Maxillofacial surgery is a surgical specialism concerning the treatment of conditions affecting the mouth, jaws, face and neck. The best-known maxillofacial surgical procedure is the removal of wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt, often not appearing until you are 17 or older. Whilst some wisdom teeth cause no problems, they are prone to become impacted or not to erupt properly. Some people's mouths are not big enough to comfortably contain 32 teeth.
Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, meaning plaque and bacteria can build up, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Because these teeth develop internally, they can sometimes form painful cysts that can damage surrounding teeth and the jawbone beneath.
Buried and impacted wisdom teeth may require surgery to remove them. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a fully-equipped theatre for maxillofacial surgery, approved by the local health authority. We also have several maxillofacial surgical specialists, including Mr Peter Hardee, Ms Helen Witheroe and Mr Nasser A Nasser.
The procedure can be performed under local anaesthesia, although some patients, particularly those who are nervous or dental phobic, opt for treatment under sedation - the choice is yours.
After surgery, you may experience pain and swelling for a few days. To combat this, we recommend:
- A liquid diet, so that the site of surgery is not affected by chewing
- Ice cream or other cold treats to help with swelling (in moderation as too much can aggravate pain)
- Following all post-operative care instructions provided by your surgeon
- Using over-the-counter pain relief unless otherwise instructed. Always follow the dosage information on the packet
As well as wisdom tooth removal, our maxillofacial surgeons also treat a wide range of conditions. These include:
- Bone fractures
- Surgical orthodontic procedures
- Orthognathic surgery
- Treatment of cysts
- Placement of dental implants
- Some cases of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) when non-invasive procedures are not suitable
To find out more about our maxillofacial surgery procedures, get in touch with our patient care department.