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Our Services: What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

For starters, what in the world is Maxillofacial? 

The maxilla is the upper jaw; maxillofacial refers to the upper jaw and facial area. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons diagnose and treat issues relating to the hard tissue (i.e. bone) of the jaws (mandible or lower jaw and maxilla or upper jaw) and the soft tissue (i.e. skin, muscle) of the face, mouth and jaws.

What do we do?

Patients referred from their general dentists to Dixie Oral Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery are typically referred for the most utilized area of their specialty: the surgical management of diseases of the teeth and their supporting hard and soft tissues, also called Dentoalveolar Surgery.

We perform surgical tooth extractions, the most common type of dentoalveolar surgery, including wisdom teeth. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have extensive training and experience in diagnosing and extracting teeth, whether the extraction is simple or complicated by impaction, disease or infection. 

The next most common procedure we do for patients is the precision placement of dental implants. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons pioneered dental implant placement several decades ago, and are still the leaders in providing the innovative techniques that offer patients long-lasting, natural looking results that last a lifetime. 

Dental Implants, if they are to fuse with the jawbone successfully, must be placed where there is an adequate volume of bone. Implant sites that lack the necessary bone can be enhanced with the use of bone grafts. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only dental specialists trained to obtain bone grafts and place them in areas where little to no bone exists. 

A sinus lift is a bone grafting procedure that is sometimes necessary in a patient's upper jaw when placing implants to ensure that the implant does not interfere with the sinus.

Also, to make it easier on the patient, OMSs can in many cases extract teeth and place implants in one visit.

Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons are also experts at Orthodontic Surgery, preparation of the mouth for orthodontic treatment, as well as Pre-prosthetic (full or partial dentures) Surgery. Because dentures rest on a bone ridge, it is very important that the bone is the proper shape and size. To ensure proper fit, the bone may need to be smoothed or reshaped. 

In addition to the procedures above, our Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons, Dr. Wayne Dudley and Dr. Matthew Mizukawa also address surgical as well as non-surgical management of facial and TMJ pain, facial trauma, corrective jaw (orthognathic) surgery as well as detection and management of diseases of the head and neck. Both are on staff at Dixie Regional Medical Center to accommodate patients whose cases or health issues require any of the above to be done on an inpatient basis.