Due to the complexity of the head and neck area a number of pathologic processes can occur. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons can diagnose and treat most of these conditions. These diseases can range from small to large lesions and can involve multiple structures in the area. The treatment of these lesions may involve multiple specialists in dentistry and medicine in order to rehab the patient.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons not only treat by removing these disease but also specialize in the reconstruction of the patient. The main goal of the reconstruction is to give the patient the ability to function, look normal and feel whole.
On your first visit a clinical exam is usually performed in which the structures involved are inspected, examined and visualized. In most instances the need for a biopsy (partial or total removal) will be determined. A biopsy is indicated in most instances to diagnose and in some instances treat the disease.
Once a biopsy is performed the tissue specimen is sent to a Pathologist to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Using this diagnosis the treatment can range from nonsurgical treatment (medical treatment or observation) to further surgical treatment.
We encourage everyone to perform a monthly self-examination for oral cancer. Using a bright light and a mirror you can perform the exam as follows: