Many patients first encounter an oral surgeon when it’s time to have their wisdom teeth removed, but oral and maxillofacial surgeons are qualified to do many procedures beyond surgical extractions. They can repair deficiencies or deformities in various facial structures, and treat discomfort and even sleep problems that can arise from malocclusions.
All oral surgeons must complete a residency after graduating from dental school. This extensive specialized education experience gives them extensive knowledge of the many facial structures that must work in concert to facilitate proper jaw movement.
Patients may choose the best oral surgeon to complete one of the following procedures or interventions:
- Orthognathic surgery – Corrective jaw surgery can significantly improve a patient’s appearance and address malocclusions that can prevent a patient from chewing effectively and in some cases cause discomfort.
- Cleft lip and palate surgery – A cleft lip or palate is a serious deformity that can have long-lasting effects on a patient’s appearance and well-being. An oral surgeon can correct a cleft through a series of surgeries that often begin during the first year of a child’s life.
- Craniofacial surgery – This collection of procedures may target deformities in any of the facial structures, including the forehead, cheeks, orbits and nasal structures, in addition to the jaw.
- Obstructive sleep apnea treatment – Sleep apnea treatment may not necessarily involve a surgical procedure. Our oral surgeon may instead design an appliance to hold the jaw in a certain position during sleep.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders – When any of the jaw’s multiple components are out of sync, it can lead to a painful TMJ disorder. An oral surgeon may be involved in treatment of this condition to ease patients’ symptoms.
Many patients are apprehensive when faced with the prospect of oral surgery, but a skilled oral surgeon and support team will make sure that the patient is thoroughly educated on what to expect from the procedure in advance. Oral surgeons also have numerous strategies for ensuring maximum patient comfort during the surgery.
If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Larry Wolford’s office using our online contact form or call 214-828-9115.