Oftentimes, oral and maxillofacial surgeries are seen as cosmetic luxuries that are not necessarily required to live a fulfilling life. However, these procedures have proven time and again that they offer more than just a pretty face for the patient. They can provide a significant improvement in their quality of life, especially if they suffer from difficult or rare maxillofacial conditions. Oral and maxillofacial surgeries are often necessary for individuals with limiting disorders, both genetic and acquired.
When you think of tumor growth, you may think of cancerous tumors in the brain, lungs, stomach or intestine. However, even benign tumors can cause severe problems and obstructions when they appear on the face. Oral and maxillofacial surgeries may involve removing these tumors and correcting the damage caused by their presence.
In the case of Melyssa, a 3-year-old Brazilian girl, the initial outlook was not promising. She had a five-pound benign tumor on her jaw, resulting in oral deformities with her lips and tongue. Because of these deformities, Melyssa struggled to eat, drink and even breathe. If left alone, her tumor would have grown, forcing her esophagus closed and potentially leading to death by malnutrition or suffocation. Her parents took to social media to plead for help, where Dr. Celso Palmieri, Jr. read their story. Dr. Palmieri was able to secure passage for the family to the United States for an eight-hour surgical procedure to remove the tumor. Today, Melyssa is happy and healthy while learning to use her tongue all over again.
Jaw Growth and Alignment
The first reaction to a poor tooth or jaw alignment for most oral health professionals is to recommend braces. Countless people have benefitted from the use of braces to realign their teeth and adjust their bites. However, in some severe cases, braces simply aren’t enough. In these situations, oral surgery may be considered necessary to correct the alignment.
For 14-year-old Ellie Jones of Wales, her teeth were a source of embarrassment. She suffered from a severe overbite and misaligned teeth that felt too large for her mouth. At a preliminary fitting for braces with her orthodontist, she finally was diagnosed with a congenital facial deformity. Her orthodontist realized her jaws hadn’t grown at all since she was eight years old. Over the next six years, Ellie underwent multiple maxillofacial surgeries to correct the problem and realign her teeth. Now 20 years old, she’s discovered her confidence in her smile and her friends and family describe her as an overall happier person.
Living Confidently with Greater Louisville Oral and Maxillofacial
For many people, oral and maxillofacial surgery is an opportunity to improve their quality of life. If you are unhappy with your appearance due to your teeth, you’re certainly not alone. Many people, such as those discussed above, have suffered similar issues. With new medical advancements, patients like Ellie and Melyssa can live happier, more confident lives, and so can you. To learn more about corrective oral and maxillofacial surgery, contact Greater Louisville Oral and Maxillofacial Associates by calling 502-459-8012.