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A maxillofacial surgeon may treat a number of conditions. Maxillofacial surgeons treat many of the same conditions as oral surgeons; in fact, depending on the doctor, the terms may be interchangeable. Regardless of the term, maxillofacial surgeons use their expertise to handle moderately invasive procedures in the face and neck.
Maxillofacial surgeons can remove teeth and replace them with synthetic options. These implants remain in your jaw permanently, acting as a replacement tooth. They may have health or cosmetic benefits.
These surgeons can shave bones, readjust joints, or even help reconstruct broken sockets. If your face or jaw are broken or misaligned, they can help repair it and reduce your discomfort.
Some birth defects can lead to cleft lips and palates. This condition can have both cosmetic and health effects on a person for life. Maxillofacial surgeons can help repair this type of birth defect through surgery.
There are a few reasons you might see a maxillofacial surgeon. Your dentist or doctor may refer you to them, or if you are injured. they may be one of your emergency care doctors. Here are a few reasons why people end up seeing a maxillofacial surgeon.
Most maxillofacial surgeons work at least in part to help correct skeletal problems such as misaligned jaws. If you have chronic temporomandibular joint pain, known as TMJ, your dentist may refer you to a maxillofacial surgeon.
Cancers of the face, neck, and jaw are often removed by maxillofacial surgeons. These specialists have the training to remove the tumor without damaging the delicate nerves that run throughout your head and neck.
If you get in an accident and injure your face, you may end up getting maxillofacial surgery. Some of these surgeons specialize in reconstructive surgery to repair broken jaws, cheekbones, and teeth. Maxillofacial surgeons can also insert dental implants to replace teeth that are lost entirely.
Finally, maxillofacial surgeons can also treat cosmetic problems. If you are interested in getting dental implants or simply changing the profile of your face, you may end up working with one of these doctors to achieve your appearance goals.