Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS or OMS) specializes in surgery of the face, mouth, and jaws. It is an internationally recognized surgical specialty. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a regional specialist surgeon treating the entire craniomaxillofacial complex: anatomical area of the mouth, jaws, face, and skull, as well as associated structures.
A variable range of problems with teeth, gum, jawbone and other bony or soft tissues of the mouth can require treatment by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This particular form of treatment is known as “dentoalveolar surgery”. Alveolar is the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth.
The following forms of treatment are common surgical procedures performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon:
Extraction of a tooth or retained root
Extraction of a dead tooth which often occurs due to weakening from large fillings that may have had root canal treatment is typical in middle-age or elderly people.
Extraction of impacted or misplaced teeth, also known as the third molars is common, particularly in young people who may be undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Sometimes removal of a retained tooth root is required.
Aid in orthodontic treatment
Dentoalveolar surgery is often beneficial in assisting the normal positioning of an unerupted tooth. Also, extraction of an erupted and normal tooth that is crowding other teeth, or in uncommon cases, one or more extra permanent teeth, known as supernumerary teeth. Sometimes, removal of an abnormal labial frenum (the fold of tissue connecting the middle of the upper lip with the gums) is necessary.
Removal of cysts or tumours
Sometimes, the removal of fluid-filled cysts in the jaw bone is undertaken as well as removal of tumours, which are generally non-cancerous but can occasionally be malignant.
An apicoectomy is necessary when conventional root canal therapy has failed and a re-treatment was already unsuccessful or is not advised. State-of-the-art procedures make use of microsurgical techniques, such as a dental operating microscope, micro instruments, ultrasonic preparation tips and calcium-silicate based filling materials.
Removal of the root tip is indicated to remove the entire apical delta ensuring no uncleaned missed anatomy.
Occasionally, removal of the tip of a root during root canal treatment (known as apicectomy) is performed to treat or prevent a dentoalveolar abscess.
Sometimes a biopsy and surgical removal of abnormal tissue that is usually non-cancerous is required to determine the diagnosis of a lesion.
Also known as corrective jaw surgery or simply jaw surgery, is surgery designed to correct conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, malocclusion problems owing to skeletal disharmonies, or other orthodontic problems that cannot be easily treated with braces. Originally coined by Harold Hargis, this surgery is also used to treat congenital conditions such as cleft palate. Typically during oral surgery, bone is cut, moved, modified, and realigned to correct a dentofacial deformity. The word “osteotomy” means the division, or excision of bone. The dental osteotomy allows surgeons to visualize the jawbone, and work accordingly.