McDonough Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

From routine preventive care to complicated oral surgery, the team at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry takes care of all your needs. We have a state-of-the-art facility and highly-trained specialists, including our own in-house oral surgeon, who can perform advanced surgical procedures like pain-free tooth extractions, dental implant placement and corrective jaw surgery.

Superior care means more than just advanced technology and expertise – we ensure that your comfort is always a priority. Dr. Marcus Polk, our in-house anesthesiologist, has the training and experience to provide a range of general and dental sedation procedures to ensure that you are comfortable for the duration of your oral surgery. Additionally, most of our general dentists have certification to provide oral conscious and IV sedation.

Interested in receiving high-quality oral surgery services in McDonough, GA? Call (678) 423-0209 to learn more about the comprehensive procedures we offer, or contact our practice online to schedule an appointment with a highly-trained oral surgeon.

Treatments Performed by an In-House Oral Surgeon in McDonough

At our comprehensive dental practice, you can receive state-of-the-art treatments and procedures from an experienced, highly-trained oral surgeon. The team at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry is fully-equipped to perform high-quality, stress-free oral surgery in-house, so you won’t need to visit additional specialists to complete your treatment plan. We’re here to make you comfortable every step of the way, and we guarantee you’ll love our results. To learn more about the oral surgery procedures we perform, check out the lists below.

Tooth Extractions

One of the most common procedures carried out by an oral surgeon is the successful removal of problematic teeth that, if left unattended, may cause a number of future dental issues for a patient. Most often, an extraction is performed when a tooth has shown signs of damage due to breakage, decay or infection. In addition, if a patient is unhappy with the aesthetic look of their teeth for any reason, they may be extracted and replaced with cosmetic dental implants to create a brighter, more beautiful smile.

This routine form of oral surgery can save you from disease and infection, and can also help improve your appearance with the help of excellent cosmetic dentistry. Best of all, the many sophisticated sedation dentistry options available to you at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry ensure a painless procedure.
To learn more about the procedures performed by our experienced oral surgeons, call our comprehensive practice at (678) 432-0209 or schedule an appointment with us online.

Removal of Wisdom Teeth

Between the ages of 17 and 25, your third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, develop and appear in your mouth. Wisdom teeth are the last of your teeth to develop, and they emerge during the appropriately-named “age of wisdom.”

Because wisdom teeth usually erupt last, there often isn’t enough room remaining in the mouth for them to fit easily. Without adequate space, problems with the wisdom teeth can occur. They may only partially erupt, come in sideways, or become impacted – meaning, they become confined in their socket, incapable of normal eruption. Because there is a great likelihood that significant problems will occur, oral surgeons often recommend teenagers and young adults have them removed.

Our in-house oral surgeon can make an assessment of a patient’s wisdom teeth by examining them visually and by using panoramic digital X-rays to determine the status of the teeth below the gum line in context with the surrounding teeth. If he determines that proper eruption is improbable, he will discuss treatment options with you, which may include oral surgery or traditional extraction.
Wisdom teeth removal doesn’t have to be inconvenient or uncomfortable. The out-patient procedure usually takes an hour or two, and we offer many sedation dentistry options to ensure that the process is as stress-free and painless as possible.

