VCU
Image: Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

Oral and Facial Surgery

Our oral and facial surgeons are specialists who treat conditions, defects, injuries and esthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws and face.

The following list of services covers the scope of our practice:

Anesthesia

Different kinds of surgical procedures require different types and delivery of anesthetic techniques. Our surgeons will explain these to you and help you chose the most appropriate anesthesia for your surgical needs.

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Dental extractions

Teeth are often indicated for extraction for a variety of reasons ranging from alleviation of pain from tooth decay, and abscess or periodontal disease to non-salvageable teeth that need extraction in preparation for placement of implants, dentures or a bridge. Whatever the reason, our doctors are very well trained in such procedures, with an advanced knowledge to manage any associated medical conditions you may have and/or anxiety associated with the procedure.

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Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth (third molars) are the most troublesome teeth in the mouth. These molars usually erupt in the late teens or early 20s. However, many times the jaws are simply not large enough to accommodate the wisdom teeth, a situation that can cause problems.

If a wisdom tooth is blocked from emerging normally into the mouth, it is called "impacted." The tooth can then be either partially or completely impacted, and can cause problems such as pain, infection and damage to the surrounding teeth, as well as lead to the development of cysts or tumors.

However, the removal of wisdom teeth can eliminate these problems. The surgery in our practice can be done on an outpatient basis in most cases, and normal activities can usually be resumed within a few days of surgery, depending on the severity of the procedure and the age of the patient.

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Dental implants

With years of research and clinical use, dental implants are now a proven, long-lasting, esthetically pleasing alternative to replace missing teeth or even an alternative to conventional dentures or crowns and bridges.

Dental implants are usually placed in the dental office while the patient is under local anesthesia. The implant consists of a small titanium cylinder or screw, which is surgically implanted and serves as a "root" for the crown that will replace the tooth.

Our surgeons have successfully placed dental implants, which are accepted by the American Dental Association, for many years. A discussion with your oral and facial surgeon and your restorative dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.

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Orthognathic surgery

Orthognathic surgery is performed on patients who have an abnormal bite (malocclusion) because their jaws and facial bones are uneven, either through abnormal growth or as a result of an accident. As a result of these conditions, speaking, chewing and biting may become difficult, and/or the face may appear "off-balance" and lopsided. Whatever the reason, your teeth and facial bones can be repositioned to create a more balanced relationship so that the jaws will work well together.

Our doctors can help you address whether or not this type of surgery is right for you, and if so, when it should be done. They can refer you to an orthodontist or work with your orthodontist to achieve the best result for treatment of your condition.

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Facial trauma and oral injuries

Facial injuries can be related to an accidental fall, sports, work or due to a traffic accident. The injury sustained can be to the dental structures, oral tissues or to facial soft tissues and bones.

Regardless of the cause or what tissues or structures have been injured, our oral and facial surgeons have extensive experience in treating these conditions. Such treatment may include immediate surgery in the emergency room or in the operating room, or later reconstruction of the bones, dental implants or scar revision.

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Facial and oral tumors

The problem of facial and oral tumors and cancers is indeed a serious one. The signs and symptoms of these conditions are numerous and occasionally subtle. During routine examination, we always check for oral and facial tumors and cancers, even if symptoms are not noticed or present.

The treatment for facial and oral tumors usually consists initially of a biopsy to determine the nature of the lesion. If indicated, surgery to remove the tumor is usually done at a later time. Our ultimate goal is always the restoration of functional (chewing, eating and speech) and the cosmetic correction of any defects resulting from removal of the tumor. Toward that goal, a final phase of the treatment may involve soft tissue and/or bony reconstruction of the defects and placement of dental implants, if necessary.

We will do everything possible to help get you back to a healthy and happy life.

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Laser surgery

Use of the laser eliminates bleeding, which eases the stress on both the surgeon and patient. Also, the use of the laser helps control the threat of infection, because it sterilizes as it works. Laser surgery also is less painful than conventional surgical treatments. Patients make a quicker recovery and experience virtually no post-operative pain or swelling. Our doctors are well trained to use this technology to perform the necessary surgical procedures best suited for this technique.

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Snoring and sleep apnea

Snoring is the subject of many jokes. But, in reality, snoring can be an indication of a more serious problem as well as a loud annoyance. Habitual snoring might indicate a disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which involves difficulty in breathing through the nose and mouth that is caused by obstruction related to abnormalities of the soft palate, uvula, nose, tonsils, adenoids or base of the tongue. There are several courses of treatment for snoring and sleep apnea, ranging from reshaping of the soft palate through laser surgery to jaw or jaw and chin advancement surgery, which will help you get back on track for a good night’s sleep.

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Cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic facial surgery is becoming increasingly popular and affordable. Procedures such as facelifts, brow lifts, eyelid surgery, nasal recontouring, liposuction, laser skin resurfacing, and Botox injections are among the more common procedures performed by our surgeons. The use of endoscopic surgery (small incision surgery) and lasers can shorten the healing time and improve the results of many of these surgeries. In addition, most of these procedures can be done in the morning with the patient going home that same afternoon.

We have state-of-the-art facilities for performing a variety of facial cosmetic procedures with intravenous sedation or general anesthesia in a safe and comfortable outpatient environment. The use of this facility allows us to provide most facial cosmetic procedures at a much lower cost than the typical cost associated with cosmetic surgery when done elsewhere. Please feel free to ask for a free consultation with one of our doctors.

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