Oral Surgery Procedures
Wisdom Tooth Removal (3rd Molars)
A wisdom tooth that is deemed problematic is normally extracted to avoid any oral complications. To have a wisdom tooth removed, a small incision is made to open up the gum tissue over the tooth and remove any bone that is covering the tooth. Once the tooth is in view, it is grasped with a dental instrument, known as a forcep, and gently rocked back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and surrounding ligaments. Sometimes the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier for removal. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a wisdom tooth.
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 biocompatible 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.
Impacted Tooth & Tooth Exposure
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.
Oral Pathology & Biopsies
Oral and maxillofacial pathology refers to diseases of the mouth and the jaw. Treatment options vary based on the patient’s specific needs.
The smooth, pink skin lining the mouth is called mucosa. Abnormalities in the color or texture of this skin can sometimes indicate pathology. Any concerns with the skin in the mouth, a sore that is not healing properly or a lump on the inside of the cheeks, palate, gums or lips, may merit a biopsy so that the tissue sample can be tested for oral cancer. Please do not ignore these warning signs and be sure to mention any concerns you may have during your visit.
Bone grafting is the replacement or enhancement of bone around teeth. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone collapses. Bone grafting is performed to reverse bone loss or enhance bone. The bone can be taken from parts of the body or from synthetic material. Bone grafting allows for proper support of dental implants or prostheses.
A sinus lift is a surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the premolar and molar areas of your mouth. To add bone, an incision is made where the premolar and molar teeth were previously located. Once the bone is exposed, a small circular shape is made in the bone to access the sinus. Once the sinus is accessed, the sinus membrane is gently pushed up and away from the upper jaw. Once this is done, bone graft material is placed into the sinus space to change the shape and provide support. Once the bone is in place, the incision is closed and the healing process begins.
Lasers have several uses for dental surgery. Some common types of dental laser surgery include but are not limited to: dental cavities, root canals, gum surgery, dental abscess, biopsy, and treatment of lesions.
Depending on the type of facial trauma sustained, there are many different treatment options available. The primary goals of treatment are to stop any bleeding from occurring, create a clear airway, repair any broken or fractured bone, and or suture any damaged soft tissue. Treatment is immediate, as long as there are no neck fractures or life-threatening injuries.
To treat TMJ disorders, first the cause has to be identified. In less severe cases TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (eating soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, or stabilization splints). In severe cases surgical treatments (jaw joint replacements) may be necessary.
TMJ conditions fall into three main categories:
- Myofascial pain – discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function.
- Internal derangement of the joint – a possible indicator of a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle.
- Arthritis – a degenerative inflammatory disorder.