  • How Serious is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
    Nine out of 10 people have had at least one impacted tooth, which is a tooth that is unable to break through the gums and appropriately join the rest of your teeth due to a lack of space.
    Oral surgeons recommend removing impacted wisdom teeth, as they may harm neighboring teeth or cause an infection. In general, the third molar area of the mouth, where wisdom teeth appear, is hard to reach while brushing, so it is a prime spot for bacteria to grow and potentially cause gum disease. In addition, these oral bacteria can travel from your mouth into your bloodstream, causing possible systemic infections that can lead to issues in your heart, kidneys or other vital organs. [1] [2] [3]
    There is good news, however. Research has shown that although persistent and/or progressive periodontal disease may be diagnosed and established in the third molar area, the issue may be alleviated through simple oral surgery or extraction of the problematic teeth. [4] [5] [6]
  • Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed if They Haven’t Caused Problems?
    It is a common misconception that if you are not experiencing pain when your wisdom teeth are growing in, that you need not worry about their condition. However, even if you are pain-free and your third molars have erupted normally, you may still experience complications in the future. These teeth are especially prone to disease, according to research conducted by oral surgeons in the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation.
    Conversely, if you beat the statistics and your wisdom teeth are completely erupted, painless, cavity-free and functioning in a hygienic environment of happy gums and healthy neighboring teeth, oral surgery or extraction may not be necessary. In any case, your dentist or oral surgeon should monitor the status of your wisdom teeth annually when you arrive for a check-up.
  • When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
    Most oral surgeons recommend patients have their wisdom teeth removed not long after they have erupted, usually during the late teen years. When a patient is younger, the roots to the wisdom teeth are not fully-developed, which makes it easier to extract a tooth or perform oral surgery. This is because the surrounding bone is softer and more malleable, lessening the chances of damage to nearby structures. However, when a patient ages, is it harder and more complicated to remove the wisdom teeth, as the roots of the teeth have fully developed, encompassing nerves and a harder bone structure, which can be damaged during extraction.
  • What Happens During Surgery?
    If your dentist or another trusted healthcare professional recommends the extraction of your wisdom teeth, you will be referred to an oral surgeon. Before undergoing surgery, you and your oral surgeon will discuss the upcoming procedure, so take this time to express any concerns you might have or to ask questions. Be sure to tell your dentist of any known medications you may be taking or of any illnesses you may have.
    The position of each tooth, as well as each tooth’s current development, will determine how easy it is to remove your wisdom teeth. In the event that your wisdom tooth is impacted, oral surgery may be more difficult. Usually, when these teeth are removed, there is little to no pain due to local anesthesia, general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Your oral surgeon will help determine the best anesthetic option for you.
  • What Happens After Surgery?
    Some swelling and slight discomfort is normal shortly following surgery. In most cases, oral surgeons prescribe medication to alleviate pain and recommend cold compresses to help decrease swelling. Your oral surgeon may also recommend modifying your diet to liquid foods for a period of time, and you will be advised when it is appropriate to consume normal, solid foods again.
  • What if I Decide to Keep my Wisdom Teeth?
    If, after discussing the condition of your wisdom teeth with your dentist or oral surgeon, you decide to forego extraction, you should be especially diligent in your dental hygiene routine of proper brushing and flossing in order to keep your third molars and the rest of your mouth healthy. Be sure to have your teeth regularly examined to monitor any changes.
    If you have any questions about wisdom teeth or oral surgery, call (678) 432-0209 to speak with the experts at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry or schedule an appointment online.

Placement of Dental Implants

Dentists use dental implants to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or to anchor dentures. Dental implant surgery involves placing a tiny titanium post in the lower or upper jaw that will function as the root portion of a missing tooth. The titanium’s biocompatible properties will cause the implanted post to fuse with the jaw bone and create a sturdy anchor for a replacement tooth that will be placed later on.
As pioneers of the implementation of dental implants just 25 years ago, oral surgeons are still the leaders in executing the most up-to-date techniques to bring about the best results for patients. Your oral surgeon is specialized in the best practices to achieve the ultimate desired results through procedures such as the following:

  • Immediate loading allows for extraction of teeth and the placement of implants with crowns in just one visit.
  • Bone grafting is the process of moving bits of bone to affected areas where little to no bone exists due to injury or bone loss from aging. See below for more information.
  • A sinus lift is a specific bone grafting operation that accommodates an inadequate upper jaw.If you’d like to learn more about dental implants, or would like to speak with an oral surgeon at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry, call (678) 432-0209 or contact us online.

Bone Grafts to Replace Missing or Weakened Bone

To treat the effects of disfiguring gum disease, certain cancers, congenital conditions or other dental trauma, oral surgery is sometimes required. If the jaw bone has been weakened in a particular area, our in-house oral surgeon can perform a bone graft to strengthen weakened bone tissue and prepare the jaw for a successful dental implant. During the procedure, Dr. Shahriari will replace missing bone tissue and stimulate new bone tissue to grow, which will enable the jaw to successfully anchor a dental implant.

If you’re interested in learning more about this oral surgery procedure, call our comprehensive practice at (678) 432-0209 or schedule an appointment online to meet with an in-house oral surgeon. We’re located in McDonough, GA and serve the surrounding areas.

Removal of Oral Cysts and Tumors

If you have any unusual bumps or lumps on your gums or on the soft tissue of your mouth, oral surgeons can determine if they are potentially cancerous. Oral tumors and cysts are usually painless lumps and bumps found in the mouth or on the gums filled with either fluid or tissue cells. Both have the potential to be cancerous, although oral tumors are more likely to be malignant than cysts.

If you are diagnosed with an oral tumor or cyst, the dentist will usually perform a biopsy, taking a small tissue sample for analysis. Your dentist will then determine if the cyst or tumor is malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous) and will recommend the appropriate treatment. In some cases, the dentist will recommend oral surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor or cyst if it may become cancerous in the future or if it has the potential to interfere with your teeth or bone structure.

