What is an Oral Pathologist or Oral Surgeon?

Oral pathology is the diagnosis and study of the causes and effects of diseases affecting the mouth, jaw and face. Many patients visit an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to evaluate and treat oral pathology. This field of dentistry seeks to diagnose and treat problems that cause pain or discomfort in the mouth or teeth. If you're not sure what's going on with your mouth, it's important to seek help from an expert dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible.Most people are familiar with the concept of oral health, but may not be aware of the meaning of the term 'oral pathology'.

Oral maxillofacial surgeons are also equipped to perform facial cosmetic procedures on an outpatient basis from their office with intravenous sedation or local or general anesthesia. These specialists are trained in dental surgery, ambulatory anesthesia, dentoalveolar surgery, surgical correction of maxillofacial skeletal deformities, cleft and craniofacial surgery, facial reconstructive trauma surgery, facial aesthetic surgery and temporomandibular joint surgery.After an evaluation that includes a complete exam, x-rays and consultation with the patient and other members of the implant team, the oral maxillofacial surgeon will place any necessary implants. After surgery, they will recommend a modified diet which may include soft liquids and solids before moving on to a normal diet. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons also treat injuries and fractures of the upper and lower jaws, palate, cheekbones, eye sockets or a combination of these.By detecting developing oral problems early, oral pathologists make treatment as simple and effective as possible while preventing oral diseases from affecting other areas of the body.

If you or your dentist detect any abnormalities, you may be referred to an oral and maxillofacial pathologist who will review your medical history and perform a thorough oral exam including an oral cancer screening.Risk factors for oral diseases include smoking, drinking, poor oral hygiene, unhealthy diet and social determinants of health and well-being. Identifying the exact problem may require a visit to an oral pathologist who may even need to take a biopsy sample. However, there are general signs you can detect on your own that may indicate the existence of a pathological oral condition.The worst diseases of oral pathology are oral injuries and cancer but even these can be treated if detected in the early stages. The practice of oral and maxillofacial pathology includes research, diagnosis of diseases through clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical or other tests and treatment of patients.The oral maxillofacial surgeon who places implants consults with the patient and with the restorative dentist who manufactures crowns for the implants to ensure a collaborative treatment plan.

The determination of which corrective mandibular surgical procedure is appropriate is made by the oral maxillofacial surgeon who then performs the actual surgery.

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