Oral and Maxillofacial Treatments

Oral and Maxillofacial Treatments

Wisdom teeth extraction

Your four wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come through. They are right at the back of your mouth and sometimes there isn’t enough room for them to push through normally so they enter your mouth at an angle or partially emerged, known as impacted teeth.

Impacted wisdom teeth may need to be removed if they’re causing pain, swelling or infection. Wisdom tooth extraction is frequently performed and normally takes just a few minutes. Your wisdom tooth is rocked and twisted slightly to loosen it using dental tools and then removed.

If your wisdom tooth is proving difficult to remove, your oral and maxillofacial surgeon may make an incision in your gum near the tooth and take out a small piece of bone to aid the extraction.  

Dental implants

Dental implants are artificial roots for your teeth to hold missing and damaged teeth in place. They are suitable for most adults with good general health and offer a long term solution that allows you to have a permanent set of teeth and, enjoy life without worrying about your teeth.

Dental implants are inserted into your jawbone. They’re usually made of titanium as it has properties that allow it to fuse to your bone. A single dental implant can support a number of replacement teeth and several dental implants can be fitted at the same time.  

A supporting internal screw in the dental implant, called an abutment, holds the crowns, bridges and false teeth in place. Your dental implant and abutment can be fitted in one or two stages and your artificial teeth can be attached on the same day or at a later date.

Jaw surgery

Jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, corrects a wide range of dental and skeletal problems including the misalignment of jaws and teeth.

Corrective jaw surgery is performed for many symptoms and jaw conditions such as: difficulty biting, chewing and swallowing, excessive wear of teeth, open bite (space between your upper and lower teeth when your mouth is closed), receding lower jaw and chin, protruding jaw, jaw injury, chronic jaw pain, problems breathing and sleep apnoea (breathing problems when you’re asleep). It can also be carried out for cosmetic purposes.

There are a number of types of corrective jaw surgeries: bones may be added, taken away or reshaped and surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands hold your jaw in its new position. Normally incisions are made inside your mouth to prevent or reduce any visible scarring.

Corrective jaw surgery can positively enhance your appearance and improve your speech, bite and function.

Facial trauma

Facial trauma is a physical injury to the face or upper jaw bone. It’s often caused by: sports injuries, accidental falls, assault, motor vehicle accidents and work related accidents. Facial trauma and disfigurement can be complex and may require a multi-disciplinary approach. Injury can involve the skin, soft tissues, fractures and a patient may require psychological support.

Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons provide comprehensive care for patients with facial trauma injuries, from the treatment of dento-alveolar fractures (tooth and surrounding bone injury) and facial fractures to the tending of extensive facial lacerations. They will control bleeding, ensure a clear airway, treat fractures and broken bone segments, prevent scars and long term vision and eye problems if possible and any other injuries.

Sleep apnoea

Sleep apnoea is a widespread sleep disorder. It happens when you temporarily stop breathing for over ten seconds whilst asleep and may recur over ten times per hour. It can lead to extreme tiredness and severely affect sufferers wellbeing.

If you’ve sleep apnoea you may have an increase in airway resistance that causes your oxygen levels to drop. You may snore and have loud gasping noises. Your brain momentarily wakes you to allow breathing to resume.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is when your airway is blocked or obstructed by extra tissue in the back of your throat. It’s the most common type of sleep apnoea.

Sleep studies are used to evaluate sleep apnoea and consist of heart rate and blood oxygen level monitoring and observations.

Mild and moderate sleep apnoea can be managed by lifestyle changes such as weight loss and the use of mandibular advancement devices.

Moderate to severe sleep apnoea can be treated using mandibular advancement devices, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) using a nasal mask that passes positive air pressure into the airway and keeps it unobstructed, oral surgery that widens the airway or, laser assisted removal of soft tissues.

Head and neck infections/cancer

Head and neck infections are common and can affect your teeth (odontogenic), nose and sinuses, eyes (ocular), ears (otitis) and pharynx. Treatment is based on the type of infection and your individual needs.

Cancer of the head and neck is a moderately uncommon type of cancer. Most often it occurs in the mouth (oral cancer) but it can also develop in the voice box, throat, salivary glands, nose and sinuses and the area at the back of your nose and mouth.

Symptoms depend on where the cancer is. There are some general symptoms that include: a mouth sore that won’t heal (most common symptom), a neck lump or swelling, red or white patches in the mouth for a few weeks, difficulty/pain swallowing or chewing, voice changes (hoarseness), a constant sore throat and earache on one side.

Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will aim to remove or destroy all of the cancer cells and reduce the possibility of cancer returning. Treatment is based on where the cancer is in your head or neck, the cancer stage, its size and your general health. Treatment options include: radiotherapy (high-energy rays destroy cancer cells), chemotherapy (anti-cancer drugs destroy cancer cells) or surgery to remove the cancer and also reconstructive surgery to rebuild tissue lost due to the cancer or surgery.

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