Want to talk to an oral surgeon about cysts, oral tumors or any other dental issues? Call (678) 432-0209 or contact our practice online to schedule an appointment with our specialists.

What Does an Oral Surgeon Do?

Due to their lengthy and thorough education and training, oral surgeons are referred to as “surgical specialists” in the dental field. Oral surgeons have the experience and expertise to treat many dental conditions, defects and injuries, striving to improve the aesthetics and functionality of a patient’s mouth, teeth, jaw and face through each procedure. At McDonough Center for Family Dentistry, patients who are experiencing certain dental problems will meet with our general dentists to assess their problems and are then referred to a trusted oral surgeon, conveniently located in-house.

Training and Scope of Practice

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon’s vigorous education track involves four years of general dental school and an additional four or more years of hospital-based surgical residency, during which they learn about general oral surgery, anesthesiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, emergency medicine, otolaryngology and other medical specialty areas. This enables an oral surgeon to effectively treat a patient’s face, mouth and jaws during emergencies and/or for cosmetic purposes.

In addition, oral surgeons are the only healthcare specialists, aside from anesthesiologists, who can administer all levels of sedation and general anesthesia due to their extensive training in these specialties.

Here are some of the procedures and treatments your oral surgeon is trained to perform:

Reconstructive Oral Surgery

The possibility of inadequate bone structure in the upper and/or lower jaws may be due to a number of factors, such as injury or trauma, long-term denture wear, aging or tumor surgery. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon can utilize the placement of bone grafts from your own bones or from bone substitutes in order to improve hard tissue. Through technological advancements in reconstructive surgery, a solid foundation will be provided to aid in normal functions like chewing and speaking, while the desired cosmetic result will be achieved through dental implants or other oral and facial prostheses.

Oro-Facial Pain Treatment

Oro-facial pain, or discomfort in the mouth or the face, may be caused by infections, malocclusion, TMJ, tumors or nerve pathology. Your oral surgeon is fully-trained to treat each of these causes, through oral surgery or less invasive options, to eliminate your oro-facial pain.

Treatment of Facial Infections

Oral surgeons can assist in diagnosing and treating the pain and swelling in the face, neck or jaws associated with an infection, which can sometimes develop into a life-threatening emergency.

Lesion Removal and Biopsy

Abnormal growths in facial tissue can be identified by an oral surgeon using technologies that allow for extensive examination of the mouth. To get a full scope of the diagnosis, your oral surgeon may remove a sample of the affected tissue through a procedure called a biopsy.

Treatment and Prevention of Oral Pathologies

Examples of oral pathologies include oral lesions (both benign and cancerous), infections (both local and systemic) and manifestations of systemic disorders. Early detection of these pathologies by your oral surgeon helps ensure a healthy and complete recovery.

In addition, oral cancer now affects a wide range of patients. Today, oral cancer is no longer just plaguing older patients with histories of tobacco and alcohol use. A growing number of patients in their 20s and 30s have been diagnosed with oral cancer due to the popular use of tobacco, including the smokeless type, and the rising cases of Human Papillomavirus, or HPV.

Correcting Oro-Facial Deformities

Oral surgery can successfully correct many uncomfortable or embarrassing oro-facial deformities. Differences in skeletal growth in the upper and lower jaws lead to difficulty in normal dental functions, such as chewing and swallowing, and also may affect patients psychologically due to aesthetic and social discomfort. Treatment from a highly-trained oral surgeon can effectively correct a patient’s bite, often leading to a better quality of life.

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Oral surgeons perform corrective jaw (or “orthognathic”) surgery to correct a wide range of major and minor dental and skeletal irregularities. When your teeth and jaws are misaligned, surgery may be recommended to improve functions such as talking, chewing food and breathing. Often, this type of oral surgery results in an improvement to the patient’s appearance; however, the primary objective of orthognathic surgery is to correct functional problems.

When is Corrective Jaw Surgery Appropriate?

Those with an improper bite resulting from the misalignment of teeth and/or jaws can often benefit from corrective jaw surgery. The jaw may be out of alignment due to varying growth rates between the upper and lower jaw or due to birth defects or injuries. When only the teeth need to be aligned, orthodontics is an effective treatment to correct the bite (or “occlusion”) problems. However, if the jaw needs to be aligned, an oral surgeon will likely recommend corrective jaw surgery. This type of oral surgery may include repositioning the lower jaw, the chin and all or part of the upper jaw.

