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Four Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in Alliance to Bring Awareness to South Texas

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As originally published by Mega Doctor News newsprint edition January 2023

By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

Four leading oral surgeons have pooled their expertise, experience, and strength to serve the Rio Grande Valley community. They have allied independently of their own medical practices to carry the message that oral and maxillofacial surgery can solve very complex oral and dental problems.  Patients needing specialized treatment of injuries, multiple diseases, and defects of the head, neck, jaw, teeth, mouth, and facial structure can now receive their expert care.

Rio Grande Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, or RGV OMS, is a newly formed company between three independent practices specializing in oral and maxillofacial surgery. They are among the best in South Texas and provide a vital service for the area’s residents.

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According to Dr. Carlos Cruz, they joined in this venture to get the word out and to help each other in providing this critical service. “It is important that the community learns about us and that we are local.  We’re different practice groups, however, we work together to help each other educate the public through courses and media platforms we create.”

Dr. Karl Frey, DDS is an oral & maxillofacial surgery specialist at Rio Grande Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Harlingen, Texas. Courtesy Image

Dr. Karl Frey, DDS

“An Oral Maxillofacial surgeon is responsible for correcting congenital and acquired deformities of the head, neck, face, skull, jaws, and associated structures. We do this all the time,”– Dr. Karl Frey, DDS.

Dr. Karl Frey, Dr. Omel Cardenas, and Dr. Luciano Stroia are members of the newly formed RGV Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons or RGVOMS. These doctors’ alliance is undoubtedly unique and is without precedent in the field. As a group, they work closely with local dentists and physicians of the Valley.

Typical training for oral and maxillofacial surgeons includes two to four years of undergraduate study (BS, BA, or equivalent degrees), four years of dental research (DMD, BDent, DDS, or BDS), and four to six years of residency training (six years includes two additional years for acquiring a medical degree). After completion of the surgical training, they undertake final specialty examinations. The oral and maxillofacial surgery profession is recognized by the American College of Surgeons.

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Dr. Cruz said they were also trained to administer anesthesia. They do extraction of wisdom teeth, correction of misaligned teeth and jaws, and the treatment of cysts of the jaw, mouth, and tumors, additionally, they perform dental implant surgeries. It is safe to say that if you see any of these doctors, you are in good hands.

For this group of doctors, keeping a close relationship with the dentists in the area is extremely important. “We hold them in great appreciation, and we respect each other.  They refer patients to us with infections or injuries; we can take care of it because that’s our training,” said Dr. Cruz.

Dr. A. Luciano Stroia, DDS is an oral & maxillofacial surgery specialist at the Rio Grande Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Harlingen, Texas. Courtesy Image

Dr. A. Luciano Stroia, DDS

“If you want to do great work, you must love what you’re doing. Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. The unwavering courage and determination to continue are what defines the individual,”– Dr. A. Luciano Stroia, DDS.

The experience accumulated among the four doctors allows them to treat very anxious patients. “When our patients are anxious, their stress level is high. We also treat patients that are difficult and challenging with disabilities, we can take care of them,” he said.  Thanks to their training, they can provide sedation or even general anesthesia at the office and help the patients survive their anxiety.

They work with different medical teams to help the child or adult patient with facial deformities. “We also work on patients, that have oral facial cancer, with their respective doctors. The caveat that we have is that anything that involves anesthesia, we have it mastered that very well, so our patients have a good experience,” he said.

They are members of the Rio Grande Valley District Dental Society and as such can participate in different activities. “That’s how other professionals get to know us, and we get to know them.  We also give lectures; we had a big event at the Edinburg Conference Center At Renaissance just last Friday.”

He said, “We had 178 attendees plus 165 through a webinar; the topic was emergencies.” The event was a success and a great introduction to the doctors’ services and specialties.

Dr. Carlos Cruz, DDS is an oral surgery (dentist only) specialist at Oral & Craniofacial Center PLLC in Edinburg, Texas. Courtesy Image

Dr. Carlos Cruz, DDS.

“Your RGVOMS can cater to all your oral surgery needs. Our surgeons have been serving the Rio Grande Valley since 1981. Trust in your local Rio Grande Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons,”– Dr. Carlos Cruz, DDS.

Dr. Carlos Cruz, Dr. Karl Frey, Dr. Omel Cardenas, and Dr. Luciano Stroia have practiced in this profession for many years. Their practice is one of a kind if you count the challenges it presents. “Cases where the patients have been in vehicle accidents can involve fractures of the head, the neck, the face, or the jaw. Other patients that are challenging are the patients who are immunocompromised, or their past medical history is challenging,” he said. They also treat patients with airway or sleep apnea issues.

The group doctors at RGVOSM are specialized in working on the mouth or the face from the inside out on patients with dental or skeletal deformities or those born with jaws that do not match. They treat patients who because of an accident lost a tooth in the front or back, it can be restored with an implant if necessary.

He pointed out, “Patients that are extremely anxious, we put them to sleep, making sure that they’re safe, and secured.  No specialty can do that better we can.  Because if they are at our office, if they need multiple teeth or all the teeth removed, we can do it immediately and fit them with dentures.”

Implants are another field where Dr. Cruz says RGVOMS is strong.  Their profession is impressive because they also treat patients before they are born. He said, “We see them using 3D ultrasound; we can diagnose them at that time.  Then we end up doing surgery on them at the age of 25.”

Dr. Omel Cardenas, DDS is an oral & maxillofacial surgery specialist at Cardenas Dental Implants and Oral Surgery in Harlingen, Texas. Courtesy Image

Dr. Omel Cardenas, DDS

“To be a good surgeon, you have to think like a surgeon and enter a sterile room, where the procedure is straightforward: cut, suture, and close,”– Dr. Omel Cardenas, DDS.

“I sometimes have patients in their nineties who we remove their teeth and immediately after we do the implants.”

Dr. Cruz, Dr. Frey, Dr. Cardenas, and Dr. Stroia enjoy practicing their profession as oral and maxillofacial surgeons and they want to make sure you get to know them. RGVOMS and the dentists of south Texas work closely together, serving the area’s residents.

“Our purpose is to link our specialty as surgeons to meet any need for patients coming from local dentists or area doctors,” Dr. Cruz finalized.

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