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Oral & Maxillofacial

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a diagnosis and surgical procedure performed to correct defects, injuries, and diseases associated with the face, head, jaws, oral & maxillofacial regions, neck as well as the functional and aesthetic aspects of hard and soft tissues. People who suffer from different conditions such as facial pain, misaligned jaws, and wisdom teeth opt for oral and maxillofacial surgery.

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Oral and Maxillofacial Disorders

  • Injuries to mouth, teeth, face, and jaws caused due to trauma
  • Fractures of lower, upper jaws and orbits and facial lacerations
  • Facial and Oral deformities due to congenital deformities like palate and cleft
  • Soft and Hard tissue injuries to the lower or upper jaws

Basic Diagnostic Tests

  • Oral Biopsy: In an oral biopsy, a small amount of the suspicious tissue is removed from the mouth or oropharynx by the specialist and sent to a pathologist, who checks it for cancerous cells. The three types of oral biopsies are exfoliative cytology, incisional biopsy, and Fine-Needle Aspiration(FNA) biopsy.
  • Sialogram: A sialogram is a test performed to diagnose a blocked salivary gland or duct in the mouth. This procedure uses X-rays to evaluate blockages in a salivary duct or gland. The doctor recommends a sialogram to the patient if one or more of the following symptoms are present: constant abnormal/foul taste in the mouth, inability to fully open the mouth, discomfort/pain while opening the mouth, dry mouth, mouth pain, face pain, swelling over the jaw in front of the ears, swelling of the face or neck.
  • Intraoral X-rays: Intraoral radiographs are the most common type of dental X-rays performed that provide more details and allow the dentist to identify cavities, check the health of the tooth root and bone surrounding the tooth, examine the developing teeth, and monitor the general health of the teeth and jawbone. The different types of Intraoral X-rays include bitewing, periapical, and occlusal X-rays.
  • Extraoral X-rays: Extraoral X-rays show teeth, while their main focus is the jaw and skull. Since these X-rays do not provide the complete details as found with intraoral X-rays, extraoral X-rays are not commonly used for detecting cavities or for identifying problems associated with individual teeth. However, extraoral X-rays are used to look for impacted teeth, monitor growth and development of the jaws in relation to the teeth, and to identify potential problems between teeth & jaws and the temporomandibular joint or other bones of the face.

Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Procedures

  • Sinus Lift: Sinus Lift, also known as Maxillary sinus floor augmentation is a surgical procedure which is performed to increase the amount of bone in the posterior maxilla(upper jaw bone), in the premolar and molar teeth area, by lifting the lower Schneiderian membrane(sinus membrane) and placing a bone graft. The aim of the sinus lift is to graft extra bone into the maxillary sinus, so that more bone is available to support a dental implant.
  • Bone Grafting: Bone grafting is a surgery performed for replacing missing bone to repair bone fractures that are extremely complex, posing a significant health risk to the patient. Bone grafts may be autologous which means bone harvested from the patient’s own body often from the iliac crest or allograft in which the cadaveric bone is usually obtained from a bone bank or synthetic which is often made of hydroxyapatite or other naturally occurring, biocompatible substances with similar mechanical properties to that of bone. Most bone grafts can be reabsorbed and replaced as the natural bone heals over a few months of time.
  • Orthognathic surgery: Orthognathic surgery, also called corrective jaw surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for correcting a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, that also includes the misalignment of jaws and teeth. Orthognathic surgery improves chewing, speaking, and breathing. Orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems, but the patient’s appearance may dramatically be enhanced as a result of the surgery. Some of the conditions that may indicate the need for orthognathic surgery include:
    • Difficulty in chewing/biting food,
    • Difficulty in swallowing,
    • Chronic jaw pain and headaches,
    • Facial injury,
    • Birth defects,
    • Receding lower jaw and chin,
    • Protruding jaw,
    • Chronic mouth breathing,
    • Open Bite.
  • Facial Cosmetic Surgery: Facial cosmetic surgery is a procedure for the correction or enhancement of the appearance of facial features. Facial cosmetic surgery can be a solution for the correction of physical deformities resulting from aging, injury, disease, and birth defects. The cosmetic jaw surgery procedures include the upper jaw treatment(Maxillary Osteotomy) and lower jaw treatment(Mandibular Osteotomy). It also involves jaw joint surgery where the oval-shaped gap between the upper and lower front teeth is filled.
  • Cleft Lip and Palate: During early pregnancy, different areas of the face develop individually and then join together including the left and right sides of the roof of the mouth and lips. However, when some parts and sections do not join and meet properly, then it results in a cleft. A cleft lip is a condition that develops an opening in the upper lip between the mouth and nose that looks as though there is a split in the lip. A cleft palate is a condition where an opening is present in the roof of the mouth. The back of the palate is called the soft palate while the front is known as the hard palate. A cleft palate may range from just an opening at the back of the soft palate to a nearly complete separation of the roof of the mouth.Cleft lip surgery is normally done when the child is about ten years of age. A cleft palate is initially treated with surgery when the child is between 7 to 18 months old and also depends on the child as well as his/her own situation. The aim of this surgery is to close the gap between the roof of the mouth and the nose, reconnect the muscles that make the palate work, and make the repaired palate long enough for the palate to perform its function properly. 
  • Cyst and Tumor Removal: Oral tumors and cysts are relatively rare growths/lesions that develop in the jawbone or the soft tissues in the mouth and face. Oral tumors and cysts, also called odontogenic tumors and cysts, vary greatly in size and severity. These growths are usually non cancerous, but they may invade the surrounding bone and tissues, displacing the teeth. Treatment options for oral tumors and cysts vary, depending on the type of growth/lesion the patient has, the stage of growth, and the symptoms. Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons treat oral tumors or cyst usually through surgery, or in some cases, through medical therapy or a combination of surgery and medical therapy.
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