Putting Veterinary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in a Nutshell

Putting Veterinary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in a Nutshell

There are plenty of reasons why an animal might need oral surgery. Not all oral surgeries are significant; they may be as simple as removing plaque and calculus from tooth roots, extracting an unsalvageable tooth, etc. But of course, certain conditions need dental surgery.

However, whether minor or major surgical procedures, as a pet owner, you need to understand why your vet refers your pet to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Continue reading to find out more about this dental specialization.

What is a veterinary surgeon?

A veterinary surgeon has undergone advanced training to become a specialist after veterinary school. This training contains a minimum of a one-year internship followed by a three-year residency program. During their residency, they undergo specific training and caseload requirements. Furthermore, they need to do research that should be published in a scientific journal and then pass a comprehensive examination.

What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?

You may be familiar with a veterinarian dentist; aside from your primary vet, you possibly bring your pet to a dentist. They guarantee that your pet’s oral health remains in excellent condition. You may visit their dentistry page to learn more about the procedures they offer.

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is simply one of the many subspecialties in dentistry. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a board-certified dentist with advanced training in treating diseases, trauma, and defects in the teeth, jaws, face, head, and neck. This requires advanced training and collaboration with other specialists in comprehensive animal hospitals like Tender Care Animal Hospital.

Why Pet Is Referred to an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Suppose your cat or dog has an oral-related issue or injury requiring advanced care and procedures. In that case, your primary vet or dentist might refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Here are some of the clinical treatments they carry out:

Trauma Reconstruction

Head trauma can be caused by an animal bite, falling from heights, projectiles, car accidents, etc. Such injury or trauma can cause severe pain and interfere with occlusion and oral functions. When an injury affects the teeth or soft tissues, the animal may not have the ability to utilize its mouth correctly. This translates to losing the capability to eat, groom, and protect themselves.

Tumor Removal and Reconstruction

The treatment plan for the tumor is based on biopsy results. The most effective course of action for most tumors is to remove them entirely; this frequently results in a better prognosis. After removing the mass, a facial reconstruction often follows. Reconstruction is not just for the aesthetic outcome but also for the oral function to become normal.

Periodontal Surgery

Periodontal surgery perhaps is one of the most typical maxillofacial procedures. Sometimes, extracting the affected teeth is the only means to release the patient from unbearable pain. Even what may look like a simple tooth extraction still requires a surgical closure on the extraction site to deny access to food and bacteria. Check out pet surgery Weldon Spring for trusted surgeons. 


There are times that pets develop more complicated conditions, and the only viable solution is oral surgery. Only a dentist specializing in oral and maxillofacial surgery can efficiently deal with cases like extraction of tumorous growths, provide solutions for palate defects, and repair jaw fractures.

They are devoted to giving the very best in medical care. Maxillofacial surgeons are a resource for your primary vets and dentists on cases beyond their scope. Following the surgical treatment and other post-operative care, expect your primary veterinarian to return to the ongoing care for the animal.

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