When is Corrective Jaw Surgery Appropriate?

Those with an improper bite resulting from the misalignment of teeth and/or jaws can often benefit from corrective jaw surgery. The jaw may be out of alignment due to varying growth rates between the upper and lower jaw or due to birth defects or injuries. When only the teeth need to be aligned, orthodontics is an effective treatment to correct the bite (or “occlusion”) problems. However, if the jaw needs to be aligned, an oral surgeon will likely recommend corrective jaw surgery. This type of oral surgery may include repositioning the lower jaw, the chin and all or part of the upper jaw.

How We Surgically Correct Common Dentofacial Deformities

  • Correction of an Open Bite: This oral surgery procedure involves removing a small piece of bone in the tooth-bearing portion of the upper jaw. The jaw will be secured into position using plates and screws.
  • Correction of a Protruding Lower Jaw: In the rear area of the jaw, your oral surgeon will separate the front portion from the rear portion of jaw bone, realigning the part of the lower jaw that holds the teeth.
  • Correction of a Receding Lower Jaw (“Weak Chin”): Your oral surgery team will separate the bone in the lower-jaw area from its base and alter it so we can move the lower part of the jaw that holds the teeth and the chin forward.

What Does Corrective Jaw Surgery Entail?

  • Orthodontic Braces: Well in advance of your surgery, you will be fitted with orthodontic braces to move your teeth into position for your future jaw alignment. Initially, you may feel like your bite is worse than ever; however, after your oral surgeon has realigned your jaw, your bite will be improved.
  • Updated X-Rays and Records: Once your teeth have been repositioned and the orthodontic treatment is nearly complete, your oral surgeon will update your records, including new X-rays, models and photos of your teeth, prior to surgery.
  • Orthognatic Surgery:  Depending on the extent of your procedure, your surgeon may perform your oral surgery either at a hospital while you are under general anesthesia, at an ambulatory surgical center or in their private practice. The duration of time in which you are in surgery varies from one to several hours.During surgery, your oral surgeon will reposition and align the jawbones according to your specific treatment plan. To stabilize your jaws in their new alignment, he/she may use rubber bands, surgical plates, wires or screws. Oral surgeons will strive to make any necessary incisions on the inside of your mouth so that there won’t be any visible scarring. If your case requires your surgeon to make a small incision on the outside of your mouth, he/she will ensure the scar’s appearance is minimal.
  • Post-Surgical Dietary Restrictions: As expected, your diet may be somewhat limited while your jaw heals after oral surgery. Your surgeon will give you written instructions indicating which foods and beverages are permissible and will let you know when you can go back to consuming solid foods.
  • Recovery Time: While your jaw is healing, you should avoid using tobacco products and refrain from strenuous physical activity. Post-surgical pain is easily managed with medication, and most patients return to school or work within one to three weeks after surgery. You will probably make a complete recovery within six weeks; however, your jaw may take nine months to a year to fully recover.

Smile and Enjoy!

After oral surgery, your jaw and teeth will be properly aligned, giving you a more functional and balanced bite. Corrective jaw surgery can dramatically and positively impact many aspects of your life – so take advantage of this opportunity and enjoy the new you! To schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon, call our McDonough, GA practice at (678) 432-0209 or make an appointment online.

TMJ Treatment

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a small joint in which the skull and lower-jaw come together; and it allows the lower-jaw, or the mandible, to function and move. When problems with the jaw bone arise, oral surgery or other forms of TMJ treatment may be necessary.

TMJ disorders are fairly-common and are accompanied by a myriad of symptoms. Patients typically experience headaches, earaches and a limited capability of using their jaws to open their mouth. Patients also often tell their oral surgeons about a clicking or grinding noise in the joint, usually experienced in tandem with a painful sensation when opening and closing the mouth.

  • What Causes TMJ Disorders?
    • In order to determine the right course of TMJ treatment, it is important to first diagnose why these symptoms have occurred. Causes vary, including arthritis, injury, grinding the teeth while sleeping, displacement or dislocation of the disk located between the jawbone and the socket, trauma or rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause parts of the TMJ to fuse, resulting in lock-jaw.
      A displaced disk may produce clicking or popping sounds, limit jaw movement and cause pain when opening and closing the mouth. The disk can also develop a hole or perforation, which can produce a grating sound with joint movement.
  • The Role of the Oral Surgeon
    • When symptoms of TMJ trouble appear, you should consult an oral surgeon, often referred by your general dentist, in order to correctly diagnose the problem. Oral surgeons specialize in the areas of the mouth, teeth and jaws, and may utilize special imaging studies of the joints to refer other dental or medical specialists, if necessary.
  • Range of Possible Treatment
    • Your dentist will help you determine which type of TMJ treatment is right for you – they may range between dental and medical care to complex oral surgery. Correct diagnosis can indicate a treatment that may include short-term non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and muscle relaxation, bite plate or splint therapy, or simply stress management counseling.

