Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMF) is the surgical specialty dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the jaws, mouth, face and neck and its associated parts.
These are some of the important facts about oral and maxillofacial surgery that you should know:
- OMF surgery is unique as it acts as the bridge between medicine and dentistry requiring training in dentistry, surgery, and general medicine. OMF surgeons are also skilled cosmetic surgeons who can perform facial reconstructive surgeries to improve aesthetics.
- OMF surgery has extensive applications such as treating head and neck cancers, facial pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, salivary gland diseases, facial disproportion, cysts and tumors of the jaws as well as many other problems affecting the oral mucosa such as mouth ulcers and infections.
- Often the largest third molar also known as wisdom tooth gets impacted in the bone or gum tissue due to failure in eruption. This impacted tooth requires surgical intervention to reduce the risk of infection and pain. OMF surgery is the surgical technique used to relieve this impacted tooth.
- OMF surgery helps to treat tooth and bone loss. Your surgeon places dental implants (which include both root and crown structures) to provide you with a structurally complete replacement of the tooth. You also may require a bone graft before the implant placement if you have an insufficient bone structure to support the implant.
- Sleep apnea is usually because of a poorly positioned jaw or excessive soft tissues in the vicinity of the airway opening. This condition causes a disturbance in your sleep as you stop breathing during your sleep repeatedly. But, you can sleep peacefully after the OMF surgery as it can correct the position of the jaw.
- A facial reconstructive surgery is often required to fix the damages that occur due to trauma and injuries. The most common injury is a fractured or dislocated jaw which requires prompt treatment. In such cases, OMF surgery is necessary to re-set this fractured or dislocated jaw. Your surgeon can also treat facial and oral lacerations resulting due to trauma.
- OMF surgery can correct the abnormality in the structure of the jaw which is seen in conditions such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
- The inherited disorders of the upper and lower jaw can be treated with this surgery. Sometimes the upper and lower jaws may not develop at the same rate which may result in the differences between the appearance and function of both the jaws. Orthognathic surgery (a type of OMF surgeries) can help to improve the alignment of the jaw.
- OMF surgery is an excellent solution to treat the cysts and tumors in the facial and maxillary region. This surgery is also preferred as a reconstructive surgery which is followed by surgery to remove the tumor.
- OMF surgery can treat many problems associated with oral mucosa such as mouth ulcers and infections.
OMF surgery requires great skill and intelligence on the part of the surgeons and its uses are not merely aesthetic or dental. They can relieve pain and improve the quality of life of the patient considerably.