Our Approach to Treatment

For Wisdom Teeth:

Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons have at minimum 4 or 6 years of formal training beyond the 4 years of dental school. This training specifically involves surgical removal of wisdom teeth. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the most proficient providers for safe removal of wisdom teeth. In addition to being the best at performing this surgery; the Specialty sets the national standard of care for this surgery. Dr. Nordstrom has 6 years of hospital based surgical training beyond the 4 years of dental school, and has formal Medical School training. In addition, he takes this surgery very seriously—and puts patient safety as the #1 priority.

For Anesthesia/Sedation:

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons perform the majority of in office sedation within the practice of dentistry. Dr. Nordstrom has had formal anesthesia training in the hospital setting at Oregon Health and Sciences University. This training was a formal full-time (80hr/wk) rotation administered by the department of Anesthesiology at OHSU. It was within the Medical Residency training program for four months duration (with a month dedicated to pediatrics.) In addition to this, Dr. Nordstrom has an active medical license, and was a previous member of emergency airway management team at a Level 1 Trauma Center. He maintains an active General Anesthesia Permit, as well as an IV Sedation permit in Alaska. At AOFS, in-office anesthesia will be provided by a qualified provider with Hospital-Grade monitoring equipment. Not everyone’s case will be appropriate for a clinic setting—in that scenario, AOFS has the ability to provide your care at a local hospital.

For Dental Implants:

Dental implants may be small, but they are not simple. There are dental implants that can be un-complicated, but just as often they can be complicated. To adequately perform dental implants at a high level—a surgeon must understand and be able to provide for dental implants at all stages of treatment. Planning starts from before tooth extractions until they are implants are ready for the final crown. Dr. Nordstrom is very thorough in treatment planning and discussing plans with patients, and can provide the highest standard of dental implant treatment available.  Dr. Nordstrom also has contemporary training in All on 4 implant treatment, allowing you to have this performed to the national standard at a competitive cost—without patients having to travel to the Lower 48. By having Dr. Nordstrom involved in your implant treatment—you get a highly skilled surgeon to perform the implant surgery, and your dentist to perform the crown restoration. This also ensures that at least 2 doctors will be able to evaluate and participate in your care—and each is performing the service for which they are specifically trained.

For Corrective Jaw Surgery:

Jaw surgery can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, with excellent results and patient satisfaction. This includes but is not limited to: major and minor skeletal discrepancies, facial asymmetry, facial syndromes, growth abnormalities and post-traumatic deformities. Corrective jaw surgery is underutilized due to some misconceptions within the general public about it. Subsequently it is not discussed as often as it should be. Despite this, patients who have jaw surgery are generally very happy with the decision and the outcome after corrective jaw surgery. One of Dr. Nordstrom’s primary areas of focus is in corrective jaw surgery treatment. In addition to his practice locally, he maintains privileges and operates at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. There he operates specifically in the areas of jaw correction and joint reconstruction surgery. Dr. Nordstrom cares greatly about the impact this surgery can have on patients, but understands the financial challenges it can mean to families.  He will work hard to make surgery possible for patients in need of this type of care. You do not have to consider long-distance travel to have your corrective jaw surgery performed—it can be done right here in Alaska, by a specialist focused in this area.

For Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

You may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), and never heard of maxillomandibular advancement surgery. Despite this, it might be the treatment for your OSA. Many patients think that dentists only make splints for you if you have sleep apnea—but if you have Moderate to Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, splint therapy is actually not likely appropriate as a treatment. Likewise, most patients have a notoriously hard time being compliant with CPAP machines—resulting in inappropriate treatment of a very serious condition. Many patients do not know that there can be surgical options for the treatment of OSA, that could alleviate the need for the CPAP machine altogether. Dr. Nordstrom can utilize technology in his office to evaluate your airway for possible obstruction, and if surgery is an appropriate treatment for you. Dr. Nordstrom will work with your Primary Care Doctor or Sleep Medicine Doctor to get the best attainable and realistic treatment for your OSA. While not everyone is a candidate for surgery, many are and would benefit greatly from surgery. Successful surgical treatment of OSA is one of the most rewarding surgeries Dr. Nordstrom can provide for a patient and family–and encourages you to discuss your treatment options, for what is an often overlooked but very serious medical condition.

