Oral Surgery and Maxillofacial Surgery is the surgical specialty of dentistry that provides patients with surgical care of the mouth, face, jaws and associated structures. After attending four years of dental college, oral and maxillofacial surgeons become qualified as specialists through residencies in hospitals throughout the United States and are required to complete at least four years of additional training beyond dental school. Many Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons also hold medical degrees (MD) in addition to dental degrees (DDS) and receive training in general surgery as well. After training is completed, Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons can become Board Certified.
Surgical services offered by Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons include removal of teeth (especially wisdom teeth), preparation of the mouth for dentures and implant placement. Oral Surgeons also perform reconstructive surgery of oral and facial deformities, and facial injuries/fractures. In addition, Oral Surgeons also perform biopsies, removal of tumors or cysts of the jaws, face and mouth as well as perform cosmetic surgery of the oral and facial regions. These services are available both electively and on an emergency basis.
Because of their specialized training, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are able to offer qualified patients the option of varying levels of anesthesia and sedation during surgery. These options vary from local anesthesia to intravenous sedation. It is important to speak with the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon before a procedure to find out what is appropriate for you. Most surgeries can be performed in the office setting, but certain patients may be best served in the hospital either as same-day surgery patients or as in-patients.
Pre-operative Instructions for Sedation and Sedatives:
Intravenous Sedation (IV Sedation)
Patient must refrain from eating or drinking 6 hrs prior to the dental appointment. Some patients may be instructed to take certain medications with a sip of water prior to IV sedation. IV sedation may not be appropriate for all patients.
The patient must have an escort in the office with them at all times before and after intravenous sedation.
Nitrous Oxide / Oxygen Sedation (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide / oxygen is available and is a lighter form of sedation than IV sedation. Recovery from nitrous oxide sedation is rapid, and is safe for most but not all patients. It is recommended that you refrain from eating solid food for six hours and clear liquids for three hours prior to receiving nitrous oxide sedation.