Most struggle with the difficult semantics of the word and have not heard of it … Interestingly, you might have been seen or treated by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon without even you realising it or knowing it !
When a dentist is faced with a difficult tooth that requires to be removed, the ‘specialist’ who is called to carry out the procedure … that person is the “Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon”. But that is not all that we do.
Let me break it up for you semantically, before I venture into more details.
“Oral” is pretty obvious and so I am going to skip to the next – “Maxillofacial”. #Maxillofacial is a compound word consisting of “Maxilla” (upper jaw bone) and “Facial” (relating to face). So my work relates to problems of the “maxilla” and of the “face”. “Orofacial” is again a compound word derived from joining “Oro” (related to oral cavity) and “Facial”.
My specialty of “Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery” branched out initially from “Plastic #Surgery” concentrating on the issues surrounding the facial region.
A wide variety of procedures are performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon which can range from simple tooth extractions (removal of teeth) to complex facial reconstructions. More often, in the hospitals, they call a oral and maxillofacial surgeon to offer opinion and treat patients with broken jaws (maxillary / mandibular fractures). Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons are also actively involved in treatment of #cleft lip, palate, diagnosis and management of oral cancers, swelling, cysts, infections, involving the jaws, diagnosis and treatment of pain disorders involving the orofacial region and the Temporomandibular joint (#TMJ).
Orofacial pain may mimic tooth ache or gum pain whereas temporomandibular joint pain disorders may show up as clicking sounds in the joints,
vague pain in the lower jaw or difficulty in opening the mouth wide. Both of these are often mistaken to be a problem with ‘tooth’ and the tooth is subjected to various tests and treatment with little or no improvement in the pain symptoms. I have seen patients who have had a number of teeth removed before realising the pain was not of tooth origin and a type of orofacial pain unrelated to the teeth! It takes an expert to understand the difference and start a treatment plan. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are often called for such challenging cases where the precise cause of pain cannot be determined by the dentist. The “maxfac” that you see in #akilmaxfac in site url is derived as a short form of the word “Maxillofacial”.
I, Dr. Akilesh Ramasamy is proud to be an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon & Orofacial / Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain Specialist.