What is a Maxillofacial Surgeon?

A dentist who has completed an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency is referred to as a maxillofacial surgeon. A residency is additional training received a dentist or medical doctor following graduation from dental or medical school. General surgery, anesthesia, and pathology are typically taught to maxillofacial surgeons. In addition to the office, the maxillofacial or oral surgeon may treat patients in surgical centers, hospitals, and outpatient settings.

Using anesthesia or intravenous sedation, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon can usually remove impacted and diseased teeth. Patients with facial injuries, such as jaw and facial bone fractures, are also treated an oral surgeon. Patients with tumors or cysts of the oral cavity and face are frequently referred to an oral surgeon. The oral surgeon can also treat abnormal pathology and infection of the mouth, salivary glands, and jaw.

Patients who are having cosmetic or reconstructive surgery are frequently seen a maxillofacial surgeon. Cleft palate, also known as hair lip, is a common problem that an oral surgeon can help with. This is a condition that can be detected at birth and treated to prevent lip and facial abnormalities. Cleft palate causes the patient’s upper lip to split and can affect the quality and tone of their speech.

Not only must maxillofacial surgeons complete an oral surgery residency, but they must also pass a rigorous application and medical examination. Applicants are usually required to show proof of their training and educational qualifications. Applicants must also provide documentation of their experience in all aspects of maxillofacial surgery. Obtaining a letter of recommendation from a board certified oral surgeon attesting to the applicant’s character is also a common requirement for surgeons.

Maxillofacial surgeons are also highly skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of painful facial conditions like temporomandibular joint disease and related disorders. TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, causes severe and persistent jaw pain. The oral surgeon, in collaboration with an orthodontist, can frequently realign or reconstruct the jaw to improve bite and appearance.

In the field of oral surgery, staying current through continuing education is critical. Oral surgery techniques and procedures are constantly evolving, and staying up to date on the latest developments allows an oral surgeon to remain committed to his profession. Seminars, credited courses, and lectures are common ways to obtain continuing education. Senior oral surgeons are frequently called upon to educate and mentor resident maxillofacial surgeons in training.