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 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.
Here are some examples of oral surgery procedures:
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
Corrective Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic surgery, known as jaw surgery to most, is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Common reasons for jaw surgery include:
- TMJ (short for temporomandibular joint pain) and dysfunction caused by trauma or deformation
- major or minor trauma to the jaw
- malocclusion or incorrect bite
- clenching, or grinding of the teeth, which causes excessive tooth wear
- difficulty chewing, eating, opening and closing the mouth, or talking
- incorrect jaw position, which can lead to an out-of-proportion facial appearance
Your dentist will refer you to see an oral surgeon if he or she feels your situation will benefit from a surgical treatment option.
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.