A Maxillofacial Surgeon is more than just a normal dentist. The clue is in the name! This is proper surgery, and is only used when regular orthodontics have reached their limit. A Maxillofacial Surgeon specialises in serious problems around the mouth, jaw and neck. They differ from orthodontic surgeons because regular orthodontists only focus on the actual teeth of a patient.
Because it is genuine surgery, rather than dental work, a Maxillofacial Surgeon will not only attend a dental college, but will then be placed in a surgical residency another four years. Many maxillofacial surgeons are trained in reconstructive surgery, such is the complexity of the procedures involved.
If a case is too difficult to fix using regular dentistry alone, then you may be referred to a maxillofacial surgeon. The more complex measures such as the removal of impacted wisdom teeth, correcting under or over bites or serious root canals all need to be dealt with at the next level. If a patient has been involved in an accident, or has been the victim of an assault, then limiting nerve damage plays a huge part in the surgeons overall objective, and the faster a patient is treated, the more likely a full recovery will be made.
The removal of cysts, growths and tumours also falls under the domain of a maxillofacial surgeon. We may take a biopsy, and then send a tissue sample to a pathologist. If the patient is unlucky enough to be diagnosed with a cancerous tumour, then the maxillofacial surgeon will work closely with an oncologist, and hopefully remove the growth with minimum impact.
A maxillofacial surgeon can help people who have been suffering their entire life with birth deformities. Cleft palates or harelips for example can be fixed through maxillofacial surgery, and the impact is undoubtedly life changing. Facial abnormalities, more so than other parts of the body, can play a huge role in a persons life. A maxillofacial surgeon can restore a patient’s confidence and bring a new lease of life to that person.