Maxillofacial surgery is a specialization of dentistry which focuses on problems around the mouth, jaw, and neck. A dentist or orthodontist may refer a patient for maxillofacial surgery if an issue in the mouth is too difficult to correct with orthodontics or basic dental procedures alone. It is internationally recognized as a surgical specialty and may include cosmetic facial procedures or reconstructive surgery. This is largely because it involves the alteration of one’s facial appearance. A maxillofacial surgeon may remove severely impacted wisdom teeth, address facial pain, or fix overbites and jaw deformities.
Maxillofacial Surgery can help to correct cosmetic and other dental or jaw damages to the face as a result of the accident. In addition to cleaning up the physical appearance of a damaged face, the maxillofacial surgeon can address nerve damage and other issues which may cause pain for the patient. Especially if the patient is treated quickly, the long term impacts of accident damages can be greatly reduced. In the case of treatment of face or oral tumor, maxillofacial surgery plays an important role. In the case of tumors maxillofacial surgeon may remove the damaged tissue and it helps in rebuilding the facial appearance.
Maxillofacial surgery is also a solution for people with birth defects such as cleft lip. Maxillofacial surgery or cosmetic jaw surgery can help in changing your appearance and thus giving you more confidence in daily life.
Patients who may get the benefit of a maxillofacial surgery are:
- Accident victims
- Patients with facial and oral tumors
- Cancer patients
- Patient with birth defects like cleft palate or facial deformity
- Patients with severe orthodontic and gum disorders
- Patients with nerve damage
Maxillofacial surgery procedure
As in every surgery this one also begins with the administration of general anesthesia. After that the surgeon may do the necessary changes to your face, jaw, mouth or neck. This may include realignment of bones, extraction of teeth, jaw fracture correction, jaw alignment surgery, jaw reduction surgery, lower jaw surgery etc. Length of the procedure may vary depending on the surgery that you are undertaking.
After your maxillofacial surgery you will be moved to a recovery area to be monitored. Our nursing staff will carefully monitor your vital signs during this time. When you have recovered from your anaesthesia or sedative the staff will release you from care or they will move you to a regular hospital room for continued care. You may have a dressing covering your surgical wound. Keep this dressing on, until your doctor says you can remove it. As with every surgery there will be some side effects to this one also. Some of the common side effects are pain, swelling, bleeding, stiffness etc. Following all instructions for eating, drinking and oral hygiene very carefully during the recovery process can help in reducing the risks and side effects.
Some of the self care tips after maxillofacial surgery are listed below:
- Take prescribed Pain medications to reduce the pain
- Keeping ice bags for swelling
- Avoid smoking for 3-4 days
- Avoid spitting and chewing
- Avoid using a straw for the first few days
- Do not take hot, spicy or hard foods.
Most people begin to feel better within a weeks of maxillofacial surgery. However the entire healing process may take up to 12 months for some people. Additionally, some patients may require more than one maxillofacial surgery to treat the problem they are experiencing. Once all the surgical procedures are complete, and healing is complete the results of maxillofacial surgery are quite favourable.
Risks and Complications
As is with any surgery there are some expected risks associated with maxillofacial surgery also. Usually these can be avoided or reduced by giving a proper care post surgery and by following the dental hygienic instructions given by your surgeon. Most common risks and complications:
- Reaction to anesthesia or medication
- Infection of surgical wound
- Blood clot dislodgement.
- Incomplete correction or treatment
- Function issues with jaw
Our facility offers a unique opportunity to bring together the best of cosmetic dental and oral maxillofacial surgery methods in addition to facial and aesthetic surgery. All the maxillofacial surgeries are performed at our hospital and we have collaboration with five major hospitals in Salem. After having a detailed check-up and discussion with patient, according to the need, hospital will be chosen for each patient.