When you hear the words “oral surgery,” you may think of a hospital setting, general anesthesia, 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 are 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. So what is oral surgery and which are the surgeries carried out by an oral surgeon?
What Is Oral Surgery?
Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS or OMFS) specializes in treating many diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region. It is an internationally recognized surgical specialty.
Surgeries Carried Out By An Oral Surgeon
Depending on the nature and severity of the condition requiring surgery, procedures will be undertaken under general anesthesia in a hospital, day surgery or at a suitably equipped dental practice.
Aside from major extractions such as wisdom teeth removal, some of the surgical procedures that may be carried out by a Maxillofacial/Oral surgeon include:
An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to fully pass through the gums. Impacted wisdom and cuspid (or canine) teeth are fairly common. To correct impacted teeth, there are a few treatment options. For impacted wisdom teeth, the most common procedure is extraction. For impacted canine teeth, several treatment modalities are available. Orthodontics (braces) can be used to open space for proper eruption. Primary (baby) teeth can either be extracted or surgically exposed to allow for the placement of an orthodontic bracket to help align the teeth.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw, or orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth. Surgery can improve chewing, speaking and breathing. While the patient’s appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.
Dental implants are used to replace tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. Dental implants are small anchors made of bio-compatible metal, called titanium, placed in the jawbone. The anchors begin to fuse with the bone over a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, abutment posts are inserted into the anchors to allow for the attachment of the replacement teeth. To fabricate the replacement teeth, an impression is taken and a model of the bite is created. The replacement teeth are based on this model. Replacement teeth can either be crowns, bridges or dentures.
Detection and Treatment of Diseases
Oral care doesn’t just keep your teeth strong; it can have a significant effect on your general wellness, too. Nearly one in 10 people have some sign of poor dental health, and in some instances that number goes up to almost 100 percent. The most common oral diseases are:
- Dental Cavities
- Gum Disease
- Infectious Diseases
- Injury Trauma
- Oral Cancers