Oral Surgeons Role in the Management of Hospitalized Patients
The field of oral surgery is unique in that it combines the art and science of both dentistry and medicine. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have a distinctive set of knowledge and skills that enables them to diagnose and treat a spectrum of conditions in the head and neck region.
In addition to advanced training that includes four years of dental school followed by a four or six-year, hospital-based residency program focused on the complexity of facial structures, oral surgeons also have access to the most cutting-edge technology available today. From 3D imaging to advanced computer guided surgeries, the Texas Oral Surgery Group uses the latest technology available to ensure the best results and patient experience possible. Additionally, Drs. Stewart and Michael maintain privileges at Medical City Plano, a Level I Trauma Center located in Plano, Texas.
Texas Oral Surgery Group has served the greater Dallas/Fort Worth community for over three decades. Our combination of cutting-edge technology and experienced and caring surgeons and staff make us the right choice for your oral and maxillofacial needs. From the removal of wisdom teeth to more severe cases such as those highlighted below, you can be confident in our ability to treat you and your loved ones.
Traumatic Facial Injuries
While all injuries have an element of trauma, facial injuries often add an emotional element. It is not uncommon for patients to be worried that their injuries will permanently affect their vision, hearing, taste, or sense of smell. Compounding the distress is the vital role the face plays in an individual’s personality and self-image. Given the sensitive nature of these injuries, it’s no surprise that one study reported one out of every four patients treated for facial trauma at an urban hospital met the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder one-month post-injury .
Drs. Stewart and Michael’s extensive education and training not only make them well-versed in emergency care, acute treatment and long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation, but with over 40 years of combined experience they are adept at establishing the type of long-term patient relationships required to successfully treat and rehabilitate facial traumas.
Surgical correction of developmental and congenital facial deformities
According to the Center for Disease Control’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, approximately one in every 33 babies born in the United States has a congenital anomaly . Of these, birth defects of the face and mouth, specifically cleft palate and cleft lip, were most common.
A cleft lip is an abnormality in which the lip does not completely form. The degree of the cleft lip can vary greatly, from mild (presenting as a notching of the lip) to severe (large opening from the lip up through the nose). A cleft palate occurs when the roof of the mouth does not completely close, which leaves an opening that can extend into the nasal cavity. The cleft may involve either side of the palate and can extend from the front of the mouth (hard palate) to the throat (soft palate). In some cases, the cleft may also include the lip.
Children born with these conditions are faced with a range of associated problems that include issues with feeding, speech, hearing and psychological development. Care for children with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate often involves a team of doctors and experts, including Ear, Nose & Throat doctors, pediatricians, and oral surgeons. In most cases, surgery is recommended to repair and reconstruct the effected areas.
Oral surgeons use the same combination of surgical skills and patient rapport to treat other craniofacial abnormalities such as skeletal and maxillofacial deformities and hypodontia (the absence of teeth). In addition to the apparent cosmetic differences, these conditions often impede daily functioning, affecting the ability to breathe, eat and speak properly. Drs. Stewart and Michael understand the profound impact the treatment they provide has on their patients’ ability to lead productive lives.
Treatment and management of Head and Neck Cancer patients
Oral surgeons also play an important role in the treatment and management of head and neck cancers, which account for approximately 4% of all cancers in the United States . Cancers that are known collectively as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat). These cancers are further categorized by the area in which they begin – the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, and salivary glands.
According to the American Cancer Society, 11.6% of all head and neck cancers begin in the area of the oral cavity/pharynx . The treatment plan for individual patients depends on a number of factors, including location of the tumor, stage of the cancer, as well as age and general health of the patient. Due to the complexity of these cases, head and neck cancers are best treated by multi-disciplinary cancer care teams that include oral surgeons and other specialists.
Oral Surgeons can also play a critical role in the early diagnosis of head and neck cancers by examining the oral cavity, oropharynx, facial and neck skin as a form of screening during routine visits. Some patients may present with pre-malignant lesions, which are likely to progress to established cancers; however, their removal may prevent the development of an established cancer.
At Texas Oral Surgery Group, we value the important role we play in patient care. From your first call and consultation with Drs. Stewart and Michael through the entire treatment process, our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care possible. We invite you to contact any of our locations (Denton, Plano, Decatur, Gainesville) to schedule a consultation.