“Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is the specialty of dentistry which includes the surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.” — American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
In response to medical and dental healthcare advancements, the training of contemporary oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMFS) has changed dramatically over the past ten years. The training begins after completing dental school and includes a hospital-based internship as a prerequisite. Completion of an OMFS residency requires four to six years of hospital-based training focusing solely on the maxillofacial region. It includes extensive training on traditional intraoral surgery in addition to maxillofacial (facial skeleton and soft tissues) surgical training. It also includes medical training and rotations such as anesthesia, emergency room, critical care medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, etc. OMFS residents also receive training in the administration of outpatient anesthesia and, as part of their residency training, are required to administer hundreds of anesthetics including local anesthesia, general anesthesia, and IV sedation. Contemporary residencies can be structured to include obtaining a medical degree. Fellowship training in areas of special interest is also available.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a surgical specialty which encompasses diagnostic and surgical services to treat diseases, injuries, deformities, and cosmetic defects of the oral and facial region. OMFS are considered the “orthopedic, plastic, and reconstructive surgeons of the maxillofacial region.” The maxillofacial region includes the upper jaw, cheek bones, the bones that support and surround the eyes, chin, lower jaw, jaw joints, associated facial structures, and the intra-oral structures, including teeth and their supporting bone and gum tissues, salivary glands, and lining tissues of the mouth.
Many oral and maxillofacial procedures are performed in an office ambulatory surgical setting. These procedures include the removal of teeth, management of oral and facial pathology, surgical placement of dental implants, laser surgery to manage snoring, regeneration of deficient bone and gum tissues around teeth and implants, and cosmetic periodontal surgery to enhance gum tissue contours and enhance the aesthetics of a smile. They also include minor cosmetic procedures such as chin and cheek-bone enhancements. General anesthesia and sedation can be used to manage anxiety or discomfort.
The remainder of the oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures Dr. Bluhm, Dr. Dorsch, and Dr. Vandervort perform are done in the hospital. These procedures include corrective jaw surgery to treat jaw growth problems (which can affect both the function and appearance of the oral and facial area), treatment of complicated facial fractures and injuries, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery, reconstruction of jaw or facial regions resulting from pathology or trauma, and management of tumors of the face and jaw.
Our doctors have extensive hospital-based training in the delivery of outpatient and inpatient general anesthesia and IV sedation. Our highly-qualified and certified staff is trained in assisting with surgery and anesthesia under the guidelines of the AAOMS within our state-of-the-art office. You will be continuously monitored both during and after surgery for your safety and health.