Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery: Huntsville, TX

Dr. Justin Liska

Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is an oral surgery practice offering the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures.  There are eight board-certified oral surgeons that practice in six convenient locations including Huntsville, Texas.

Many patients find that our Huntsville office is easy to access from I-45 at Exit 114. Getting an appointment in a timely fashion is as easy as a phone call to the friendly and knowledgeable Huntsville staff. Dr. Justin Liska has been welcomed into the Huntsville community and works closely with the dentists and orthodontists in Huntsville and surrounding communities. Patients can be reassured that a treatment plan will be well-coordinated between NWOMS and the referring office.

At Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we specialize in wisdom teeth extractions, single, multiple and full mouth extractions, preparation for and placement of dental implants, bone grafting, oral pathology and more. When oral surgery is prescribed, contact us at 936-439-9572 and visit our website at Also, take a minute to look at our Google+ reviews.  We are proud of what our patients are saying about us in the Huntsville office.


Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery | 3200 Robinson Creek Parkway | Huntsville

Oral Cancer is on the Rise

Oral and oropharyngeal cancer is on the rise. Symptoms of this cancer can present as canker sores or an infection that doesn’t want to heal.

Risk factors for oral cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Exposure to HPV (the human papilloma virus)

Oral cancer is divided into two categories:

  • Oral cancer affects the lips, cheek lining, gums, front of the tongue, and the hard part of the roof of the mouth
  • Pharyngeal cancer affects the throat, soft part of the roof of the mouth, the throat and the back and base of the tongue


Early detection will allow for more treatment options that lead to complete recovery. During regular and routine dental visits, a dentist or a hygienist will screen patients and can typically identify the more commons symptoms.

The most common symptoms of oral cancer are:

  • A sore that will not heal or go away
  • Pain in the mouth that will not go away
  • White or red patches on the lining of the mouth, tongue, tonsil, or gums
  • Lumps or a thick, rough spot
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing and moving tongue and jaw


If a dentist suspects oral or oropharyngeal cancer, he/she can perform a biopsy or will refer the patient to an oral surgeon for further testing.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons also recommend that patients perform a self-check each month.

Click on the following link for more information about oral cancer detection, risk factors and cancer facts:

American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons

ABOMSAs board-certified oral surgeons, each Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon is a member of the AAOMS, the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.  This organization provides educational, research and advocacy support for our dental specialty. As members, we comply with rigorous continuing education requirements and periodic office examinations to ensure that we meet stringent national standards.

While we always try to answer all of our patients’ questions during an exam, we are aware that patients are hungry for as much information as possible. In response to this need, the AAOMS hosts an excellent website for the public, is a valuable resource for additional information that is extremely easy to use! We recommend that you access this site if you have questions about conditions and treatments of the face, mouth or jaw.

Check out the website if you are simply trying to make an educated decision about oral surgery. The content on the site is unbiased, valuable and vital. You will find videos, news, illustrations and brochures to explain the procedures performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. If you live outside of the communities that we serve, we recommend that you locate an oral surgeon by using the “Find a Surgeon” search function.

As always, please contact us if you have questions we can answer for you,

What is an OMS?

Have you ever wondered what the rest of the name you sometimes see for your oral surgeon means?  What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon?  Many people are confused by the word “maxillofacial” which simply means of, or relating to, the jaws and face.

According to the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, “Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association who are surgically trained in a hospital-based residency program for a minimum of four years.”  This training focuses on the bone, skin, and muscle of the face, mouth and jaw and follows years of undergraduate and dental school education. Following the four – six year residency program, the surgeon must prepare for, and pass, extremely rigorous written and oral examinations in order to become a board-certified specialist.

While you may typically associate an OMS with wisdom teeth extractions, oral surgeons are trained to perform intricate and complex surgeries such as the correction of cleft palates, and the rebuilding of jaws, cheeks, eye sockets and foreheads.  In addition, oral surgeons are experts in the preservation of jawbones with the use of bone grafting and dental implants.

For a quick summary (and a lesson on how to pronounce “maxillofacial,”) take one minute to watch the What is an OMS? video on

For more information about the surgeons at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, visit

So, whatever name you chose to call us, we are honored that you have chosen a real, board-certified surgeon for your surgical care needs.

