Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a surgical speciality involving the reconstructive surgery of the face, facial trauma and surgeries of the oral cavity, head and neck, mouth and jaws as well as facial cosmetic surgery. 

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Frequently asked questions about Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

What does oral and maxillofacial surgery do?

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to recognize and treat a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. They are also trained to administer anesthesia and provide care in an office setting.

What does Maxillofacial Surgery cover?

Procedures undertaken by oral and maxillofacial surgeons include: surgical treatment of facial injuries – complex craniofacial fractures, fractures of the lower jaw, upper jaw, cheekbone, nose, and orbit (sometimes all of these together) and soft tissue injuries of the mouth, face and neck.

When should you see a maxillofacial surgeon?

Facial Trauma/Injury-An oral surgeon should quickly see patients who've suffered facial trauma (fractured or dislocated the jaw) so the jaw can be reset. Oral surgeons also routinely provide care and treatment to people who've suffered from facial and oral lacerations.

How long does maxillofacial surgery take?

The length of surgery will depend on the needs. It may be 2-4 hours.

Does maxillofacial surgery hurt?

An individual when, under general anaesthetic during the procedure, so no pain is felt. After the surgery, the patient will be given painkillers to help make the recovery stage as easy as possible. If one follows the correct recovery steps, they will recover in as little discomfort as possible.

How is maxillofacial surgery done?

The surgeon cuts the bone above the teeth so that the entire top jaw — including the roof of the persons mouth and the upper teeth — can move as one unit. The jaw and upper teeth are moved forward until they fit properly with the lower teeth.

What is the difference between an oral surgeon and a maxillofacial surgeon?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon holds a medical degree and has extensive training in dental medicine. While an oral surgeon is unable to perform the most advanced oral surgical procedures, there are no limitations on the types of dental surgery that a maxillofacial surgeon can perform.

What kind of surgeries do oral surgeons do?

Treat Facial Trauma – Oral surgeons can reconnect severed nerves, set fractured jaw and facial bones, and repair minor to complex facial skin lacerations. They treat facial injuries involving the oral tissues, jaws, cheek and nasal bones, eye sockets, and the forehead.

How much time does it take to recover from oral and maxillofacial surgery?

Typically, the oral surgeon will ask the patient at least take about 48-72 hours to relax afterward so the treatment area is allowed to clot. After that, a patient should be able to return to normal physical activity. The soft tissue will usually fully heal in about 3-4 weeks.

What oral hygiene is required post-surgery?

One of the best ways to make sure a person recovers quickly from an oral surgery is to be conscious of their oral hygiene. Keeping the surgical site clean is very important to the healing. Immediately after surgery, any spitting or sucking should be avoided for at least 24-hours. These behaviors can cause the blood clots that need to form to be damaged or dislodged. One should still attempt to brush their teeth gently and rinse the mouth out with water. Additionally, no smoking or tobacco use should occur for at least a week after surgery. Smoking can delay the healing process and do damage to the healing tissue.

Recent Articles

The main disorders that are involved in oral and maxillofacial surgery are:

  • Tooth extraction for various reasons
  • Tooth implants
  • Odontogenic infections management
  • Management of patient undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy
  • Salivary gland disorders
  • Oral biopsies
  • Oral pathologic lesions
  • Oral and maxillofacial trauma that include soft tissue and dentoalveolar injuries
  • Facial fractures
  • Facial cosmetic surgery
  • Patients with orofacial clefts
  • Surgical reconstruction of defects of the jaws
  • Facial neuropathology
  • Management of temporomandibular disorders
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