesthesia. If there are infections, you may have to get these treated and defer wisdom tooth surgery till the infection is completely cleared up. Following wisdom tooth surgery, you may require stitches for better wound healing.
Recovery is generally quick. Painkillers are prescribed to cope with pain and swelling. Antibiotics are given to combat infection hazards.
If you are missing one or multiple teeth due to injury, disease, or defect, your dentist may recommend a dental implant. Older patients may express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits that dental implants offer. However, other health parameters are more of a determining factor than age. Your surgeon will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history.
Dental implants are generally made of titanium, a material that is compatible and bond easily with bone. The dental abutment is added to the screw to hold the prosthetic. Dental Implants help to maintain the integrity of the facial structure through preservation of jaw bone and reduce the inconveniences associated with tooth loss.
Other advantages of dental implants include improved speech and appearance and the ability to eat better compared to dentures. They can last a lifetime if they are well taken care of. However, certain medical conditions such as diabetes and lifestyle habits such as smoking may affect the success of an implant.
Supernumerary or extra tooth
OTHER MINOR ORAL SURGICAL PROCEDURES
In Smile Avenue, our surgeon also performs other minor oral surgical procedures such as:
- Extraction of teeth
- Surgical removal of supernumerary (Extra tooth)
- Surgical removal of odontomes
- Removal of mucocele