We have talked about all aspects of Orthodontist and Orthodontics in our previous posts. In that informative post, we also discussed Oral Surgeon in brief. Your feedback motivated us to write something separately in details on Oral Surgeon and Maxillofacial Surgery. If you aspire to become an oral surgeon then this blog post may supercharge you with lots of positive energy to pursue your dream profession.
Oral surgery, in general, deals on specialized treatment of some of the diseases related to the injuries and problems of mouth, neck, head, jaws and some of the soft tissues of the facial region.
In countries like US, India, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil and Sweden, it is one of the parts which is recognized as the speciality of dentistry; whereas, other countries like Australia, UK and rest of Europe, it is the part of the medicine and dentistry and one must have dual degree in Medicine as well as Dentistry to practice oral or maxillofacial surgery.
Who is Oral Surgeon?
Oral surgeon varies in different ways from a dental surgeon. As the name suggests, dental surgeons are only restricted to specialization in dental activities, whereas, Oral surgeon deals on the entire part of the face. This is how we immediately differentiate between an oral surgeon and a dental surgeon.
Let’s go deep down the knowledge lane to understand more.
The oral and Maxillofacial surgeon first completes four years of their dental course and spend another four years as a post-graduate fellow in hospital. They learn, examine and practices oral surgery in the hospital with their residents, so it takes another four years for them to practice surgery and at the end, they get a license to practice oral or maxillofacial surgery.
They get training in General medicine and surgery along with Anaesthesiology in four years course of oral surgery.
What kind of problems Oral surgeons deal on?
Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon basically performs treatment related to issues in hard and soft tissues of the mouth, face and jaws.
A general dentist refers us to any of the oral surgeons for complex tooth extraction. Apart from this, an orthodontist may also examine you first if there are any issues in the alignment of your jaws.
One thing you can always notice that Oral surgeons have a comfortable environment with set up of different types of comfortable chairs around them.
When there is the probability of simple extractions in mouth then a dental surgeon can perform the task, however, when complex extraction with deeper levels of sedition is required then you get referred to an oral surgeon.
Last but not least on introduction, an Oral surgeon may require additional two years of advanced training in the following specialization. It is completely based on the demand of their occupation and their choices as well.
- Cranio-maxillofacial trauma
- Microvascular reconstruction
- Cosmetic facial surgery
- Maxillofacial regeneration
- Cleft surgery
It’s a quite long-term study journey, moreover, in few of the countries, there is some integrated study program which covers both medicine studies and oral and maxillofacial surgery.
What are the procedures of an Oral surgeon?
There are lots of procedures of an oral surgeon. Let’s discuss each one of them in details.
Tooth Extractions (Wisdom teeth extraction)
This is one the simplest activity performed by the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. If you are not able to bite properly due to your wisdom teeth then you are being referred to the oral and maxillofacial surgeons for the wisdom teeth extraction.
These extractions require minor surgery and to do so oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the real experts to perform these surgeries. This routine work called as sedation dentistry in medical science.
This is called as Orthognathic Surgery. Orthodontics has the solution to this problem, but, when jaws correction goes beyond the scope of the Orthodontics then Oral and maxillofacial surgery has the right solution. This is basically related to the misaligned bite.
In other cases, there are some pre-existing abnormalities which are by birth. Thus, an Orthodontist can’t deal effectively with problems related to congenital abnormalities, skeletal problems, severe orthodontic problems and other disorders. In such cases, a proper anaesthesia required to proceed with the surgery of reshaping and repositioning of the jaws and realignment of the teeth as well.
Here an oral surgeon can’t initiate the surgery without discussing the proper planning with Orthodontist.
Cleft lip surgery
This surgery is done to correct the birth defect. Cleft lip surgery or Palate surgery sometimes like a reconstructive surgery.
The reconstructive surgery is required after some injuries like facial trauma, traumatic dental injury, workplace injury and more injuries.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the experts in performing reconstructive surgery. It doesn’t matter whether surgery has to perform on hard or soft tissues.
In addition to above procedures, Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons set the foundation of cosmetic and dental implants. Sometimes bone grafting procedures are required for implants which are completely based on the present conditions of the jaws. Dentures provide smooth and comfortable fit and tooth replacement method to reshape the jaws. Some other additional works of the oral surgeons are as follows:
- Correcting facial pain and infections
- Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea
- Proper diagnosis and treatment of oral cancers
- Removal of lesions
When to choose an Oral surgeon?
Having teeth make our life beautiful by spreading energetic smiles. So it is very much important to take care of our teeth. Now the question here is when to choose an oral surgeon for your teeth?
Let’s look into the answers.
Whenever something required of doing surgery to our teeth then we can look for the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Since we already discussed the procedures above, but, let me short down to the straight points for which we can seek the help of an oral surgeon. Here are some of the important points below where we need oral and maxillofacial surgeons:
- Dental implants
- Tumour treatment in jaws
- Cyst treatment in jaws
- The requirement of cosmetic surgery
- Reconstruction of the bites
- Resolving facial pain
- Aligning misaligned jaws
- Getting rid of obstructive sleep apnea
- Treatment of cancer around neck, jaws and face
- Extraction of wisdom teeth
- Cleft lip and palate surgery
- Sometimes to support orthodontist in extreme teeth straightening
How to choose an Oral surgeon?
You understood when you require an oral surgeon. Due to globalization, there are lots of options available to choose Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. So here are the guidelines which will help you in choosing a perfect oral surgeon for you.
Know your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
In general, an oral surgeon should spend 10-12 years of continuous education throughout his life. He should have Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. An oral surgeon spends additional 4 to 6 years at any hospital as residents to learn all the techniques and advancements in dental surgery.
Your dentist or any of the family or known doctor could help you out in this matter. They must know a true Oral surgeon with good experiences, real degree and magic to treat the problems.
Dental Insurance Balance
You should have health insurance. If you are not able to decide an oral surgeon; in this case, your health insurance portal helps you finding an oral surgeon for you. Visit your insurer’s portal and check out the list of the entire specialist in an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in their network.
You can also get confirmation if they provide cashless facilities in the hospital on surgery; it will help you in hassle free processing of the application and other formalities at the hospital.
Google Search your Queries
You can Goole your query to find an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. You just have to type “Oral Surgeon near me” or “Orthodontist near me” then you get suggestions from Google. Among the suggestions you can choose which suits your best choice.
What should you ask initially to the surgeon on the first meet?
You should ask some of the basic questions to be assured whether you reached the right place. Here are the lists of some of the suggested questions that you should ask your doctor:
- What is the background of the surgeon?
- How about their past experiences?
- Is any critical scenario in relation to your problem?
- What are his specialities?
- Is he really aware of the kind of issues you are going through?
- What kind of Anaesthesia will he use?
- Is any external expert doctor will be available for Anaesthesia?
- What are the medical materials will he use during the surgery?
Apart from these, you should be well aware of the environment at the clinic or hospital. It should not disturb you. Make sure that environment is comfortable and easy for you. Additionally, it should be well lit, air circulation is obvious and well designed to keep you distracted from the pain.
If you are choosing a doctor out of search results then you should first read all the review and go through the rating at least once. You should be wise enough to choose your doctor, if you are not feeling confident to choose the doctor then you can discuss with the family and with relatives or friends.