What is an OMS? from on Vimeo.


Should I Have Oral Surgery in My Dentist’s Office?

Oral surgery equipment imageRecently a neighbor and I were discussing dentistry. After all, I am an oral surgeon and everyone wants to talk to me about their dental issues. I am happy to oblige, and I offer suggestions and advice when appropriate. On this particular occasion, my neighbor asked me about using an oral surgeon at his dentist’s office. He needs several teeth extracted and replaced with dental implants for future restoration. His general dentist offered to have his itinerant oral surgeon take care of him.

An itinerant oral surgeon is one who travels from office to office performing oral surgical procedures. The beauty of using an itinerant surgeon is the convenience for the patient as the oral surgeon basically comes to the patient. There isn’t any need for the patient to fill out additional paperwork or become familiar with a new office location and staff. Undoubtedly, there are benefits to convenience. But, should convenience be the priority when it comes to your health, safety and success of a procedure?

Itinerant oral surgeons have become more prevalent is the last decade. There is a financial incentive for a general dentist to host an itinerant surgeon in his/her office. Referring patients “out” to a specialist does not come with any financial benefits for the dentist. As a matter of fact, it is against Texas State Board of Dental Examiners rules and regulations to fee split or reap any financial rewards for referring to specialists. The benefit of referring to specialists comes with the knowledge and subsequent evidence that a patient was well cared for by a trained and experienced dental specialist.

My neighbor may have gotten more information about itinerant surgeons than he expected! In summary, I told him the following:

  • Oral surgery and the administration of IV anesthesia is serious business. A board-certified oral surgeon is the optimal specialist for multiple teeth extractions and dental implant placement.
  • A board-certified oral surgeon is trained in a hospital setting for four to six years after graduating from dental school. He/she received intense training and experience in the safe administration of IV anesthesia. In addition, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) and PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) certified annually.
  • Too often, the “oral surgeon” who travels is really just a dentist who performs oral surgery. He or she does not have the education and training that a board-certified oral surgeon possesses.
  • An oral surgery office is the best place to have oral surgery. Each office undergoes an Office Anesthesia Evaluation (OAE), a program designed by the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons to assure the public that the surgeon, the staff and the facility are equipped for the successful use of anesthesia. The OAE includes evaluation and inspection of the facility, emergency equipment and emergency medicines. It requires successful demonstration of emergency management procedures by the surgeon and the staff, and subsequent critique and discussion of the demonstration. Dental offices are not required to undergo an Office Anesthesia Evaluation.
  • At the oral surgeon’s office, a surgeon employs a well-trained staff of surgical assistants who are experienced and certified to assist in surgery. Dental assistants in a general dentist office do not have the experience or training that is required for safe oral surgery.
  • The opportunity for an adequate consultation with the itinerant oral surgeon prior to a procedure is either nonexistent or minimal. Questions can go unanswered and the opportunity to do a “background check” of the surgeon might be missed.
  • If complications arise following surgery, patients will likely be unable to follow up with the itinerant surgeon in a timely fashion. As an itinerant, his/her ability to establish a solid relationship with a patient is limited and may prove to be unsatisfactory for the patient.
  • Finally, I mentioned to my neighbor that safety in the dental offices is a valid concern. It is common to frequently hear reports on the news and internet about patients that have either become severely injured or have died as a result of inadequate dental practices.


I recommended to my neighbor that he forego using the itinerant surgeon and request a referral to a board-certified oral surgeon who practices in a permanent location. Reputable dentists have a list of trusted specialists to whom they refer. And, a quick search on the internet will show that oral and maxillofacial surgery offices are numerous and conveniently located in most metropolitan areas.

I appreciated the opportunity to discuss this topic with my neighbor. It’s important for patients to evaluate a treatment plan and to question why it is being prescribed. In the case of employing an itinerant surgeon, I suggest figuring out who is really benefitting — patient or dentist?


  1. James Clark, a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, has been practicing the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery for over 30 years. For more information about Dr. Clark and his colleagues as Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, please visit