Oral and Facial Surgery Moles, Cysts & Roots

Thank you for visiting the oral and facial surgery section of the website for the Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry.

What is Oral and Facial Surgery?

Oral and facial surgery encompasses both dentistry and medicine. Specialists in this field are both surgically and dentally qualified. You may see the departments in hospital described as Oral and Maxillofacial surgery. The specialty is young and specialises in surgery around the face, jaws and neck. The main remit of the specialty was to care and treat patients who had received facial trauma but over the last twenty years the specialty has grown to carry out all treatment involving the bones of the face and associated procedures. We now carry out all soft tissue procedures around the face, including facial plastic surgery.

Our specialists have under taken extensive post graduate training and are on the specialist lists of the general medical and general dental councils

Procedures Undertaken by our specialists

The remit of the specialists is large but the most common procedures undertaken at the Centre are for problem mouth conditions. These are usually under taken under local anaesthetic but can also be aided with sedation which is administered by our experienced anaesthetists.

These include:

  • impacted wisdom teeth
  • Surgery for infection around tooth roots
  • Removal of cysts and buried roots from the jaws
  • Soft tissue lump removal or biopsy of areas of the mouth as necessary

They will also remove lumps from around the face including

  • Moles and cysts
  • Skin cancer of the face and neck- the incidence if skin cancer is increasing . This is due to increasing travel to warmer climes and also the increasing age of the population. Both these factors increase the cumulative exposure to ultra violet radiation the main cause of skin cancer.

    There are three main types of skin cancer. The most indolent is a basal cell carcinoma or rodent ulcer. It very rarely spreads and tends to take months to increase in size. It usually has a silver edge and may bleed as it increases in size.

    The intermediate type is a squamous cell carcinoma which is usually slow growing but in certain sites around the face is more likely to spread to lymph glands. It usually presents as red or scaly path that increases in size quite quickly and readily bleeds.

    The third type is melanoma which can be very aggressive. These usually present as a dark mole or neavus and if patients have a new naevus or an existing neavus that bleeds or changes colour then it should be looked at by a healthcare professional.

    The primary treatment of skin cancer is surgical and our consultants are able to provide treatment for this in our centre. Occasionally in some cases they will be referred on to specialist treatment units.

    Removal of facial skin cancer is a specialist area in that scars need to be hidden and skin may need to be transposed using small local flaps. Our consultants have been trained in this area and have a wide experience in treating facial and neck skin cancer.

    Long term review will be required usually attending twice per year for a check up.

    Some procedures are difficult and not possible to carry out under local analgesia and admission to hospital may be necessary. Our specialists will organise that for you after discussion.

    Areas where the specialists are trained include:

    • Mouth cancer and its treatment including complex reconstruction
    • Surgery to correct misaligned jaws where they work closely with the orthodontists
    • Treatment of diseases of salivary glands including blocked glands as well as tumours.

    Facial plastic surgery including:

    • Nose and ear reshaping
    • Face, brow and neck lifts
    • Eyebag removal
    • Repositioning of the cheek bones or chin. This includes using implants.

    Bone grafting to allow the placement of implants. Occasionally a significant amount of bone is required and bone needs to be used which is taken from another part of the body. This will all

    The specialists also deal with problems that do not require surgery. These include jaw and facial pain and chronic headache and oral medical conditions. Such conditions include mouth ulcers, pigmented areas, generalised swelling of the tongue or lips as well as white and red patches within the oral cavity. Many of these conditions do not require surgery and can be treated with medication or mouth washes.

    What will happen to you at the Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry?

    Our objective is to treat you in a friendly professional manner to try and make your experience as pleasant as possible

    The remit of our specialists is large. When you attend for you first appointment you will be seen to establish your problem and how it affects you. You will receive an extensive facial and oral examination.

    The specialist will then carry out the investigations necessary to try and establish a treatment for your problem. This may include radiographs, CT scan, biopsies or blood tests. It may take two or more visits to carry this out and obtain the results.

    When the diagnosis is established, then this will be discussed fully with you and the treatment options given to you along with the details of the treatment advised.

    You will be given an estimate of cost and time to consider if you wish to proceed with treatment. If surgery is undertaken, then the appropriate follow up will also be carried out.

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