Maxillofacial Surgery

When the mouth, jaw, or neck need surgery, this work can be done by a dental specialist who is qualified to perform maxillofacial surgery. Most procedures correct problems involving the jaw or dentures. This kind of surgery is usually necessary when the scope of the problem is outside what a dentist or orthodontist can reasonably do. The surgery might be standalone, or it might be performed along with traditional dentistry and orthodontics. For example, a maxillofacial surgery can correct a protruding chin, severely misaligned teeth, crooked teeth, or buck teeth. If the upper and lower jaws are asymmetrical in size, or don’t align correctly, that might also have to be corrected surgically to prevent problems with the tongue, the lips, speaking, and eating. If a patient has problems with the nose or the cheek, that might require maxillofacial surgery, too. Thin wires or small rubber bands can keep the jaws in place during the healing process; fixation screws or plates may be necessary to ensure that the jaws can move easily after the surgery.

Sometimes, when people have worn dentures for a long time, they lose gum tissue and perhaps bone as well. This is caused by the dentures rubbing against the soft oral tissues. Maxillofacial surgery can graft bone, manipulate soft tissues, and realign the jaw to correct the problem.