Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery (CCOFS) is opening its first office in South Carolina this month. CCOFS has been considering an expansion into South Carolina since November 2014. Based on its surveys and research of the area, Rock Hill is a great choice for this kind of facility.

“It’s a growing area,” says Danny Ketola, business manager for CCOFS’ 6 current offices, in a release. “The area hasn’t had many oral surgeons move here, and we have a lot of patients that come up from South Carolina to access the type of care we offer, so the decision was an easy one.”

Last year, CCOFS saw approximately 1,000 patients traveling from the South Carolina areas of or near Fort Mill and Rock Hill. These patients have usually sought treatment at CCOFS’s Blakeney/Ballantyne office.

John H. Wessel, DMD, MD, currently at CCOFS’s Concord office, is relocating to lead the Rock Hill office. Wessel is a fellowship-trained oral & maxillofacial surgeon who completed his training in Charlotte, NC, under the mentorship of Drs Brian Farrell and Myron Tucker. Wessel received his degrees from Harvard School of Dental Medicine and New Jersey Medical School, completing his fellowship at CCOFS, which offers a private fellowship program focused on Orthognathic, TMJ and reconstruction surgeries. Wessel is looking forward to overseeing the new office.

“I’m very excited to begin working in the Rock Hill community,” says Wessel. “I have met with many dentists and dental specialists in the area and they all have a sense of community—It was a very warm reception.”

Wessel has relocated to South Carolina and plans to become active in the local community planting roots for his family. “Living and working in the same community is a great experience—I’m treating my neighbors and friends. I’ll be providing the same services which we offer in our 5 North Carolina locations, including wisdom teeth extraction, jaw surgery, dental implants, and sleep apnea surgery,” says Wessel.

CCOFS will be the only AAAHC accredited oral surgery practice in the state. The practice pioneered The Charlotte Method, a virtual surgical planning system used in certain jaw surgeries. The Method begins with a CT scan of the patient, creating a digital record of the facial skeleton. This record provides CCOFS’ doctors with an animated guide of how to complete the surgery before stepping into the operating room.

In 1987, the practice opened as University Oral Surgery with a staff of 2. More staff members were added throughout the early 1990s. By 1998, there were three offices in Charlotte and Concord with a fourth opening in 2005 in Denver, NC. The Blakeney/Ballantyne office opened in 2013.

Today, CCOFS is the largest oral and maxillofacial-focused practice in the Carolinas and one of the largest in the country. In 2016, the practice completed more than 300 jaw surgeries, including correcting overbites, underbites, and sleep apnea corrections. CCOFS surgery team includes 12 full and part-time oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Each of these surgeons is board-certified by the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and are fellows of the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.