What is an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the surgical specialists of the dental profession. Their surgical expertise and thorough understanding of both aesthetics and function uniquely qualify them to diagnose, treat and manage the conditions, defects, injuries and aesthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws and face.
When you visit your family dentist or primary care provider with complaints of pain or dysfunction in the hard and soft tissues of the head, mouth, teeth, gums, jaws or neck, you most likely will be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for help.
The role of the oral and maxillofacial surgeon on your healthcare team is unique. His or her training includes at least four years of college and a four-year graduate degree in dentistry. After four years of dental school, oral and maxillofacial surgeons complete an extensive hospital-based surgical residency. Their residency typically includes rotations through related medical fields, including general surgery, anesthesiology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery and other medical specialty areas. All such post-college training must be performed at an institution which has been accredited by the American Dental Association and by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
At the conclusion of this demanding program, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are well-prepared to perform the full scope of their specialty, which encompasses the diagnosis, surgical and related medical management of diseases, injuries and defects that involve both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the head, mouth, teeth, gums, jaws and neck. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon cares for patients who experience such conditions as problem wisdom teeth, facial pain, and misaligned jaws. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon treats accident victims suffering facial injuries, offers reconstructive and dental implant surgery, and cares for patients with tumors and cysts of the jaws as well as functional and esthetic conditions of the maxillofacial areas.
With specialized knowledge in pain control and advanced training in anesthesia, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon is able to provide quality care with maximum patient comfort and safety in the office setting.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is the specialty of dentistry that includes the diagnosis, surgical and related medical treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the head, mouth, teeth, gums, jaws and neck.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon recognizes that educating patients about the procedures she or he performs is a critical element in providing the highest quality patient care. At Central Pennsylvania Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, LLC (CPOMS), we practice a wide range of oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from simple dental extractions to piezoelectric surgery. We also perform biopsies, often using a laser, and treat jaw pathology. We can diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries and TMJ disorders. We perform a full range of dental implant procedures, and help patients with snoring or other related sleep disorders.
Dr. Meyers’ anesthesia training enables him and the CPOMS Team to perform a wide variety of procedures in both our state-of-the-art office setting and a hospital environment. Oral sedation, local anesthesia, nitrous oxide-oxygen analgesia, intravenous sedation and general anesthesia are competently and safely administered in the CPOMS office and appropriately selected to meet the requirements of the patient and the procedure. Office-based surgery is often the most efficient and cost effective way to perform many procedures while maintaining maximum patient comfort and safety. We never charge you a facility fee. Dr. Meyers has a permit issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to perform anesthetic services and is certified in Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Life Support. He also uses Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) whenever their special expertise is warranted.
Your initial appointment typically is a consultation visit to discuss your diagnosis and treatment options. A consultation is recommended for the following reasons:
- Prior to your surgery, you have an opportunity to meet us and have us answer your many questions— such as, “For how long must I stay off of work, or out of school, after my surgical appointment?” Seeing you first for a consultation, helps us provide you with the best service.
- If you are apprehensive, we can discuss whether you’ll want a sedative prior to your surgery. Just meeting Dr. Meyers and our staff often will help allay any fears or apprehension prior to your surgery.
- If there are any questions which we have about either the procedure we are to perform or about any potential medical factors which may affect your treatment, we will have an opportunity to call either your dentist or physician prior to your treatment. If we need to obtain additional medical records, laboratory tests, appliances, etc., there will be time to do so before you have your surgical appointment.
- You may have questions about the best way to have your treatment: with local anesthesia, nitrous oxide-oxygen analgesia, oral premedication, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. It is difficult for us to advise you regarding which technique will be both safe and most comfortable for you without first examining you and assessing your needs.
- Questions about your insurance coverage may be cleared up prior to your surgery. A consultation will give us a chance to check your coverage with your insurance company so you will know your financial responsibilities.
Occasionally, surgery can be performed on the same day as the consultation. However, patients with a complex medical history or treatment plan typically require an evaluation followed by a second surgical appointment.
Please assist us by providing as much information as possible at the time of your consultation:
- Your dentist or primary medical care provider usually will write out treatment recommendations for us to follow. Please bring that “referral slip” with you, so we will have no questions about what procedures we are to perform.
- If your dentist or physician has taken x-rays, you may request that they mail or email them or their report to our office. (A faxed x-ray is not acceptable; it doesn’t show the proper detail.) If there is not enough time, please pick them up and bring them to our office. If additional x-rays are necessary, they usually can be taken at our facility.
- If you have an extensive medical history, please provide us with a list of medications you presently are taking, as well as a list of any allergies which you may have.
- If you have a history of heart disease or a congenital heart condition, ask your physician about the latest recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA) for heart patients scheduled to undergo dental procedures. Contrary to long-held beliefs, the AHA’s review of more than 50 years of scientific literature revealed that there is no definitive evidence that the prophylactic use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures prevents infective endocarditis (IE). Given that all drugs carry risks and that the bacteria that cause IE might become resistant to antibiotics, AHA now recommends that prophylactic antibiotic use be reserved for those patients who would have the worst outcomes if IE were contracted, such as patients with artificial heart valves, a history of endocarditis, certain serious congenital heart conditions and heart transplant patients who develop a problem with a heart valve.
- If you are taking an oral bisphosphonate—such as alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel) or ibandronate (Boniva)—it’s important to tell us because some dental procedures, such as extractions, may increase your risk of developing bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ). Given the significant benefits of osteoporosis medication, your physician may recommend that you continue taking it, despite the slight risk of BRONJ. Or your physician may recommend a “drug holiday”—that is, withholding the medication for a period of time both before and after your surgery. Likewise, please let us know if you have had x-ray therapy to your head or neck.