The Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery offers a full scope of surgical techniques for a variety of problems of the face and mouth. Many of our faculty surgeons have particular expertise in select sub-specialties, including temporomandibular disorder, nerve repair, orthognathic surgery, and cleft lip and palate repair.
Teeth may require extraction for a variety of reasons ranging from alleviation of pain from tooth decay, and abscess or periodontal disease to non-salvageable teeth that need extraction in preparation for placement of implants, dentures or a bridge. Whatever the reason, our doctors are very well trained in such procedures, with an advanced knowledge to manage any associated medical conditions you may have and/or anxiety associated with the procedure.
Wisdom teeth and other impacted teeth
Wisdom teeth (third molars) can be the most troublesome teeth in the mouth. These molars usually erupt in the late teens or early 20s. However, many times the jaws are simply not large enough to accommodate the wisdom teeth. This can cause problems such as damage to neighboring teeth, difficulty with hygiene, infection, and pain. The removal of wisdom teeth can eliminate these problems. The surgery in our practice can be done on an outpatient basis in most cases, and normal activities can usually be resumed within a few days of surgery, depending on the severity of the procedure and the age of the patient.
Our surgeons are also experienced in the extraction of other impacted teeth, as well as surgery that allows impacted teeth to successfully erupt into the mouth.
With years of research and clinical use, dental implants are now a proven, long-lasting, esthetically pleasing alternative to replace missing teeth or even an alternative to conventional dentures or crowns and bridges.
Dental implants are usually placed in the dental office while the patient is under local anesthesia. The implant consists of a small titanium cylinder or screw, which is surgically implanted and serves as a "root" for the crown that will replace the tooth.
Evaluation for dental implants is carried out in a multidisciplinary environment, which includes prosthodontic involvement. Our surgeons are experienced in the successful placement of dental implants, and in other ancillary procedures such as bone grafting in preparation for dental implants. State of the art Cone Beam CT scanning and computer analysis is available in certain cases to evaluate implant placement.
Orthognathic surgery is performed on patients who have an abnormal bite (malocclusion) because their jaws and facial bones are uneven, either through abnormal growth or as a result of an accident. As a result of these conditions, speaking, chewing and biting may become difficult, and/or the face may appear "off-balance" and lopsided. Whatever the reason, your teeth and facial bones can be repositioned to create a more balanced relationship so that the jaws will work well together.
Our doctors can help you address whether or not this type of surgery is right for you, and if so, when it should be done. They can refer you to an orthodontist or work with your orthodontist to achieve the best result.
Pathology of the mouth and jaws
The problem of facial and oral lesions is indeed a serious one. The signs and symptoms of these conditions are numerous and occasionally subtle. During routine examination, we always check for oral and facial lesions and cancers, even if symptoms are not noticed or present.
The treatment for facial and oral lesions usually consists initially of a biopsy to determine the nature of the lesion. If indicated, surgery to remove benign lesions is usually done at a later time. Our ultimate goal is always the restoration of function (chewing, eating and speech) and the cosmetic correction of any defects resulting from removal of the tumor. Toward that goal, a final phase of the treatment may involve soft tissue and/or bony reconstruction of the defects and placement of dental implants, if necessary. State of the art laser surgery is available for some cases.
Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are actively involved in the head and neck trauma program at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital. In this capacity, our surgeons treat patients with maxillofacial fractures and lacerations. Ohio State University oral and maxillofacial surgeons have extensive experience in treating these conditions.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (sometimes abbreviated to TMD or TMJD) is an umbrella term covering discomfort and dysfunction of jaw muscles and the temporomandibular joints (the joints which connect the jaws to the skull). Symptoms often include pain, restricted jaw movement, and noises from the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) during jaw movement. Although TMD is not life threatening, it can be detrimental to quality of life because the symptoms can become chronic and difficult to manage. Our surgeons have expertise in the management of this often difficult to treat problem.
Different kinds of surgical procedures require different types and delivery of anesthetic techniques. Our surgeons will explain these to you and help you chose the most appropriate anesthesia for your surgical needs. We also have a close partnership with the OSU Dental Anesthesiology program which allows us to treat unusual or complex cases.