Oral and maxillofacial surgery – commonly referred to as oral surgery - focuses on the diagnosis and surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects related to the functional and esthetic aspects of the face, mouth, teeth and jaws (maxillofacial area).
An Oral Surgeon Has Specialized Skills in the Following:
Removing diseased and impacted teeth and administering anesthesia. An oral surgeon can remove impacted and damaged teeth and provide in-office anesthesia services, including intravenous (IV) sedation and general anesthesia.
Performing reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Oral surgeons can correct jaw, facial bone and facial soft tissue problems that result from trauma or the removal of cysts and tumors. Such corrective surgeries restore form and function to the maxillofacial area and often involve using skin, bone, nerves and different tissues from other parts of the body to reconstruct the jaws and face.
Performing corrective jaw (orthognathic) surgery. Oral surgeons correct minor and major skeletal and dental jaw irregularities to improve chewing, speaking and breathing. Usually in collaboration with Dr. Wokuluk and an orthodontist (a dental specialist who treats improper bites or malocclusions), an oral surgeon surgically reconstructs and realigns the upper and lower jaws into proper dental and facial relationships in order to improve biting function and facial appearance. Oral surgeons also surgically correct birth (congenital) defects of the face and skull, such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
Dr. Wokuluk, an orthodontist and an oral surgeon all must collaborate to determine whether orthognathic surgery is right for you or your child. However, it is the oral surgeon who decides which procedure is appropriate. As part of the dental team, the oral surgeon often provides surgical consultation and educational and emotional support for the family over the course of long-term treatment.
Providing surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If Dr. Wokuluk suspects that you have a sleep disorder, you will likely be referred to a sleep clinic for a polysomnography, an overnight clinic test that monitors your sleep patterns. Your dentist then will help select the best treatment for you based on whether your OSA is mild, moderate or severe. If non-surgical treatments such as behavior modification or oral appliances do not work, Dr. Wokuluk may refer you to an oral surgeon for a surgical procedure. Surgical procedures to correct sleep apnea include:
• Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, which shortens and stiffens the soft palate by partially removing the uvula and the edge of the soft palate to correct airway collapses
• Genioglossus advancement, which opens the upper breathing passage by tightening the front tongue tendon, reducing tongue displacement into the throat
• Maxillomandibular advancement, which surgically moves both jaws forward to open the upper airway
- For more detailed information click on Specialized Dentistry under Services on this page.