Pediatric Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Get the special care your child needs from an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at University Health. Our dedicated surgeons treat children of all ages with head and face congenital and developmental conditions.

What Is Pediatric Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery?

A pediatric oral and maxillofacial (jaw and face) surgeon cares for conditions affecting a child’s head, neck, face, jaws, mouth and teeth. Surgery can correct conditions like a misaligned jaw, treat mouth and jaw tumors, and replace damaged or missing teeth with dental implants.

Pediatric Craniomaxillofacial Surgery in South Texas

Craniomaxillofacial surgery is a subspecialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Our surgeon performs corrective and reconstructive surgery to help return children's skull and face abnormalities to near-normal. Rely on us for prenatal care if your unborn baby is diagnosed with a genetic condition.

Conditions We Treat

Consult our pediatric surgeons to diagnose and treat a wide range of oral, maxillofacial and craniofacial conditions. These may include:

  • Craniofacial abnormalities (related to head and facial bone growth), such as cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis and hemifacial microsomia
  • Crooked and crowded teeth (malocclusion)
  • Dentofacial anomalies – Abnormal growth of the face and jaw
  • Facial injuries
  • Jaw deformities – Improper alignment of the jaw
  • Velopharyngeal dysfunction – Irregular soft tissue at the back of the throat causes swallowing and speech problems
  • Tumors and cysts of the mouth and jaw
  • Genetic conditions, such as:
    • 22q11.2 deletion syndrome – Missing piece of chromosome 22, causing varied signs and symptoms, such as heart abnormalities, abnormal facial features, immune system problems, cleft palate and more
    • Pierre Robins sequence/syndrome – Small lower jaw with the tongue toward the back of the mouth and possible cleft palate
    • Treacher Collins syndrome – Underdevelopment of areas of the head and face

Evaluation and Diagnosis

At your child’s first appointment, expect a complete evaluation for congenital abnormalities and oral or facial damage from disease or injury. Your doctor may explain a diagnosis right away. Conditions that are more complex will require medical images of your child’s condition to determine the best treatment plan.

Dedicated, Compassionate Care

When you choose University Health for your child’s care, we’ll be there to support your family. We want to relieve your fears and help you understand your child’s treatment so you’re not overwhelmed.

Surgical Treatments for Children

Look to University Health for advanced procedures and surgeries to treat pediatric oral, maxillofacial and craniofacial childhood-related conditions, such as:

  • Cleft lip and palate surgery
  • Craniosynostosis
    • Minimally invasive (endoscopic)
    • Traditional open surgery
  • Bone grafting – Transplants bone into a damaged or deficient area of the jaw
  • Craniofacial surgery – Treats syndromes and conditions affecting the soft tissue of the mouth, face and head
  • Corrective jaw (orthognathic) surgery – Moves the upper and lower jawbones to fix overbites, underbites, crossbites and facial asymmetry
  • Craniofacial implants
  • Distraction osteogenesis – Slowly moves bones apart to allow new bone to grow and fill in the gaps
  • Facial reconstructive surgery and custom jaw and skull implants
  • Expose and bond impacted teeth
  • Head and neck pathology surgery
  • Neuroplastic reconstructive surgery
  • Tooth extractions, including wisdom teeth
  • Trauma surgery for head, neck, face, jaws and mouth

Preparing for Surgery

Your surgeon will explain what you and your child can expect on the day of surgery and how to prepare. You’ll see a big-screen TV presentation to put you at ease before surgery, and you’ll have time to ask questions.

Minimally Invasive Surgery Options

Feel confident we’ll do everything possible to make your child comfortable while receiving treatment. Whenever possible, your child will have a minimally invasive procedure instead of traditional surgery. That means less blood loss, less pain and swelling, and a shorter recovery time.

Following reconstructive jaw surgery, patients do not have their jaw wired shut.

Innovative Virtual Surgical Planning

Surgeons use advanced 3D images of your child’s head to plan and rehearse surgery in a virtual environment before the actual procedure. That means a more accurate and precise surgical outcome for your child.

Team Approach Gives Best Care

When your child needs care from other pediatric doctors, you’ll have access to everything you need at University Health. Expect our pediatric specialists to work together to give your child superior care. Depending on your child’s condition, the pediatric care team may include:

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