What is oral surgery?

Oral surgery, specifically known as oral and maxillofacial surgery, is one of the nine specialty areas of dentistry. This is a dental specialty that involves the diagnosis of dental diseases, defects, and injuries, as well as their surgical and adjunctive treatment. Conditions treated with oral surgery can range from functional to aesthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws, and face.

What conditions require oral surgery?

Various dental conditions may require oral surgery, including:

  • Removal of impacted teeth. Impacted and damaged teeth can be removed with the use of anesthesia.
  • Dental implant placement. This can be done in collaboration with a cosmetic or restorative dentist. An oral surgeon is skilled at reconstructing the bone in certain areas to support implant placement.
  • Alleviating facial pain. Facial pain disorders, such as those brought by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, can be alleviated with oral surgery. The oral surgeon can collaborate with a physical therapist or other dental specialists during these cases.
  • Treating facial trauma. Oral surgery can repair facial skin lacerations, reconnect severed nerves, set fractured facial bones and jaw, and treat other injuries involving the face and oral tissues.

How can oral surgery treat impacted teeth?

The eruption of wisdom teeth can result to entrapped or impacted teeth. This can cause a lot of pain, swelling, and eventually, infection in the surrounding gum tissue. When left untreated, this can result to permanent damage to teeth, gums, and even to the bone. This condition can be treated by surgically removing the impacted wisdom tooth.

How is oral surgery done in case of tooth loss?

Dental implants can be an option for those with missing teeth due to an accident or infection. Dental implants are tooth root replacements that are designed to be surgically anchored into place in the jawbone to support and stabilize the prosthetic teeth which will then be attached. Patients who have adequate bone density and are not prone to infection are eligible candidates for dental implant placement.

What are jaw-related problems that can be treated with oral surgery?

An oral surgery can treat different problems associated with the jaw, such as unequal jaw growth, TMJ disorders, and to improve and adjust ill-fitted dentures. Oral surgery is done in these cases in order to provide comfort to the patient during speaking, swallowing, and even breathing. It can also alleviate headache and facial pain brought by TMJ disorders.