What does an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon do?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon removes teeth and prepares jaws for denture construction by specialized surgical techniques such as skin or bone grafts and implants which aid in stabilizing dentures. In addition, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon cares for trauma patients with facial fractures, facial lacerations, and other injuries. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon is well trained in the reconstruction of malformed faces caused by growth disturbances of the jaws. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon treats patients with cleft lip and palate and other birth defects. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon manages patients with cancer of the oral and maxillofacial areas and reconstructs those individuals following surgery to remove the cancerous growth. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon uses general anesthesia, intravenous sedation, and or local anesthesia in an outpatient setting for removal of teeth and other procedures. Temporomandibular joint surgery (TMJ) for correcting malfunctions of the joint as well as pain is done by the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Reconstruction of the facial bones by adding man-made materials or the patient's own bone is also done by the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Craniofacial surgery and cosmetic surgery of the face may be part of the surgeon's expertise.