When you hear the words “oral surgery,” you may think of a hospital setting, general anaesthesia, and one or more days in recovery from this type of dental procedure. Because of that, you might be surprised to learn what is actually considered oral surgery in dentistry.
Many dental procedures performed in a general dental office are considered oral surgery and patients who require such procedures are booked for it without the inconvenience of being put on a waiting list in a different office for treatment.
The most recognized form of oral surgery is tooth extraction. Reasons for tooth extraction can include:
- impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth
- teeth beyond repair either from tooth decay, root fracture, or trauma
- primary teeth that have failed to fall out, preventing the eruption of permanent teeth
- orthodontic treatment plans, which may require the removal of some teeth to reduce crowding and achieve the optimum result
Dental Implants are becoming a common procedure to replace missing teeth or to provide stability to a new or existing denture.
Performed by a dentist or oral surgeon, the procedure for placing a dental implant may vary depending on the technique used by the dentist or surgeon, and by the type of implant used. Most people who have had a dental implant report the recovery was similar to that of a tooth extraction, and they were able to return to normal eating within a week of the procedure.
Detection and Treatment of Diseases
This year alone, more than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer, resulting in 8,000 deaths.
Dentists are trained to detect oral cancer, as the signs of this devastating disease typically go unnoticed and are not easily detected.
If your dentist discovers something suspicious in an area of your mouth, face, neck, or jaw that may have an underlying problem, a biopsy may be performed to further diagnose a possible condition. A biopsy is usually a surgical procedure that is used to remove a piece of tissue in an area of the body that is suspected as being diseased.
You may be referred to an oral surgeon for the biopsy, but in some cases, this procedure may be performed by your general dentist. Oral surgery is commonly used to treat oral cancer and may be used as a combination treatment with radiation therapy.
Bone Grafting/Sinus Lift
Over time, the alveolar bone (portion of the jawbones that contain the teeth), can shrink when there are missing teeth (A process called reabsorbtion). This often leaves a condition in which there is low quality and quantity of bone needed for placement of dental implants. Making many patients bad candidates for placement of implants.
Now, we have the possibility to grow bone where needed, giving us the opportunity to place implants, it also gives us a chance to restore the functionality and esthetic appearance of the person. There are different types bone grafting procedures:
Sinus Lift Procedure
In this procedure the maxillary sinus membrane is elevated and the bone graft is placed onto the sinus floor, allowing implants to be placed in the back part of the upper jaw.
If teeth have been missing for an extended period of time, the respective alveolar ridge (bone which supports teeth) has been reabsorbed. In such cases a bone graft is needed to restore the height and the width on the alveolar ridge before an implant can be placed.
Traumatic injuries can lead to the loss of teeth as well as their supporting bone. This could possibly compromise the placement of implants in the injured site. The lost bone can be replaced with a bone graft, facilitating the esthetic and functional restoration of the injured site.