"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
Over the past ten years, the training of contemporary oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMFS) has changed dramatically in response to medical and dental healthcare advancements. The training begins after completion of dental school and includes a hospital based internship as a prerequisite. Completion of an OMFS residency requires 4-6 years of hospital based training focusing solely on the maxillofacial region. It includes extensive training on traditional intra-oral surgery as well as maxillofacial surgical training. It also includes medical training and rotations such as anesthesia, critical care medicine, emergency room, internal medicine, general surgery, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, etc ... OMFS residents also receive training in the administration of out patient anesthesia and are required to administer hundreds of anesthetics during their residency training 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 surgical and diagnostic services to treat diseases, deformities, injuries and cosmetic defects of the facial and oral region. OMFS are considered the "orthopedic and plastic and reconstructive surgeons of the maxillofacial region" (the upper jaw, cheek bones, the bones that support & surround the eyes, lower jaw, chin, 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 of the procedures performed are in an office ambulatory surgical setting. These procedures include the removal of teeth, management of oral and facial pathology, laser surgery to manage snoring, surgical placement of dental implants, regeneration of deficient bone and gum tissues around teeth and implants and cosmetic periodontal surgery to enhance gum tissue contours and beautify a patient’s smile. They also include minor cosmetic procedures such as chin and cheek-bone enhancements. Sedation and general anesthesia can be used to manage discomfort and anxiety.
The remainder of 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, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery, treatment of complicated facial injuries and fractures, reconstruction of jaw or facial regions resulting from trauma or pathology and management of tumors of the jaw and face.
Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon has extensive hospital based training in the delivery of inpatient and outpatient general anesthesia and IV sedation. Our staff is trained in assisting with surgery and anesthesia under the guidelines of the AAOMS within the state of the art office setting. Patients are continuously monitored during and after surgery.