Generally, oral surgery may be recommended if a non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful or if there is apparent joint damage. Surgery can involve either arthroscopy, the method identical to the orthopedic procedures used to inspect and treat larger joints such as the knee, or repair of damaged tissue by direct surgery. For more information about TMJ disorders or to schedule a consultation with a highly-trained oral surgeon, call (678) 432-0209 or make an appointment online.

Oral Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Your mouth plays a vital part in your body’s early warning systems. Because the mouth is a region of the body in which changes are easily identified by trained oral surgeons, cancer can be caught in its early stages. Be sure to perform self-examinations regularly to improve your chances for early detection and effective treatment, which may include oral surgery.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

There are numerous factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer, the most common of which are tobacco and alcohol; however, other causes include neglected oral hygiene, pain caused by ill-fitting dentures and/or rough surfaces on the teeth, deficient nutrition, chronic infections and a combinations of these factors, among others.

If you are a smoker, research has shown that your chances of dying from oral cancer are approximately four times higher than for non-smokers. In the medical field, it is also generally speculated that the heat involved in smoking tobacco irritates the mouth and can additionally lead to lip cancer.

Other high-risk factors include patients over 40 years of age, heavy drinkers and users of smokeless tobacco and snuff.

How to Perform a Monthly Self-Exam

It is recommended to perform an oral cancer self-exam each month, particularly if you are at high-risk for oral cancer (e.g. smokers, users of smokeless tobacco, or if you consume alcohol heavily). These individuals should be sure to visit their dentists and oral surgeons regularly for annual exams, which will improve chances of early detection.

A self-examination requires a bright light and a mirror. Look for the symptoms below and consult your oral surgeon if you notice any of the following:

  • Red patches in the mouth or on the tongue
    • White patches in the mouth or on the tongue
    • A lump or overgrowth of tissue anywhere in the mouth

It is important to not ignore any of these warning signs – remember, early treatment is the key to a complete and effective recovery. Again, if you experience any of the above or any other irregularities concerning your mouth, consult your oral surgeon for a prompt examination. If something does looks unusual or potentially harmful, a small diagnostic biopsy may be recommended. According to the results of the biopsy, your oral surgeon will develop a specific plan of treatment, which may involve oral surgery.

Want to know more about early detection for oral cancer? Call the McDonough Center for Family Dentistry at (678) 432-0209 or schedule an appointment online with one of our oral surgeons.

Treating and Preventing Facial Injury

Any injury to the mouth, face and jaw is called “maxillofacial injury,” or facial trauma. These injuries are fairly common and are usually caused by accidents from sports, motor vehicle collisions, violence, job-related injuries or accidents at home.

For information on how to obtain a custom-fitted mouth guard, or for questions about our oral surgery procedures, call (678) 432-0209 or schedule an appointment with our team online.

Oral Surgeons Treat Injuries to Teeth, Mouth, Jaws and Facial Structures

In the case of facial trauma, the patient will be treated by a team of medical personnel, including an oral surgeon. In the dental profession, oral surgeons specialize in oral surgery, or surgery to the mouth, face and jaws, and often repair these areas for patients in an emergency.

It’s important not to treat any facial injury lightly. All facial injuries are serious, though they may not seem to be a substantial reason to seek assistance. Facial injuries affect the way you breathe, eat, speak and see, so be sure to enlist the help of your oral surgeon to receive effective treatment and achieve the desired cosmetic result.

Treating Facial Injury and Trauma

The most common type of facial injury is bone fracture in the lower or upper jaw, palate, eye sockets, cheekbones or a combination of these bones. Extensive facial breaks are usually accompanied by other medical problems, so rest assured that your oral surgeon will effectively collaborate with other doctors to ensure proper holistic treatment.

Facial fractures are often treated by aligning the parts of the bone during oral surgery, after which particular mechanisms are used to hold the bones in proper position long enough to heal. This typically takes six or more weeks, depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the broken bone.

During the healing process, your oral surgeon will prescribe a liquid diet or a pureed diet to eliminate the need to chew while still maintaining nutritional upkeep. Upon discharge from the hospital, a patient will be given instructions to ensure a proper healing period.

