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Advanced Maxillofacial Surgery with Dr. John Fidler, Jr.

Dr. John Fidler, Jr., DDS, is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He began his dental training at West Virginia University School of Dentistry and trained in general practice at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Naval Hospital in Great Lakes, Illinois.

I have a severe overbite that actually causes me pain in my jaw when I chew. Do I need braces or surgery?

— Ed P., Goldsboro

First and foremost, talk to your dentist; but the standard of care leans toward orthognathic surgery, which is corrective jaw surgery, along with orthodontic therapy.

In other words, I would not recommend jaw surgery alone without braces. Both an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and an orthodontist would be involved in your treatment. Your tooth alignment can be critical for a successful outcome.

What is a maxillofacial surgeon? Is that the same as a dentist?

— Cindi C., Johnston

Yes, but maxillofacial surgeons are typically trained in oral surgery as well, so many are referred to as oral and maxillofacial specialists. There are many of us who are educated as Doctors of Dentistry or Doctors of Medicine, depending on where we studied.

Maxillofacial surgery is a specialty that corrects a wide spectrum of diseases and defects, as well as injuries of the head, neck, jaws, face, and tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.

We treat accident victims suffering facial injuries, care for patients with oral cancer, and treat tumors of the jaws. We also prepare patients for dentures, place implants, and perform cosmetic facial procedures.

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