What Is An Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeon?
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a highly specialised field of both dentistry and medicine which requires at least 4 years of post-graduate study and practical experience. At OMFS Services Pty Ltd “OMFS” our surgeons are recognised as some of the best in their field, with associations and affiliations to the leading teaching hospitals in the country. Our surgeons are trained to diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of oral diseases, trauma and conditions.
Our practice, located in the heart of Melbourne’s Medical District at 766 Elizabeth Street, caters for every facet of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Our patients can rest assured that our knowledge and skills are beyond question and we are equipped to meet all oral surgery needs from the most complicated to relatively simple cases. No matter what the diagnosis our patients are treated with respect and dignity.
Our services include consultations and second opinions, medico-legal reporting, local anaesthetic procedures in an office environment and general anaesthetic procedures in various hospitals throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Oral surgery may be necessary for a number of different reasons. Often oral surgery is undertaken when one or more teeth need to be removed or the tissue surrounding the teeth needs to be modified in order to complement effective eruption of teeth and growth.
Depending on the specific case and the condition of your teeth, gums, soft tissue and jaw, our surgeons may suggest a number of different surgical options. Our oral surgery procedures are always undertaken in the best interest of the patient in order to achieve the most effective outcome.
Often your general dentist can complete the removal of teeth, without the need for referral to an oral maxillofacial surgeon. However, in some cases they may refer you to an OMFS surgeon due to a number of reasons.
Depending on factors such as your previous medical history, the severity of the case, the location of the tooth in relation to other oral structures, and the complexity of the extraction, you may need to have your tooth extracted by a surgeon. The procedure can be completed under local or general anaesthetic, depending on the individual and the specific case.
The removal of wisdom teeth, although not always necessary, can be important for a number of reasons. When the jaw is not large enough for the effective eruption of wisdom teeth, there is a risk that the wisdom teeth can become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can heighten the risk of severe infection and cause pain and discomfort, among other problems.
In cases where the removal of wisdom teeth is necessary, we take great care in ensuring patients are comfortable and informed about their procedure. In most cases, wisdom tooth removal is simple, with minimal recovery.
As everyone is unique, the growth of the jaw is different for everyone. Sometimes teeth may fail to erupt properly and can remain buried within the jaw. In these cases, it may be necessary to surgically assist with the eruption of teeth in order to either facilitate effective spontaneous eruption or prepare the tooth for orthodontic treatment.
The procedure can be completed in just half an hour and will only require a few days for full recovery. To ensure total patient comfort, the procedure can be completed under local or general anaesthetic.
Implants & Grafting
Dental implants are an innovative and effective solution for replacing one or more missing teeth. In some cases, patients that would like to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant may not be able to due to a lack of sufficient bone and tissue at the implant site.
OMFS offer a number of tooth replacement options including single dental implants and implant-supported dentures. Patients without sufficient bone and tissue may receive a bone or soft tissue graft in order to facilitate the placement of dental implants.
Dental implants are an ideal solution for replacing a missing tooth. Dental implants look and feel just like a natural tooth are often the most effective solution for restoring both the form and function of your smile. Essentially, a dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed in the jaw and fuses to the bone. Once healed, a crown is attached to the implant to facilitate the natural appearance of the tooth.
Replacing a missing tooth quickly with a dental implant can be an effective way to avoid the resorption of bone and soft tissue around the jaw. Each and every patient is different; therefore, your procedure is tailored to suit your individual condition.
Implant-supported dentures can be a great solution for patients looking to replace an entire top or bottom arch. Implant-supported dentures are an effective alternative to conventional dentures, offering patient greater stability and function.
Typically, implant-supported dentures require the placement of multiple dental implants that hold a prosthetic denture in place. The device is natural in appearance and can help to improve oral function. Depending on the case treatment time may vary. Discuss your individual treatment plan with your OMFS surgeon.
Bone and soft tissue grafts may be completed for a number of different reasons. Insufficient bone and soft tissue may arise due to existing missing teeth resulting in a lack of stimulation, previous trauma, disease, or from a congenital deformity.
Depending on the nature of the graft, the specific procedure may differ in complexity. The ultimate goal of a bone or soft tissue graft is to facilitate the placement of a dental implant. For this reason, it may be necessary for the site of the graft to heal completely before undertaking implant surgery.
Face & Jaw Surgery
Depending on the specific case, face and jaw surgery may be undertaken to correct or repair the facial structure. Whether you have an existing deformity that inhibits the function of certain facial structures or require surgery due to asymmetry and aesthetic concerns, our surgeons provide an exceptional standard of care.
The correct function of your facial structure is incredibly important to your overall health and appearance. Our team of surgeons at OMFS ensure that patients are informed about each and every procedure and have the opportunity to express any areas of concern during the initial consultation.
Corrective jaw surgery is often completed in conjunction with orthodontic treatment to correct malocclusion, or a bad bite. The correct function of the bite is important in order to prevent a number of issues such as a misaligned bite, crowding of the teeth, discomfort when eating and chewing, facial asymmetries, tooth decay and disorders such as sleep apnoea and TMJ disorder.
Corrective jaw surgery is only undertaken when the malocclusion is severe enough that orthodontic treatment alone will not correct the malocclusion. Corrective jaw surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and depending on the nature of the case, may involve the correction of the upper jaw, lower jaw or both.
