Oral and Maxillofacial surgery
Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery is a surgical specialty which involves the diagnosis, surgery and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. The temporomandibular joints (TMJs), jaw joints, are the foundation for jaw position, facial growth and development, function, dental occlusion, facial balance and comfort. If the TMJs are not stable and healthy (non-pathological), patients requiring orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery may have unsatisfactory outcomes relative to function, esthetics, dental occlusal and skeletal stability, and pain. A review of 1369 consecutive TMJ patients referred to Dr. Larry Wolford’s practice revealed an age range of 8 to 76 years at initial evaluation, with 78% of the patients female and 22% male. Interestingly, 69% of the patients reported the onset of their TMJ problems during the teenage years. Therefore, TMJ pathology predominantly develops in teenage females, although may not manifest itself until much later.