Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to recognize and treat a broad spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft oral tissues across the maxillofacial region. They are also trained to administer anesthesia and provide care in an in office environment. They help with treating problems such as extraction of wisdom teeth, misaligned jaws, tumors and cysts of the jaw and mouth, and to perform dental implant surgery.
Maxillofacial surgery deals with diseases and traumas affecting mandibles (jaws), face, mouth (stomatos in Greek) and teeth. This surgical specialty has its genesis during the second World War where there was a need to rebuild “war veterans” disfigured faces. Maxillofacial surgery covers: Reconstructive and cosmetic surgery of the face and neck Facial trauma Surgery for cancer of the mouth, throat and salivary glands craniofacial surgery (in the case of trauma or congenital malformations) Orthognathic surgery (correcting the alignment of the teeth and jaws) Stomatology and oral surgery (treatment of, among others, jaw problems; implant surgery, bone grafts, etc.) A maxillofacial surgeon diagnoses and recommends treatments for lesions and abnormalities of the face, mouth, teeth and jaws.
The range of procedures performed is extremely wide: correction of the deviation of the mandible, treatment of sleep apnea, often related to a jaw or bruxism poorly positioned (grinding or clenching of teeth), cosmetic surgery procedures including rhinoplasty (repair or correction of a nose considered unaesthetic), treatment of facial fractures and bone malformations, grafting, treatment of cysts and tumors, cleft palate and lip correction, jaw surgery, temporomandibular disorders and more.
This surgery has a success rate of approximately 95 percent, notes the AAOMS. According to NCBI survey, the overall survival rate of implants placed by oral and maxillofacial surgery residents at all levels of training was 91%.
The typical cost of orthognathic surgery for patients not having insurance coverage is anywhere between $20,000- $40,000, including initial consultations, the surgeon’s fee, facility fee and materials and follow-up care.
Initial jaw healing usually takes about six weeks post surgery, but complete healing could take up to 12 weeks. Post initial jaw healing, at about six weeks, your orthodontist completes aligning your teeth with braces. The whole orthodontic process, including surgery and braces, may take several years.
After surgery, you may experience some common side effects such as: Pain and swelling Discomfort while eating that can be addressed with nutritional supplements or consultation with a dietitian A brief time to adjust to a new facial appearance