I have blogged on several occasions about the risks that go along with providing care for our general population who are living longer and living with greater medical problems. One area we do not speak of much is that of patients who have congenital problems such as congenital disabilities or congenital heart defects as examples. These patients are also surviving much longer and are found in our patient populations on a regular basis, even for more complicated procedures. (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 74:601-609, 2016). Experience has taught me (along with many of my teachers and mentors) – and now I pass on to others – is that when you see one congenital problem, expect more. It is especially common for patients who have branchial arch or cleft deformities to have other defects that may not be diagnosed. A common example might be a person with a birth defect with a deformed ear or jaw structure who may have never had a heart problem diagnosed. This can show up for the first time when we anesthetize them for an oral surgery procedure. If you have a congenital growth abnormality, make sure to let your surgeon know about this and make sure they are following through with proper presurgical testing. Lastly, make sure they are experienced and well trained. It can make all the difference.

If you have questions, call Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 to learn more.