Maxillofacial Surgery

What is Maxillofacial Surgery?

These types of surgery are usually performed by dental surgeons to treat the diseases and rectify injuries and defects in the areas of the head, neck and face, including the jaws and the tissues of the mouth, both hard & soft.

Types of Maxillofacial Surgery

This surgery is performed for the following treatments:

  • DENTOALVEOLAR SURGERY –It is the surgery done to remove impacted teeth, difficult tooth extractions, extractions on medically compromised patients and bone grafting .It also include pre-prosthetic surgery to provide better anatomical structure for the correct placement of dental implants, dentures & other dental prostheses.
  • CRANIOFACIAL SURGERY -This surgery is concerned with conditions that affect hard and soft tissue in the face and head.
  • ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY-This surgery is done to create straight jaws. To achieve this, a procedure called osteotomy is usually performed, which involves cutting parts of the jaw to create removable fragments of bone that can be repositioned to form a straight jaw.
    The most common symptoms for osteotomy are difficulty eating or biting due to malocclusion, facial deformity, speech abnormality and poor dental appearance.
  • SURGERY TO INSERT OSSEOINTEGRATED DENTAL IMPLANTS where the implants are fused into the bone and maxillofacial implants for attaching craniofacial prostheses and bone anchored hearing aids. Bone grafting procedures might be required for proper placement of the implants in the jaw. Oral surgeons can smooth and reshape alveolar (jaw) bone as needed, to ensure dentures are comfortable fitted in the mouth.
  • COSMETIC SURGERY of the head and neck which includes:
    • Rhinoplasty for adjusting the size or shape of the nose and nasal function
      Genioplasty for correcting chin deformity
      Pinnaplasty to rectify a problem referred to as “bat ears”
      Procedures for improving problems caused by ageing skin include forehead lift: BLEPHAROPLASTY to remove “eye bags;” CHEILOPLASTY to reshape the lips and RHYTIDECTOMY, which is a face-lift.
      It is also indicated for cheek enhancement, chin increase, GENIOPLASTY, OCULOPLASTICS, neck liposuction, lip augmentation, injectable cosmetic treatments, botox, chemical peel etc.
  • CORRECTIVE JAW OR ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY-this surgery is done to rectify a wide range of abnormalities including minor and major skeletal ones and other dental ones like misaligned jaws and teeth.

Surgery can help improve chewing, speaking and breathing. It is usually performed under general anesthesia. The bones of the face and jaw are reshaped and repositioned, and the jaws and teeth are realigned. Though, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems patient's appearance would also be improved as a result of their surgery.
Some of the conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery are:

  • Difficulty in chewing or biting food
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain
  • Headache
  • Too much wear of the teeth
  • Open bite or the space created even when the mouth is open between the upper &
  • lower teeth.
  • Unbalanced facial appearance when seen from the front, or side
  • Facial injury
  • Birth defects
  • Receding lower chin and jaw
  • Protruding jaw
  • Not able to make the lips meet without strain
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)


Diagnosis and treatment of some oral cancers, cysts, tumors etc., oral & head and neck cancer, skin cancer, lip reconstruction, surgical correction of facial asymmetry, chronic facial pain disorders and Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons may be called on to consult with cases of biopsies and removal of lesions.
Fractures like cheekbone, nasal, Lefort, skull & eye socket fractures are treated by this surgery.
CLEFT LIP /PALATE SURGERY is done to rectify birth defect changes that occur in the facial structure.
RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY for patient with after traumatic dental injury or facial trauma from vehicle accidents, workplace accidents or any other causes.
FOLLOW-UP SURGERY performed after the removal of tumor or such, where the surgeons will repair and reconstruct facial structures for both hard & soft tissues also.

Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore

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