Oral surgery can involve a wide range of treatment involving your teeth, gums, jaw or other parts of the head and neck area. Procedures such as dental implants, teeth extractions, gum treatments, and much more may be performed by your dentist or dental specialist, such as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a periodontist (gum specialist).
Common oral surgery procedures
One of the most common surgical procedures is tooth extractions. Teeth may be recommended by your dental professional to be removed if there is severe tooth decay or damage impacting the tooth to the point where it cannot be saved by other dental procedures, like root canals and restorative treatment. Tooth extractions may also be recommended to resolve crowding or other bite issues, such as during orthodontic treatment (braces).
Wisdom teeth removal
Most likely, you may know someone who had to have their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to come into the mouth and sometimes do not fully erupt through the gums. In addition, these teeth may even erupt in the wrong position. In these instances, your dentist may recommend that they need to be removed. Other common reasons why the wisdom teeth may be recommended for removal include a lack of room for the teeth, or if there is evidence of infection, cysts, tumors, tooth decay, damage to other teeth or oral structures, or other problems.
Dental implant installation
Dental implants are a great option to replace one or more missing teeth and complete your smile. They have a high success rate and do not require preparation of the neighboring teeth. To place an implant, adequate bone height and thickness is necessary, along with good oral hygiene. The implants are secured within the jaw bone and are restored with dental crowns, bridges, or dentures after healing.
Corrective jaw surgery
Jaw surgery may be recommended if you are diagnosed with a skeletal jaw issue. This procedure may be indicated for improvement of chewing, tooth alignment, speech, airway, and facial discrepancies. Corrective jaw surgery is often performed alongside orthodontic treatment.
Sleep apnea treatment
Sleep and breathing problems impact numerous individuals across the globe. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, can cause several health issues. Sleep apnea is characterized by interrupted periods of breathing throughout sleep and is diagnosed by a trained physician. Once diagnosed, a referral may be made to an oral surgeon or other dental professional for treatment. Treatment may include oral appliances, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, or surgery in more severe cases. Surgical procedures may involve different areas including your jaws, the back of your throat, neck, or nasal cavity for instance.
Bone grafts may be recommended when significant bone loss has occurred in your jaws. A common reason for bone loss is periodontal disease, a severe form of gum disease commonly triggered by harmful bacterial dental plaque. Also, bone loss progressively occurs in areas that are missing teeth due to a lack of bone growth stimulation. When replacing missing teeth with restorative options such as dental implants, a bone graft may be necessary prior to implementation for the implant to successfully survive.
Facial infection/ Facial injury repair
Oral surgery can help address many facial issues, including repair of nerve damage, facial injury, and cleft lip and palate. Oral surgery procedures can also help treat facial infections and cancers of the mouth, head, and neck. These treatments can be life-saving and help restore normal function and beauty.
What to expect when getting an oral surgery?
Prior to your oral surgery procedure, your dental professionals will complete a thorough clinical examination and review your medical and dental history. In addition, dental radiographs may be performed. They will answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your procedure. Depending on many factors, you may be offered local anesthesia or sedation options for your comfort, such as nitrous oxide, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. After your procedure, you will be informed on post-operative care.