Oral and maxillofacial surgery

This is another dentistry specialism which uses surgery to treat conditions of the teeth, gums, neck and face. The difference between this and other branches of dentistry is that it links the medicine and dentistry fields together, drawing upon expertise in those areas.

Your dentist or GP will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon if you have a disease or injury to your jaws, teeth or face.

Reasons for oral and maxillofacial surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons often work in a sub-speciality such as jaw joint problems or dentoalveolar surgery. But others span more than one area. Other sub-specialities include head and neck cancer; facial enhancement (cosmetic dentistry); congenital defects (e.g. cleft palate); trauma; or oral medicine.

Oral and maxillofacial procedures

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons surgically treat a wide range of dental conditions which include:

  • Upper or lower jaw fracture
  • Cleft lip/palate
  • Infected salivary glands
  • Facial skin lesion/s
  • Slipped cartilage (jaw)
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Oral cancer
  • Facial fracture, e.g. jaw, chin
  • Fractured teeth
  • Repeated bouts of mouth ulcers
  • Lichen planus

Some of these procedures are covered by oral surgeons and oral and maxillofacial surgeons, for example, impacted wisdom teeth.