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Oral and maxillofacial surgery is the specialty of dentistry that includes the diagnosis, surgical and related treatment of diseases, injuries and defects of the head, neck, face, jaw, and oral cavity and associated structures. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a dental specialist who treats conditions, defects, injuries and esthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaw, face and associated structures. They treat accident victims suffering facial injuries, and offer reconstructive and dental implant surgery. They care for patients with tumors and cysts of the jaws, and functional and esthetic conditions of the maxillofacial areas. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform surgical extractions involving removing a tooth that is not easily accessed because it is broken under the gum line, or not erupted fully. Surgical extraction may also involve removing some of the surrounding bone tissue. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons diagnose and treat a variety of conditions including cysts, tumors, oral/head/neck cancer, congenital craniofacial malformations, chronic facial pain disorders, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, and sleep apnea. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a recognized American Dental Association specialty of dentistry. In addition to achieving a degree in Dentistry, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon undergoes a minimum four-year hospital surgical residency. Additionally they may also choose to undergo further one or two year subspecialty fellowship in head and neck cancer, cosmetic facial surgery, craniofacial surgery, or craniomaxillofacial trauma. Physicians in this specialty treat patients suffering from numerous diseases and illnesses, but some of the most common are cysts, benign pathology, malignant pathology, Oral cancer, head cancer, neck cancer, cutaneous malignancy, Skin Cancer, congenital craniofacial malformations (craniosynostosis), cleft lip, cleft palate, chronic facial pain disorders, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, incorrect bite (dysgnathia), straight bite (orthognathic), tongue-tied, soft and hard tissue trauma of the oral and maxillofacial region, and maxillomandibular advancement. Once properly diagnosed, practitioners can perform numerous procedures on patients including lip reconstruction, dentoalveolar surgery, surgery to remove impacted teeth, difficult tooth extractions, bone grafting, preprosthetic surgery for implants, dentures, dental prostheses, splint and surgical treatment of sleep apnea, surgery to insert dental implants, surgery to insert maxillofacial implants, craniofacial prostheses, bone anchored hearing aids, craniofacial surgery for cranial vault malformations (craniosynostosis), surgical removal of the connective tissue of the tongue (frenectomy) to correct tongue-tied, sinus closure surgery, bone regeneration procedures (distraction osteogenesis), corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery), cosmetic surgery of the head or neck, and rhytidectomy/facelift.
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