Throughout history, medical science has been making astounding breakthroughs that have changed the course of medical history. Medical procedures that many would not have even thought possible a hundred years ago are now being done in clinics and other healthcare facilities on a regular basis. Advancements in medical technology have already made it possible for physicians to get a better look inside the human body through x-rays, or remove abscessed teeth painlessly with modern anesthesia. One medical procedure that has proven to be of great use to modern society is corrective and reconstructive maxillofacial surgery.
Reconstructive maxillofacial surgery pertains to procedures done in order to correct problems around the mouth, jaw, and neck areas of the face. Maxillofacial surgeons are highly specialized dental professionals, as they had to take up residency in maxillofacial surgery after completing their dental degree. Situations where problems with the jaw, mouth, or teeth become too difficult to correct through basic dental and orthodontic procedures, such as the removal of severely impacted wisdom teeth, extreme overbites and jaw deformities, may require the expert hands of a maxillofacial surgeon.
One of the cases wherein maxillofacial surgery plays a very important role is when a patient that has been through a major accident suffers severe injuries to the face. Without reconstructive maxillofacial surgery, the patient would be treated for his or her injuries, survive the accident, but live life with some form of facial deformity. Maxillofacial surgery aims to help patients recover completely from their ordeal by repairing any tissue or nerve damage that was caused by the accident. This greatly reduces the patient’s chances of incurring any long term physical damage, especially to the facial region. Maxillofacial surgery also proves its worth amongst cancer patients who have developed tumors in and affecting their mouth, jaw, and neck areas. Surgeons work with neurologists and cancer specialists by repairing tissue damage that may occur during the removal of the tumor. This helps cancer patients live a long and fruitful life without having to be subjected to the embarrassment that any facial disfigurement (caused by removing the tumor) may bring into their lives.
But perhaps the most significant aspect of reconstructive maxillofacial surgery is the treatment of patients who were born with some form of facial deformity. For these patients, who have lived a long life of awkwardness, shame and ridicule because of their physical appearance, undergoing corrective and reconstructive maxillofacial surgery can be life changing. The face is the most visible and perhaps one of the most important features of the human body, which is why having the ability to correct birth defects such as cleft chins, lips, and palates is considered a blessing. Because not everyone can afford to undergo reconstructive maxillofacial surgery, charitable institutions sponsor medical outreach programs that aim to help those who need reconstructive maxillofacial surgery in poverty-stricken areas. Maxillofacial surgeons such as Dr. Domenick Coletti of Columbia, Maryland, have spent years studying the human anatomy, particularly the maxillofacial region. Today, Dr. Domenick Coletti is a nationally recognized surgeon, whose clinical and academic performance has made him one of only 60 national oral and maxillofacial surgeons to ever be inducted into the prestigious American College of Surgeons.