If your wisdom teeth are impacted, or you have recently fractured your jaw and need surgery, your doctor or dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dental care specialists who perform a broad range of procedures related to the mouth, jaw, and face. Although oral surgery falls under the umbrella of dental health, these specialists differ from dentists and other related specialists in several ways.
1. Undergo Additional Training
Oral surgeons go through four years of dental school before spending four years as surgical residents in a hospital setting. During their residency, future maxillofacial surgeons learn how to provide emergency care, master general surgery, and administer all forms of anesthesia. This additional education enables them to perform surgical procedures in all hard and soft tissues of the face and jaw.
2. Specialize in Oral & Facial Surgeries
An oral surgeon performs procedures ranging from wisdom teeth removal to jaw surgery. They are skilled in tooth extractions and correcting features such as a misaligned bite. Orthodontists often work with these surgeons to correct the bite and alignment of patients whose teeth cannot be perfected through braces alone.
3. Correct Congenital Defects
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can also help patients with congenital defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate. Surgical intervention can correct these conditions and prevent associated issues such as speech impediments or difficulty eating.
4. Help Patients With Sleep Apnea
In rare cases, an oral surgeon may need to help a patient with sleep apnea, a condition in which their breathing is interrupted while they are asleep. Some forms of the disorder are caused by issues with a patient’s jaw structure. An oral surgeon can correct the problem to help the patient breathe—and sleep—easier.
If you are living with impacted teeth or a painful jaw condition, Oral Surgery Associates of Alaska, an oral and maxillofacial surgery clinic in Anchorage, is prepared to help. Call (907) 561-1430 to schedule an appointment with an experienced oral surgeon. For more information about the practice’s full range of services visit them online.