For Facial Trauma Treatment:

Dr. Nordstrom’s surgical training was performed entirely out of 2 different Level 1 trauma centers (Legacy Emanuel Hospital, and Oregon Health and Sciences University). He has comprehensive knowledge and skill in the treatment of traumatic injuries to the head and neck, and contemporary training in accepted advancements in treatment of these cases. Dr. Nordstrom’s training at these centers involved treatment of nearly every traumatic condition from the above the collarbones to the forehead. He can provide comprehensive care of head and neck trauma both soft and hard tissue, and maintains relationships with other subspecialists in this field if needed to provide up-to-date care. This past year he published a chapter for Wiley-Blackwell on the contemporary management of Orbital Trauma (trauma to the eye socket.) He utilizes new and rapidly advancing technologies, such as 3D reconstruction and Virtual Surgical Planning to improve surgical outcomes for patients—and is one of the only surgeons with formal training in this area within the State of Alaska.

For Bone Grafting:

Bone grafting is a surgical skill and should be provided by a surgeon, if it is to be performed most effectively. Bone grafting is often times most beneficial and cost-effective when done at the time of a tooth extraction. Conversely—if it is not done at the time of extraction and should have been, it can become a much more difficult, costly, and time-consuming process for patients. If a patient is going to have a tooth extracted and desires an implant—it is often best to seek consultation from a surgeon prior to having that tooth extracted, to ensure the best possible outcome.

Technology in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery:

At AOFS, we utilize the newest and most advanced available technology in regards to patient evaluation and treatment. We are able to utilize a CT scanner in office that provides excellent 3 dimensional analysis in treatment planning for dental implants, corrective jaw surgery, obstructive sleep apnea surgery and pathology or trauma treatment. This technology also allows us to provide high grade imaging at a fraction of the cost and radiation dose—that would previously have to be done in a hospital or imaging center. When appropriate we will also utilize our imaging system to virtually plan implant surgery, corrective jaw surgery and correction of facial deformities. This results in more accurate surgery and shorter operation times—resulting in improved surgical outcomes and post-operative course. Dr. Nordstrom’s surgical training at Legacy Emanuel Hospital was 1 of the 3 original development sites at the time for Virtual Surgical Planning. Shortly after this development, it spread nationally and is now widely accepted. In addition to this, Dr. Nordstrom has trained with and continues to operate with one of the developers of one of the most advanced protocols for surgical planning. All of this has resulted in Dr. Nordstrom having early and extensive training in the area of Virtual Surgical Planning for the correction of facial deformities.

Cleft lip and Palate Surgery:

Dr. Nordstrom is unique in that he operates as a Staff Surgeon at The Alaska Native Medical Center, and also as a local Private Practice Surgeon. Having representation within both of these surgery communities allows him the broadest exposure to patients with cleft lip and/or palate available within Alaska. Dr. Nordstrom believes in a team approach to treatment of patients with these conditions, and continuity of care. Patients and families have often develop surgical fatigue, having been through multiple surgeries and revisions. For that reason, AOFS places an emphasis on patience and coordination to have surgeries performed not only correctly, but also at the optimal time for the best possible outcome with the least number of surgeries.

Pathology of the Jaws and Face:

Tumors and cysts of the Jaws and face have special significance in treatment because the treatment and/or removal can be disfiguring, and disruptive to speech and eating. Because of this, there is some tendency to avoid treatment. In actuality the opposite should be true. If these lesions are treated as soon as detected, it often means smaller and easier surgery. If lesions do have large negative consequences—they can require bone grafting and possible dental or facial implants. Dr. Nordstrom has thorough knowledge of the facial skeleton and soft tissue, technologies available and the possible surgeries to treat these conditions. Having a background in Head and Neck Cancer reconstruction and Facial Trauma reconstruction has uniquely qualified him to care for patients with these conditions.