Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a field of dentistry. It focuses on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and birth defects that affect the jaws, mouth, teeth and facial structures. Our clinic is one of only a few in the country with broad experience in treating childhood diseases that involve these parts of the body. At Seattle Children's, our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery team cares only for children and teens.
We work with Seattle Children's Craniofacial Center to treat the effects of cleft lip and palate on oral health and dental skeletal development. We are leaders in managing the effects of arthritis on children's jaws, and for treating jaw cysts and tumors during childhood.
Our team includes certified dental and oral surgery assistants who are expert at working with children to get dental and facial photographs, X-rays and dental casts. As part of the Craniofacial Center, we work closely with social workers, speech and language pathologists, audiologists and other experts to give your child care that is complete. Every step of the way, we work with you to tailor treatment to best suit your child's unique needs.
Conditions We Treat
We see young people with a wide variety of conditions that affect their jaws, mouths and facial structures, including:
Congenital and acquired jaw deformities
We care for children with jaw deformities that are both present at birth (congenital) and that occur later, often as the result of illness or injury (acquired). These include problems such as craniofacial microsomia, as well as jaw size problems, bite problems and disorders that affect the joints that connect the jaw to the side of the head (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ).
Cleft lip and palate
Cleft lip and palate are conditions where the upper lip and the roof of the mouth (palate) do not form right, leaving a gap in the lip or palate. Children's Plastic Surgery Clinic repairs cleft lip and soft palate problems early in life. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery provides later repairs. These repairs include bone grafting for cleft upper jaw and correction of jaw size deformities. Read more.
Maxillofacial trauma, sometimes called facial trauma, is any injury to the jaw or face, including the cheekbones, nose and the bones around the eyes. Doctors in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, among other specialties, also treat these injuries. Children who need emergency care – for example, right after injuries during sports, falls or auto accidents – should go to the Emergency Department.
Maxillofacial infections affect the head and neck. Dental diseases are often the cause of these infections, which sometimes require surgery.
Minor oral surgery for medically compromised children
Our clinic provides specialized care for children and teens with medical conditions that make it difficult for them to be treated in other locations.