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What is Oral Surgery?

An Oral Surgeon is typically consulted when the treatment required is outside the scope of your general dentist’s practice. Treatment for TMJ, sleep apnea, bite issues and impacted wisdom teeth are common problems which are treated by an Oral Surgeon. Your dentist will discuss your treatment options once they have diagnosed the problem and give you a referral to an oral surgeon if necessary.

A consultation with the oral surgeon is a good place to start if you have concerns related to treatment and recovery time. Most of the time, procedures performed by an oral surgeon are outpatient treatments and allow the patient to return to normal daily activities within a few days.

Oral Surgeons are consulted for:

Corrective jaw surgery

Patients who have experienced a trauma to their face or jaw may require oral surgery to restore form and function to their mouth. Surgery can also be used to treat TMJ or to correct malocclusion (a bad bite). If a patient clenches or grinds their teeth and those who have issues opening and closing their mouth or have trouble biting or chewing may also benefit from corrective oral surgery.

Extractions

Partially erupted or impacted (those which never erupted through the gums) wisdom teeth are common extractions. Wisdom teeth may be removed to correct overcrowding or before orthodontic treatment. Other teeth that may require removal are those that are decayed beyond repair or have a fractured root. If an infection develops that cannot be taken care of with antibiotics, an extraction may sometimes be necessary. Primary teeth that may be preventing permanent teeth from coming in are also cause for extraction.

Implants

After the extraction of a hopeless tooth, your Oral Surgeon can immediately place a dental implant if no other treatment, such as a bone graft, is needed. After a week, you should be able to return to your regular eating habits. After a few months, your general dentist will be able to restore the implant with an implant crown after your oral surgeon clears you for restoration, as your oral surgeon will keep them up to date with your
procedure and recovery.

Detection and treatment of disease

Your general dentist is trained to identify abnormalities in your oral tissue and may decide a biopsy of the area would be the best option to ensure your health. A biopsy is a simple surgical procedure in which a sample of the questionable area is removed and sent off to be analyzed by a lab. Once the results are delivered to the oral surgeon, you and your dentist will be notified. Any required treatment would be provided by your oral surgeon.

Just because you have had oral surgery recommended as the best treatment for you doesn’t mean that you will be out of commission for an extensive period of time. Your oral surgeon will give you a detailed list of the foods you can eat and the medications you should take to best aid in your recovery and healing. Any questions and concerns should be addressed with your oral surgeon before scheduling your surgery.

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