Tips to Prevent Facial Injury

You should always protect yourself by using the proper protective equipment when you’re in a car (wear your seatbelt!), playing a sport (use mouth guards and helmets!) or when partaking in any activity where you run the risk of injuring yourself.

If you play a sport, oral surgeons recommend wearing the following equipment:

  • Football: Wear helmets with strong carbon steel wire face guards and mouth guards.
  • Baseball: Catchers, wear a mask. When batting, a helmet with a clear molded plastic face guard is recommended; consider these helmets for fielding as well.
  • Ice Hockey: Superior to the plastic molded facemasks worn by goalies are the cage-like face guards attached to their helmets. For extra protection, wear a hard plastic mouth guard secured with straps.
  • Wrestling: Headgear is becoming a normal requirement for high school wrestlers. A chin cup secured by a strap holds the jaw in a comfortable place while preventing injury. Consider headgear with a mouth guard.
  • Boxing: Mouth guards are mandatory in this sport. Manufacturers have developed a new pacifier-like mouth guard for boxers, designed with a thicker front, including air holes to aid breathing.
  • Lacrosse: Wear a hard plastic helmet, much like baseball batting helmets, with a wire cage facemask.
  • Field Hockey: Mouth guards come highly-recommended in this sport. Lacrosse helmets can provide extra protection for goalies.
  • Soccer: Mouth guards are recommended. Goalies should wear a helmet.
  • Biking: Lightweight helmets designed for bicycling are required. Research your state’s laws on helmet wear. Although it may not be illegal to ride without a helmet, it is highly-recommended in order to protect your head.
  • Scooters and Skateboarders: Wear a lightweight bike helmet.
  • Skiing and Snowboarding: Falls and crashes are common during this sport activity, so a lightweight helmet is advised.
  • Horseback Riding: If jumping the horse or riding cross-country, a helmet and mouth guard will protect your face from injury in the event of an accident.
  • Basketball, Water Polo, Handball, Rugby, Karate, Judo and Gymnastics: All participants should wear custom-fitted mouth guards.

Facial Cosmetic Surgery

For many years, facial cosmetic surgery has been used to correct physical imperfections that are the results of injury, birth defects and disease. However, cosmetic surgery is becoming an increasingly popular option for women and men of all ages who just want to improve the way they look and minimize the noticeable signs of aging.

Is Cosmetic Surgery Right for You?

Due to innovations in biomaterials, medical devices and surgical procedures, many of the cosmetic procedures performed now are simpler and less invasive than before. Surgeons can often operate in an office environment using intravenous and/or local anesthesia, although an outpatient facility, same-day surgical center or hospital may be required for more complex procedures.

Common Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

The following are some of the more common cosmetic surgery procedures, although there are additional procedures that your oral and maxillofacial surgeon can perform.

  • Chin Surgery (Genioplasty) will modify (reduce or increase) the projection and length of the chin.
  • Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) can set prominent ears back closer to the head, make large ears smaller or modify the shape.
  • Facelift (Rhytidectomy) tightens the facial muscles and skin, removing excess skin to create a firmer, more youthful appearance. A minimally-invasive variation of this procedure is called a “mini facelift” and involves only minor incisions.
  • Forehead/Brow Lift is frequently performed along with eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). This surgery can minimize frown lines, improve brow positioning and reduce forehead wrinkles.
  • Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) removes the excess skin and fat from the lower and upper eyelids. It is often used along with other facial surgery procedures such as a brow lift or facelift, but it can be performed singularly.
  • Cheekbone Implants (Malar Augmentation) modify the cheekbones so that they appear more prominent and higher, thus creating better facial balance.
  • Facial and Neck Liposuction removes excess fat from beneath the skin to give the face a more sculpted, youthful appearance. Liposuction in the neck area is frequently accomplished in conjunction with corrective jaw surgery and chin surgery (genioplasty).
  • Lip Enhancement can reshape the upper and/or lower lip to create a fuller or more youthful appearance. A variety of fillers can be used to augment the lips and “plump” them up, diminishing vertical lines around the mouth.
  • Nasal Reconstruction (Rhinoplasty) can reshape the nose to make it look better and function better. This surgery can decrease (or increase) the nose’s overall size, narrow the width of the nostrils, alter the shape of the nose tip or change the angle between the upper lip and the nose.

Skin Treatments to Reduce the Signs of Aging and Scarring

There are several procedures that successfully treat and improve the texture and appearance of skin that is wrinkled, scarred or otherwise damaged. The amount of improvement varies and will depend upon the procedure used, as well as the initial condition and health of the patient’s skin. A consultation with a professional can help you decide what treatment will best produce the results you desire.

