Maxillofacial surgery is a unique specialty that combines medical and dental science. This branch of surgery comprises procedures that treat trauma and diseases that affect the head and neck, with the exception of the brain.
The jaw is the major bone of the middle face that forms the upper jaw. Maxillofacial surgery was born out of the need to manage complex facial injuries, especially the broken jaws suffered by military service in war.
History of oro-maxillofacial surgery
Over the years, this branch of surgery has evolved to include a wide range of pathological problems, including throat and head cancers, congenital deformities, diseases of the salivary glands, bone grafting and skeletal abnormalities.
While ENT’s (ear, nose and throat surgeons) and maxillofacial surgeons have some overlaps in their treatment areas, the latter focus more on bone structures, along with the tissues of the mouth and gums, known as oral surgery.
The role of oro-maxillofacial surgery
There are many situations in which a patient can be sent to a maxillofacial surgeon by the orthodontist or primary dentist. Underlying pathologies, complicated malocclusions, ATM disorder or jaw deformities can be significantly improved by maxillofacial surgery.
Maxillofacial surgeons are also trained in oral surgery and follow a traditional education of the dental school, followed by residency and thorough training in the fields of dentistry, dento-alveolar surgery and maxillofacial surgery.
Oral surgery deals with the study, prevention and surgical treatment of dento-periodontal diseases. Includes endodontic, preprotetic surgery, tooth eruption accidents and dental inclusions, dento-periodontal trauma, periodontal surgery, dental implants.
Maxillofacial surgery includes the pathology and surgical treatment of maxillo-mandibular trauma and soft cervico-facial parts, oro-maxillofacial infections, benign or malignant tumors of the soft and bone oro-maxillofacial parts, reconstructive surgery after oro-maxillofacial defects, etc.
Examples of maxillofacial surgery
Most patients are familiar with oral surgery procedures, such as the extraction of wise teeth and the placement of dental implants, but relatively few understand the field of maxillofacial surgery. Here are some examples of maxillofacial surgery procedures performed frequently:
- Corrective surgery of the jaw
- Temporomandibular joint surgery
- Diagnosis and treatment of head and mouth cancer
- Reconstructive surgery for facial trauma
- Bone grafting surgery pre implant
- Surgery for maxillofacial defects of the skeleton
An example of surgery is the dental implant. Here are the stages where such interventions:
- Consultation – the specialist implantologist will analyze the condition of the patient’s teeth and oral cavity, will explain in detail what the intervention and the available treatment options involve and will recommend a dental X-ray (CT) and blood tests.
- Interpretation of analyzes and results – following these, the specialist implantologist will recommend or not the surgical intervention.
- Surgical intervention – the intervention is performed in a single day and involves several stages, starting with anesthesia and ending with the insertion of the implant and the sewing of the gum.
- Removal of threads – after 7-10 days after the intervention, the patient returns for control and removal of suture threads. After this stage, in some cases it is expected 3-9 months, so that the implant integrates into the bone, and the area heals completely.
- The healing abutment – after the healing period, the patient returns to the clinic for attaching the healing abutment.
- Dental crown – the last stage of the intervention is the prosthetic stage, in which the prosthetician specialist takes a fingerprint over the implant and collaborates with the dental technique laboratory to make the dental crown.
A dental crown is a “coating” that is applied over a grinding tooth or over a dental pivot. The crown has a shape and size resembling a natural tooth and tries to restore the functionality, aesthetics and strength that the tooth had before it was crowned, or even to improve these functions for teeth that did not have them. Artificial dental crowns are of various types:
- Partial crowns, covering only part of the tooth, most often remaining exposed a portion of the tooth in the vicinity of the gum.
- Total crowns that completely cover the visible portion of the tooth;
- there are “solo” crowns (unidental elements in their own right) or solidarized crowns (glued together, forming a pluridary work).
Depending on the service life and purpose for which they are used, crowns can be temporary or definitive. For more information we recommend you to follow our great guide: “Romania Dentist Prices”.