Schedule Wisdom Teeth Surgery During School Holidays!

“When is it a good time to have your wisdom teeth extracted?” Ask any teenager and the answer will surely be, “NEVER!” The truth of the matter is that wisdom teeth will need to come out eventually. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, can cause crowding, inflammation of gums, damage to other teeth and pain. Scheduling wisdom teeth surgery at your convenience is a far better option than waiting for an emergency.

When’s a good time to schedule oral surgery?

At Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we have six convenient offices that are equipped for the safest surgical procedures and administration of IV anesthesia. Our eight board-certified oral surgeons are experienced and highly qualified to manage wisdom teeth extractions. Each surgeon suggests scheduling this procedure during school holidays which occur during Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as during Spring and Summer Break.

How long does recovery take?

While full recovery usually takes between five and seven days, your teen will likely feel under the weather for only two or three days. And, some young patients bounce back quickly after surgery, never require pain medication and are ready to socialize the day after a procedure.  Nonetheless, if surgery occurs during a break, school attendance and participation in most extracurricular activities is not disrupted.

Get more info!

For more information about wisdom teeth surgery at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, visit , and We are looking forward to seeing your teen soon.


How to Choose an Oral Surgeon

Oral surgery can be as simple as a single tooth extraction or as complex as a full-mouth restoration. Regardless of the procedure, you always want to be in the care of the most qualified dental professional.

Board Certification

The most reliable indicator of an oral surgeon’s qualifications is board certification. When an oral surgeon is board-certified, it means that he/she has passed an extremely rigorous written and oral examination after earning a four-year undergraduate degree, a DDS or DMD, and then successfully completing a four- to six-year surgical residency.


How many times has the surgeon performed the prescribed treatment? How many years has the oral surgeon been practicing the full scope of the OMS specialty? Oral surgeons, unlike general dentists, focus solely on oral surgical procedures — including wisdom teeth extractions, the placement of dental implants, bone grafting, sinus lifts and more. Experience is important.

Safety of the Facility

A board-certified oral surgeon will have hospital privileges at a well-respected and reputable hospital. If the oral surgeon performs outpatient oral surgery, the surgical operatory will be equipped to handle an anesthesia emergency and the surgical staff will be trained to respond to emergency situations. Unlike general dental offices, OMS offices are required to undergo a regular Office Anesthesia Evaluation.


Ask your friends and family members about their experiences with an oral surgeon. Read online reviews from several different sources including Google+, Healthgrades, Facebook, Yelp and NextDoor.

Trust Your Instincts

Schedule a consultation with the oral surgeon. You should be comfortable asking questions and the surgeon should be forthcoming with answers. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers or just don’t feel comfortable, seek a second opinion.

Check Your Insurance

Last, but not least, contact your insurance provider to see if your oral surgeon is an in-network provider. If he/she is not an in-network provider, determine what benefits are available when using an out-of-network provider.

Oral Surgery for Special-Needs Patients

Oral surgery for healthy patients is typically met with trepidation. When patients with special needs require oral surgery, additional care and compassion are vital to guarantee a comfortable procedure and a successful outcome. Most often the use of general anesthesia will be recommended for dental patients identified as having special needs which include:

  • Geriatric patients
  • Patients with mobility issues
  • Mentally disabled patients
  • Patients with underlying health concerns
  • Mentally ill patients
  • Children with emotional or behavioral issues


Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are experts in surgery of the face, mouth and jaw. Their extensive training prepares them to perform complex oral surgical procedures for patients with special needs. OMS procedures include:

  • Wisdom teeth management
  • Head, neck, and oral pathology
  • Dental implant surgery
  • Dental and soft tissue surgery including the extraction of diseased teeth
  • Treatment of facial injuries


In addition, as board-certified oral surgeons, they are trained in the administration of IV anesthesia and perform surgeries in operatories which are equipped to handle any anesthesia emergencies which may arise.


Medical Director experienced with special-needs patients

At Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we employ a board-certified anesthesiologist who also serves as our medical director. Dr. Penelope Duke is experienced in the care of patients with special needs and can provide the additional attention and treatment that they may require. Dr. Duke will visit with the patient and the patient’s caregiver prior to surgery. She will administer the IV anesthesia and remain with the patient throughout the procedure, monitoring the patient’s vitals before, during and after surgery.

Following surgery, the oral surgeon and anesthesiologist will confer with the patient and the patient’s caregiver about what to expect after the anesthesia wears off and how to care for the patient post-operatively. It is our goal at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to provide the best and safest treatment to our patients, including those with special needs.