Genioplasty, or commonly known as a chin augmentation is performed to re-contour and reposition the chin and jaw. Often genioplasty is completed in conjunction with corrective jaw surgery to provide the patient with optimal form and function of the chin and jaw. Genioplasty creates greater balance to the aesthetic of the chin and facial structure as a whole.
As a surgical procedure, genioplasty is performed under a general anaesthetic and can leave scarring. Due to the location of incision, genioplasty scarring can be hidden. As leaders in their chosen field, our surgeons can ensure an optimal outcome for patients.
Upper jaw expansion surgery – often referred to as surgically assisted maxillary expansion (SAME), is a procedure used to expand an upper jaw. This may be necessary for adult patients who have stopped growing and expansion of the jaw is not possible without surgery.
Expansion of the upper jaw is important in cases where a crossbite, crooked teeth and crowded teeth need to be corrected without the need for extraction. In this instance, widening of the jaw is necessary to aid in this process. As upper jaw expansion surgery is completed under general anaesthetic, you may need to stay in hospital overnight.
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition where patients wake up hundreds of times throughout the night due to an obstruction of the airway. The restriction of the airway means that the body is not receiving enough air; hence the body’s natural reaction is to wake itself up to restart breathing. This can result in a number of harmful health problems for the patient.
Due to the shape of the upper and lower jaw, you may require surgery to reposition the jaw and assist in effective airflow. There are many non-surgical options to treat sleep apnoea; however, in some instances it may not be possible to correct a patients obstructive sleep apnoea without surgical intervention.
Cheek augmentation is often undertaken in conjunction with corrective jaw surgery to provide balance and symmetry to the facial structure. This can have both aesthetic and function benefits for patients relating to the bite and jaw function.
Often a cheek augmentation may be necessary after instances of facial trauma. As with all surgical procedures, your post-op recovery process is important for ensuring effective results. Your surgeon will inform you about what you can expect before, during and after cheek augmentation surgery.
Facial trauma may occur for a number of reasons and can result in a lot of pain, discomfort and aesthetic concern. Because surgery following facial trauma occurs in reaction to a specific traumatic event, it is important that patients seek professional surgical care as soon as possible, where necessary.
The management and surgical care of facial fractures and broken facial structures is important, as ineffective function can result in poor health. Whether it be due to a sporting incident, trip or fall, work accident, or a myriad of other reasons, OMFS are able to effective manage and treat facial trauma.
Not all patients who have a broken jaw require surgery. Due to this, we offer both effective management of broken and fractured jawbones, or surgery if required. Depending on the severity and location of the break, your surgeon may suggest a number of different options to ensure the most effective outcome.
Duration of treatment from initial injury to full recovery can differ greatly depending on the specific case. In cases where the bone is not broken or displaced, management of the injury is still important; however, the bone may heal on it own within a number of weeks.
As the cheekbone forms part of the eye socket, it is quite common for trauma of one to affect the other. Management of fractured and broken cheekbones and eye sockets are important, even if you do not require surgery. Seeking immediate treatment for a broken cheekbone or eye socket is very important to ensure effective recovery.
Cheekbone surgery involves the repositioning of the bone through a small incision. In some severe cases, your surgeon may require the use of a small metal plate and screws to secure the cheekbone and eye socket.
Oral Maxillofacial Pathology
Oral maxillofacial pathology relates to the diagnosis and treatment of abnormalities within the mouth, jaws and face. Often abnormalities require further investigation through biopsy and the use of imaging to determine the causes and effects of diseases in this area of the body.
Our surgeons work with dentists and general practitioners to determine the cause and provide an accurate diagnosis. Treatment can range from monitoring the condition through to surgical intervention.
In instances where the condition is benign, your surgeon will discuss with you the options and suggested course of action, always acting in your very best interests.
In cases where concerns that are benign, such as cysts are to be surgically removed, we will walk you through the process and provide the very best pre and post-op care. Your experienced surgeon will ensure that you achieve the most effective outcome, with a focus on your comfort and safety.
The surgeons at OFMS work with a multi-disciplinary team in cases that involve oral and facial cancers. Depending on the specific situation, the course of action for treatment may vary.
There are many reasons that patients develop oral cancer or cancer in the head, face or neck. It is important that you perform regular oral cancer checks and visit your GP or dentist as soon as your notice any irregularities.
TMJ Management Including Surgery
TMJ disorders are quite common and can have many affects on your oral and overall health. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located where the lower jaw attaches to the base of your skull. It is one of the most complex joints in the human body and as such, greatly affects a number of surrounding facial structures.
TMJ disorder is often difficult to diagnose and the cause is not always known. Treatment may be surgical or non-surgical depending on a number of factors including the severity of symptoms and the amount of degeneration of the TMJ.
Most cases of TMJ disorder are temporary and tend not to worsen. Due to this, surgery often isn’t the most effective solution. Sometimes TMJ disorders can be treated using pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication in conjunction with physiotherapy and bite splint therapy.
Depending on the severity and the type of TMJ disorder you have, your surgeon may suggest a range of different non-surgical options. The goal of non-surgical treatment is to relieve pain, restore function and eliminate noises without the use of invasive surgery that requires post-op recovery.
Surgical TMJ procedures are generally chosen to correct severe issues related to the temporomandibular joint and surrounding areas of the face. It can also be chosen if your TMJ disorder is not responding to non-surgical treatment or if it’s causing chronic pain and affecting quality of life.
There are a number of different options for surgery from minimally invasive arthroscopy to detect and repair defects to total TMJ replacement surgery. Most surgical procedures require the use of general anaesthetic followed by a stay in hospital.
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