Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery: Filling the Space with Excellence

The OMS practice has six custom-designed surgical suites.
The OMS practice has six custom-designed surgical suites.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Practice Continues to Grow in New Home

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Practice performs specialized dental surgery on children and adults at the Center for Oral Health Care & Research.

UT Dentistry San Antonio’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery practice is growing to meet the continuing dental and surgical needs in San Antonio and South Texas.

In July 2015, the state-of-the-art Center for Oral Health Care & Research opened its doors and provided Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) with a new, high-tech clinical facility to provide its services to the more than 7,000 patients seen each year. With 10 exam rooms, six custom-designed surgical suites, an operating room equipped for major operations, and world-class technology throughout, the department was poised and eager to expand its ability to deliver care.

It didn’t take long for the OMS department to fill that space.
“We built the clinic large because we anticipated expansion—and it’s a good thing, because we certainly use it,” said Edward Ellis III, D.D.S., M.S., professor and department chair. “We’re typically using four or five of our surgical operatories and five or six exam rooms.”

The new facility provided room to increase its number of residents in training from two per year to an additional third resident every other year which translates to an extra pair of trained hands—supervised by world-renowned OMS faculty—to treat more of the city’s uninsured patients. “Our residents do most of their work on patients who have no insurance and have to pay cash,” Dr. Ellis said. Resident services cost 50 percent to 60 percent less than those from typical private practice oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, founded in 1967, has long offered advanced multi-specialty education and superior care to children and adult patients with some of the most complex oral surgery needs.

Georgia, a patient from Corpus Christi, underwent corrective jaw surgery to bring her jaws forward to increase her airway, correct her bite and improve her profile.

Clinical services include dental implants, bone grafting, wisdom teeth removal, corrective jaw surgery (bite correction), cosmetic surgery, jaw reconstruction and facial trauma management, among others.
It also is one of the few sites in South Texas that performs temporomandibular joint (TMJ) reconstruction—a condition treated by faculty member and TMJ expert Daniel Perez, D.D.S. “Dr. Perez is the only one in the region who does a great volume of jaw joint (TMJ) reconstruction using custom-made metallic jaw joints. Even the military sends some of its patients to him,” Dr. Ellis said.

Surgeons perform both at the clinic and at University Hospital, which also features highly sophisticated software and digital technology that provides advanced imaging, visualization, surgical planning and intraoperative navigation to perform complex and delicate procedures.

Jaw-Dropping Improvement

Georgia from Corpus Christi came to UT Dentistry with a small lower jaw and short neck that caused her difficulty breathing, especially while sleeping. She also had trouble swallowing and chewing because of a bad bite. Our oral surgeons performed corrective jaw surgery to bring her jaws forward to increase her airway, correct her bite and her profile. The patient is now able to sleep, eat, and speak much better.

“I am forever grateful how your office worked with my local doctors to achieve the results that truly saved my life. The surgery has allowed me to swallow easier. I can breathe easier. I sleep a lot better. If I were asked would I go through all of this again to get the results I enjoy today, my answer would be a resounding YES! Thank you again for all the great care taken in my case.”—Patient Georgia from Corpus Christi

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In the 2016 issue of Salute

Salute is the official magazine for the alumni and friends of the School of Dentistry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Read and share inspiring stories highlighting our dental alumni, faculty and students who are revolutionizing education, research, patient care and critical services in the communities they serve.

View the 2016 issue

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