  • Botox® Injections are especially effective in minimizing frown lines on the forehead. The injections reduce the signs of aging by diminishing muscle activity and the associated wrinkles around the injection site.
  • A chemical peel is a procedure that involves the strategic application of a chemical to the top layer of the skin that causes the skin to flake or peel, exposing new, healthier skin upon healing. There are several different options: a light peel to remove superficial wrinkles, a medium-depth peel, and a deep peel for more severe conditions.
  • Dermabrasion uses an abrasive instrument on the surface of the skin to smooth out surface irregularities and create more even skin texture.
  • Laser treatments rejuvenate the skin and create a more youthful appearance by gently and strategically removing the outer layers of the damaged or wrinkled skin and stimulating the production of new skin cells.
  • Injectable Fillers (such as Collagen and Restylane®) can either be naturally-occurring or synthetic substances. They are carefully injected into the skin to create volume and fill out furrows, wrinkles or other indentions in the skin.

Facts to Consider about Facial Cosmetic Surgery

Although facial cosmetic surgery can enhance, refine and/or rejuvenate your existing features, you will still essentially have the same face – and the same life. The actual extent of the results will vary depending on the individual and on the elected surgical procedure. Other variables such as health, age, bone structure, skin texture and personal habits (such as sun exposure, alcohol consumption or smoking) can influence the outcome of your surgery as well.

All surgical procedures require a recovery period in which your activities may be limited while your body heals. Some discomfort, swelling and bruising can be expected during your recovery. If you would like to find out more about facial cosmetic surgery or skin treatment options, please contact our office at (678) 432-0209 or schedule a consultation online to review your options and receive answers to any questions you may have – we look forward to speaking with you!

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment

Though it may not seem like a big deal, snoring could be a warning sign for a potentially life-threatening disorder known as OSA, or “obstructive sleep apnea.” It is important to consult a doctor or an oral surgeon to determine whether or not your chronic snoring is a sign of OSA, as there are risks associated with OSA that can be quite serious. For more information on snoring, sleep apnea and the oral surgery procedures that can help, continue reading below.

Chronic Snoring

Snoring is a common sleep habit affecting an estimated 30-50% percent of the U.S. population. To eliminate your habitual snoring habit, your doctor may suggest:

  • Laser-Assisted Uyuloplasty, or LAUP, is a surgical procedure in which your oral surgeon uses local or general anesthesia to remove the uvula and any obstructive tissue in order to open the airway beyond the palate.
  • Radio Frequency of the Soft Palate is a method that uses radio waves to reduce the size of the tissue in the throat or tongue. This increases the space in the throat and makes room for easy breathing.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, can be a life-threatening condition that should be brought to the attention of your doctor. Unlike simple snoring, the risks of an undiagnosed case of OSA include high blood pressure, a decreased libido, an irregular heartbeat and even heart disease, heart attack or stroke. To eliminate these risks, patients may require oral surgery or other treatments recommended by oral surgeons.

The disorder is associated with a period of cessation of breathing during sleep. During sleep, the upper airway may be obstructed by excess tissue, large tonsils and/or a large tongue. Other factors include the position of the airway muscles, the nasal passages and the position of the jaw.

While sleeping, when a person stops breathing, impulses from the brain wake the person enough to start breathing again. In severe cases, this vicious cycle can occur more than 500 times nightly, preventing normal breathing for 60 to 90 seconds each time, causing an onset of additional health problems.

Possible Sleep Apnea Treatments

Your doctor will recommend the treatment best for you depending on the severity of your OSA. Not every patient will require oral surgery – here are some less invasive treatments your doctor may suggest:

  • Oral Appliances: A molded device that you place inside your mouth at night, the oral appliance will hold your lower jaw in place and bring the tongue forward to allow a passageway for effective breathing. Follow-up with your oral surgeon to ensure proper functioning and to track progress of the appliance.
  • C-PAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) or Bi-PAP: A C-PAP is a treatment suggested to those patients with moderate sleep apnea. Using a custom-fitted mask that would fit over your nose, a C-PAP pumps a prescribed flow of pressured air that prevents your airway or throat from collapsing. A Bi-PAP device is similar, but it blows two different pressures of air simultaneously.
    While C-PAP, Bi-PAP and oral appliances prevent snoring and interruptions in breathing, they only treat your condition and do not cure it. In some cases, patients do not accept the use of these devices. If you feel unable to use these devices, talk to your doctor before discontinuing use, and your oral surgeon will find another form of treatment for you.

