Dental surgery: Things to know

Sometimes, you might feel that the only use of your teeth is chewing food and perhaps oral health does not need as much attention, but the truth is far from it.

Most people in our country have a tendency of ignoring the concept of self-care, and oral health is probably the biggest victim of this attitude. This often results in appalling outcome and one ends up having to go for surgery.

In order to ensure that you have the basic idea of these concepts, Star Lifestyle consulted Dr Mir Nowazesh Ali Rajib, Assistant Professor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, at The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and asked him about Oral and Maxillofacial surgery.

What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

The term oral and maxillofacial surgery refers to a section of dentistry concerned with surgery. All surgeries that deal with the face, mouth, facial bones are part of it. You might know that maxilla is a bone, the upper jaw to be exact. All the surgeries done by a dentist, including the removal of a teeth are part of oral and maxillofacial surgery. It can be as simple as filling a tooth, or as complicated as cutting a bone from the skull and replacing it.

How risky is it? Is there any possibility of nerve damage?

Nerves are everywhere in our body and whenever a surgery is performed, whatever kind that may be, it's a fair chance that some nerves might be injured in the process. But surgeons are very careful and try their best to avoid any sort of nerve damage. Yet, sometimes, patients don't come to us until its very late. By then, the issue has spread and become serious, and it can be challenging.

We know that surgery is usually the last resort. How can a patient know that he should go for surgery?

We have this idea that surgery is the last resort. While that is generally true, it's not always the case. Sometimes, we perform surgery to prevent further injury. The injury to your oral health can take dramatic turns and medications might not be able to help if the damage is severe. But it is rather difficult for the patients to know whether it is time for surgery or not. This is why we recommend visiting your dentist regularly.

If you go to your doctor before the damage is severe, you might be able to avoid surgery and suffering. Similarly, if you go to the dentist, instead of trying to treat yourself, your dentist will know which is the best course of action.

What exactly is the purpose of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery?

The common purpose is treatment of course. One might break a jaw in an accident, or perhaps there is an oral and maxillofacial cancer. We remove that infected tissues in surgery, or in cases of broken bones and other cases, when necessary, we replace a tissue with tissue from other parts of body and help recovery.

When necessary, we use bio-compatible materials; this ensures that the surgery does not cause further issues later. There are also aesthetic purposes. Perhaps one's jaw is misshaped, or one would like to have a facial reconstructive surgery done. It's all done in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

What is your take on the recent "BDS na to dater doctor na" campaign?

For me, I find it tragic that we have to do such a campaign. It shouldn't be the case, but unfortunately, that is how it is, especially in the rural areas.

I think, people are easily deceived by quacks or other people who practice without a proper degree. BDS is a degree, similar to MBBS. When you hear MBBS, you feel assured that your doctor has a degree and knowledge in the field, and therefore, can practice medicine.

Similarly, it should be the case for a dentist. If one is not a BDS doctor, that means he has no right to practice on another person.

I urge patients to research about their doctors, and if you are confused, just ask your doctor if he has a BDS degree or not. If he does, then you are in safe hands. If he does not, let's hope your question will make him cautious and he won't have the audacity to deceive you.


Photo courtesy: Dr Mir Nowazesh Ali Rajib


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