Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specialists who have completed a four-year, hospital-based surgical residency, this after an undergraduate degree, and then four years of dental school. Some (as in the case of Dr. Emery) elect to earn a medical degree. Although the great majority of the procedures are performed at an oral surgery practice, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are also qualified to be on staff at area hospitals, allowing the more complex procedures to be performed in that setting. At Knoxville Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, an operating room built to the same standards as a hospital OR is available to the patient. Patients can have their surgery safely performed under anesthesia, as both Dr. Wooten and Emery have extensive anesthesia training and are licensed by the Tennessee Board of Dentistry to administer IV sedation and general anesthesia.
The scope of the oral and maxillofacial surgery is extensive. Besides the anesthesia component, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the most qualified in dentoalveolar surgery (extraction of teeth, wisdom teeth surgery, orthodontic surgery such as exposure of unerupted teeth, etc). Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are also the leaders in dental implant surgery, having placed the great majority of implants over the last 30 years. Management of facial trauma has been an area in which oral and maxillofacial surgeons have excelled. Our knowledge of the facial and dental anatomy, and how all of these anatomic components interact, has placed our specialty at the forefront of treating facial trauma. Reconstruction of the jaws, both electively, and after trauma or cancer surgery, also falls in the domain of the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Other areas within our scope of practice include TMJ surgery, management of maxillofacial infections, treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) and a variety of facial cosmetic procedures.