Choosing the Right Dental Specialist

We all are aware of what an important role our dentist plays in our overall oral health.  He or she is your “go-to” clinician for routine procedures that include teeth cleanings, cavity fillings, sealants, crowns and other restorations. To become a dentist, each has completed a post-graduate, four-year doctorate degree in dentistry. For conditions that fall outside the scope of their training, a general dentist will generally refer patients and coordinate treatment with a specialist. In some cases, however, a general dentist will try to do it all.  Before agreeing to let your general dentist to perform procedures that might be better left to a specialist, find out a few things:

  • Does your general dentist rightfully possess the necessary qualifications to perform the prescribed procedure?
  • Has your general dentist had post-graduate training to perform the procedure?
  • Is there a specialist in your community who specializes in the procedure that has been prescribed?
  • Does your general dentist have the right equipment and trained staff to perform the procedure?
  • Has your dentist enrolled in legitimate continuing education courses?
  • What is the motivation behind offering procedures beyond his or her training?

If you are not comfortable with the answers to the questions above, there are many dental specialists that are properly trained and prepared to treat you:

  • Oral Surgeon: Experts in mouth, face and jaw surgery
  • Periodontist: Experts in treating periodontal disease (gums)
  • Orthodontist: Experts in the treatment of improper bite and crooked teeth
  • Pediatric Dentist: Experts dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through 16 years old
  • Prosthodontist: Experts in the esthetic restoration and replacement of teeth

When your general dentist refers you to a specialist, you can feel confident that he/she has your best interest at heart and appreciates the expertise of a specialist. Before agreeing to advanced dental procedures in your general dentist’s office, consider consulting with a specialist for peace of mind and confidence for a successful outcome.

7 Benefits of Dental Implants

A healthy smile should last a lifetime, but, well…. sometimes that smile needs a little help. For various reasons, many people end up with a missing tooth (or teeth). Not only can a missing tooth cause embarrassment, but it can also lead to long-term health issues. Fortunately, there are procedures, such as dental implants, that can bring back that beautiful smile.

Dental implants have a dramatic, positive affect on a patient’s life. Not only does the simple procedure brighten his or her appearance, it can also drastically improve their overall quality of life.

Unlike other dental procedures, an implant replaces the tooth root, not just the crown. The bone bonds to the implant, provides a solid foundation for chewing that looks natural. The implant is permanent and designed to last a lifetime.

In fact, there are many advantages of dental implants including:

Increased confidence – many people are self conscious when missing a tooth, but once it’s “fixed” their confidence and self esteem rises

Improved chewing ability – a dental implant attaches to the root, making chewing and biting easier. Patients can enjoy their favorite foods again!

Improved appearance – this simple, single procedure is one of the most dramatic ways to improve a person’s appearance

Keep surrounding teeth healthy – the teeth around the “missing” tooth won’t suffer

Easy to care for – implants are permanent, and require the same care as your regular teeth

Permanent – dental implants are permanent and designed to last a lifetime. Once implanted, you don’t have to think about them!

Improve long-term health – dental implants reduce the risk of periodontal disease and other oral infections. They also keep the jaw bone healthy (the jaw bone can actually shrink over time when teeth are missing!).

If you or someone you love is missing a tooth – or teeth – dental implants can make a huge difference in the overall quality of life. To learn more or for a consultation to determine if an implant is the right solution for you, contact Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today.

All About Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons

All Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are board certified by the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery; but why is that important?

The graphic below highlights what it means to be board certified and how it affects you, the patient.

Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

tooth - Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial SurgeryHave you ever wondered why your third set of molars is called wisdom teeth when there is absolutely nothing wise about them?  They are called wisdom teeth because these teeth generally appear during the late teens or early twenties, which has ironically been referred to as the “age of wisdom.”

So, if your third molars are not causing you any problems, then should you have them removed?  The answer is yes.  It is very unlikely that these teeth will be a valuable asset to your mouth.  On the contrary, wisdom teeth typically cause many problems including:

  • Jaw pain
  • Misalignment of surrounding teeth
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease

Removal of wisdom teeth is advised prior to problems developing.  Extraction is easier and much safer in younger people when roots are not fully developed and the bone is less dense.  Recovery and healing time increases incrementally with age.  Following wisdom teeth surgery, it will generally take about seven to ten days to recover for a younger person.  It is important to consider your school, athletic and/or musical schedules when scheduling surgery.


For more information about wisdom teeth, please call one of the board-certified oral surgeons at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery practicing in  The Woodlands, Conroe, Spring, Magnolia and Huntsville.

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: