Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery for Washington DC, Chevy Chase MD, and Bethesda MD

What is Reconstructive Surgery?

The need for maxillofacial reconstructive surgery is rare--most patients will never need the procedure. Reconstructive surgery is aimed at patients who're suffering a defect in the maxillofacial region. This defect can be the result of a birth defect, a difficult health condition like oral cancer, or a serious blow or fall to the head and neck region.

When the facial bones have become damaged, it can be necessary to rebuild them. This rebuilding process is referred to as reconstruction surgery. The goal of reconstructive surgery is to ensure that the patient's maxillofacial region is restored to normal appearance and function. If not treated, a defect to the maxillofacial region can be very hard physically and emotionally for a patient. To summarize, reconstructive surgery is used to treat defects to a patient's maxillofacial region. Here are a few of the situations that could call for reconstructive surgery:

  • A serious blow, fall, or other injury to a patient's face, neck, and head region.
  • A genetic birth defect.
  • Damage from a serious medical condition like oral cancer.

Who is a Candidate for Reconstructive Surgery?

Dr. Starr

Typically all patients who have loss facial structure can be a candidate for reconstructive surgery. However, there are numerous variables that need to be considered as well when looking at what the outcome of such a surgery will look like for a patient as well as a timeline for the surgery and the post-operation recovery period. The complexity of the procedure will play a part as well since some reconstructive surgeries can be simple while others can be incredibly complex and difficult.

When assessing a patient to determine if they're a candidate for reconstructive surgery, Periodontal & Implant Associates of Greater Washington team assesses the nature of the patient's defect. A patient who has had a serious accident that has resulted in a significant loss of hard and soft tissue mass will likely need numerous surgeries. In these scenarios, the surgery is done in multiple stages so that the soft tissue can be restored first. Once the soft tissue has been restored, the hard tissue infrastructure can be worked on with reconstruction plates, alloplastic materials, and grafted bone.

Candidates that have lost their facial structure as a result of cancer often require radiation treatment after the first ablative surgery. A complete reconstruction and grafted bone reconstructive surgery might be delayed in these patients because radiation can jeopardize the survival chances of the reconstruction procedure. Typically, there needs to be an extended period of time to allow for the patient's recovery from the radiation effects.

Lastly, you could be a candidate for reconstructive surgery if you have suffered bone loss and structural damage to the facial skeleton from an infection. First, the infection has to be fully treated before a reconstructive surgery can be attempted. As a result, it is up to you to work with Periodontal & Implant Associates of Greater Washington to ensure that the infection is clear before reconstruction surgery is attempted. We will work with you to create a timeline and treatment sequence in order to make sure the reconstruction takes place as soon as it is safe to attempt it.

To reiterate, the following information needs to be considered to determine if you're a candidate for reconstructive surgery:

  • If you are suffering from an infection, has a treatment plan been determined to eliminate the infection? A reconstruction surgery cannot be attempted until the infection has been cleared up.
  • If you have suffered from oral cancer, is your radiation treatment completed? Exposure to radiation can make it difficult for the reconstruction to remain healthy post-operation.
  • What is the extent of the damage done to your maxillofacial region? The more damage that your maxillofacial region has sustained, the more surgeries and work will need to be done to complete the reconstruction process.

Schedule an Appointment

Periodontal and Implant Associates of Greater Washington (PIAGW) is capable of providing reconstruction surgery for patients who are candidates for the operation. Ultimately, our goal is to obtain normal function again for a patient's mouth as well as provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance for the patient's smile and mouth. If you would like to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup or discuss reconstructive surgery options, you can make one today! Periodontal & Implant Associates of Greater Washington is proud to serve the greater Washington DC area for all reconstructive surgery, orthodontic, and dental care needs.