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Maxillofacial surgery is a specialty of dental medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of patients with diseases that affect the mouth, face, jaws, and neck – both hard and soft tissue regions. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are oral surgeons, but they have had additional training to address more complex issues. They work with patients of all ages, ranging from newborn babies to elderly people. They can treat children who are born with deformities of the face or skull, such as cleft lip and palate. With adults, they usually perform surgery following an accident or injury. With older people, they usually treat skin tumors of the face and head, as well as oral cancer.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can undertake a wide range of procedures. They are trained and qualified to properly administer anesthesia and perform complex and extensive surgeries. These include:
The type of procedure you underwent and the specific disease or condition you have determines your length of stay. Several procedures, such as orthognathic surgery, require you to stay in the hospital for several days, while other procedures, such as dental implants do not require a hospital stay. In general, you should plan to stay in Bangkok for at least 7 to 14 days to give some time for the surgical site to heal and to attend scheduled follow-up checkups.
Recovery time varies a lot, depending on the type of procedure and the specific condition you have. It mainly takes up to around 12 weeks until you completely recover, but you may be allowed to return to work and most of your normal activities within 4 to 6 weeks. For minor procedures, such as tooth extraction, you can expect to recover within 2 days.
Your surgeon will provide you with everything you will need for your aftercare, such as activity restrictions, special diet, and how to care for the surgical wounds. For some procedures and diseases, you may need to attend several follow-up visits. For example, after oral cancer treatment, you will have to attend regular checkups to ensure cancer has not come back. You typically can choose to have follow-up visits with your doctor or dentist back at home if you want to.
Most oral and maxillofacial surgery has high success rates and is considered safe and effective. For example, dental implants have over 85% success rates. This surgical specialty continues to advance and evolve each year. Today, oral and maxillofacial surgeons use the latest techniques and technology to assist them in their work, such as CT and MRI scans. This technology enables them to view complex structures of the face and skull base, making the procedures a lot safer and successful than they were in the past. Still, there are risks you need to be aware of, such as infection and bleeding.
The alternative depends on the procedure you need or condition you have. For example, you can go to a dentist for a tooth extraction or a plastic surgeon for a rhinoplasty. It is best to talk to your general physician first.