Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons care for patients who experience such conditions as impacted wisdom teeth, facial and TMJ pain and abnormal jaws.
We also treat accident victims suffering from facial injuries, offer reconstructive facial surgery and dental facial implant surgery, care for patients with tumors and cysts of the jaws and face, and treat functional and cosmetic conditions of the face.
With specialized knowledge in pain control and advanced training in all types of anesthesia, our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are able to provide quality care with maximum patient comfort and safety in the office setting.
To contact the Oral and Facial Surgery practice at VCU Dental Care, please call (804) 628-6637.
If you need urgent clinical assistance after normal business hours, please call (804) 828-0951. Your doctor or the on-call doctor will call you back promptly.
The following list of services covers the scope of our practice:
- Dental extractions
- Wisdom teeth
- Dental implants
- Orthognathic surgery
- Facial trauma and oral injuries
- Facial and oral tumors
- Laser surgery
- Snoring and sleep apnea
- Cosmetic surgery
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJ)
- Oral medicine
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJ)
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are a family of problems that are related to your jaw joint (temporomandibular joint [TMJ]). These problems can develop for a number of reasons. Clenching or grinding your teeth tightens the jaw muscles, causing muscle pain and stressing the jaw joint. Injury or disease also can cause a problem with the joint. Some of the symptoms of a jaw joint disorder are pain, a misaligned bite, clicking or grating noises when the mouth is opened and closed, trouble opening the mouth wide, frequent headaches or earaches, and sensitive, loose, broken or worn teeth.
Our doctors are experienced in the medical and surgical management of TMD and can help you to ease the suffering brought on by these problems by careful evaluation and diagnosis of your condition and initiation of appropriate therapy. Our TMD and Facial Pain Clinic offers services for the non-surgical management of TMD and facial pain patients.
The Oral Medicine Clinic is a collaborative initiative between VCU Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and VCU Department of Diagnostic Services. This clinic provides consultations and non-surgical treatment for oral mucosal, salivary gland, bone or dental pathology conditions such as ulcerative and red, white and pigmented lesions, precancerous or suspected cancerous lesions, oral manifestations of systemic diseases, oral complications of pharmacotherapy and radiotherapy of cancer, and oral complications of different transplants, including but not limited to xerostomia and oral ulcers.
The practice of oral medicine also involves hospital dentistry and provides consultation services, elective and emergent care to patients with complex medical needs. This type of service is done in close collaboration (when needed) with several medical specialties such as otolaryngology, dermatology, internal and primary medicine, rheumatology, neurology and hematology-oncology and the spectrum of dental specialties including oral surgery, oral pathology, pedodontics, endodontics and orthodontics.