Oral Surgery for Sleep Apnea

If you suffer from OSA, you may benefit from oral surgery. Because every patient has a different facial structure, your oral surgeon will measure your airways to determine which surgical procedure is right for you:

  • Uyulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP, is a surgery performed on patients who cannot tolerate the use of a C-PAP or Bi-PAP. Oral surgeons perform this procedure by removing the uvula and shortening the edge of the soft palate.
  • Hyoid Suspension is the recommended procedure for patients who experience collapse in the tongue base. Named for the hyoid bone located slightly above the “Adam’s Apple,” this type of oral surgery simply secures the hyoid bone in order to stabilize the airway for effective breathing.
  • Genioglossus Advancement, or GGA, is a treatment invented specifically for OSA patients in order to open their upper-breathing passage. During the operation, your oral surgeon will tighten the front-tongue tendon, which helps prevent blockage of the throat. This procedure usually accompanies one of the aforementioned oral surgeries (UPPP or hyoid suspension).
  • Maxillomandibular Advancement, or MMA, is an operation some patients need to open up their air passageways. This type of oral surgery involves moving the jaws forward, creating a passage in the upper-airway.

Oral Surgery Anesthesia

Like most new experiences, your first visit to the office of an oral surgeon can make you anxious – you may be thinking about how much pain you’ll feel after surgery, for example. Luckily, you don’t have to worry, because today’s technology allows oral surgeons to perform even the most complex surgery on your mouth with little to no pain – so relax!

The best way to put your mind at ease is to educate yourself on what to expect before, during and after oral surgery. You should ask your oral surgeon any questions that concern you, your procedure and the form of sedation that will be used.

They’re the Experts!

You’re in good hands – oral surgeons are well-educated in anesthesia administration, and the team at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry is dedicated to your comfort and safety. All patients are different, so rest assured that your oral surgeon will analyze your needs to determine the right method of anesthesia for you, whether it is local anesthesia, general anesthesia or another form of sedation. Your oral surgeon can administer the anesthesia appropriately, and is trained to manage any complications that may arise during your oral surgery.

To find out more about your sedation dentistry options at McDonough Center for Family Dentistry, call (678) 432-0209 or schedule an appointment online with one of our oral surgeons.

Post-Surgery Nutrition

Nutrition is the process of obtaining the food that is essential to health and growth, often regarded as approximately 2,000 healthy calories a day. Once we experience illness or have undergone surgical procedures, proper nutrition is even more vital in order to ease the healing process. Because oral surgery affects the area in or around the mouth, patients who undergo this type of surgery have difficulty fulfilling their nutritional needs because they cannot chew or swallow appropriately, often due to the presence of surgical incisions and postoperative swelling. Therefore, oral surgeons recommend a diet of softer textures following surgery.

Nutrition after Oral Surgery

After surgery, your oral surgeon may suggest a temporary liquid or soft diet. During this time, you should avoid drinking carbonated beverages, consuming liquids with a straw, swishing liquids in your mouth or brushing your teeth too vigorously. These activities may make healing difficult by disrupting the clotting of the stitches from your surgery.

In order to help you meet your caloric and nutritional needs during this challenging phase, oral surgeons often recommend some proprietary liquid nutritional supplements, such as Ensure®, Sustacal® and Boost®, which are available over-the-counter at any pharmacy. These liquid supplements each have high caloric content, which aids in reaching your daily nutritional requirements after oral surgery. You can also use a blender to liquefy some of your favorite flavors and foods – just make sure your nutritious, blended invention is properly strained to remove food fibers that can get stuck in your teeth and cause hygiene issues after oral surgery.

After some time, your oral surgeon will inform you of when to switch from a liquid diet to a soft diet, consisting of semi-solid, non-chewing foods. These foods include those that can be consumed without biting or chewing, such as soft scrambled eggs, pancakes, well-cooked pasta and more. Approximately three to six weeks after your oral surgery, you should be able to return to a normal diet, although the specific duration of time will vary by patient.

If you’d like to speak with an oral surgeon about maintaining proper nutrition after oral surgery, please call our McDonough, GA office at (678) 432-0209 or schedule a consultation with our specialists online.


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The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the professional organization representing more than 9,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States, supports its members’ ability to practice their specialty through education, research and advocacy. AAOMS members comply with rigorous continuing education requirements and submit to periodic office examinations, ensuring the public that all office procedures and personnel meet stringent national standards.

© 2005-2012 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). All rights reserved.

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