Many people are fearful at the thought of oral surgery, but the truth is it can be comfortable and of course, safe and successful. Treatment with oral surgery is designed to address, treat, and alleviate a wide variety of dental conditions and issues. For many, its impact can be life-changing.
What is Oral Surgery?
Oral Surgery, also known as Maxillofacial Surgery, focuses on treating diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws, and hard and soft tissues of the mouth. Sometimes, it requires working with other dental disciplines such as Orthodontics and Prosthodontics to achieve a holistic outcome for the patient.
Common types of Oral Surgery
Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom teeth are our third permanent molars (or last teeth) at the far back of our mouth and they typically appear (erupt) between the ages of 17 and 21. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two on top and two on the bottom. Contrary to its name, wisdom teeth when they erupt, can be a bane. They can become stuck below the surface of the gums (impacted) or grow at an odd angle, giving rise to a variety of problems such as pain, food trap, crowding of teeth, sore gums, and tooth decay (sometimes to the neighbouring teeth). Repeated infection around the wisdom tooth area can lead to complications, especially as one aged and hence it would be recommended to extract and where not possible, to surgically remove the tooth.
The thought of surgery can be daunting for some people. Fret not, at Tooth Art Dental Centre, the patient can choose to go through oral surgery under sedation anesthesia for ease of comfort and anxiety management.
Oral Biopsy & Cyst Removal
An oral biopsy is a surgical procedure performed to obtain a tissue sample from the patient’s oral cavity for laboratory testing. It is usually indicated when there is an abnormal tissue growth such as a cyst in the mouth.
A dental cyst is a fluid-filled sac of tissue found in the gums or jaw bone. Often, the oral cyst goes undetected unless one takes a full mouth X-ray during a routine dental check or consultation for braces or clear aligners. One type of cyst commonly seen by oral surgeons is the dentigerous cyst. Dentigerous cysts are generally small, slow growing, and benign (non-cancerous). However, if left untreated, it can lead to infection, swelling, tooth sensitivity, or tooth displacement. Cyst removal can be comfortably done under local anesthesia and with appropriate care and medication, one can recover quickly from it.
A dental implant is an artificial screw-like foundation, made from titanium and placed in the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth’s root. Studies have shown titanium or titanium alloy complement our bone to provide long-term support for the missing tooth. Once successfully fused, an implant crown made from metal, ceramic, zirconia, or gold and with a matching natural tooth colour shade, will be fabricated and placed over the implant screw seamlessly integrating with the rest of the other teeth.
Dental implants are gaining popularity among patients over the last decade. Unlike dentures, they are long-lasting fixtures that require low maintenance. They camouflage and can function very well like normal teeth and most importantly, prevent bone loss in the jaw.
Sinus Lift & Bone Graft
A bone graft procedure is performed when a patient does not have sufficient amount of healthy natural bones in his or her mouth capable of supporting dental implants. It is a bone transplant using either bone harvested from one’s own body or synthetic bone material. A sinus lift is similar to bone graft except it is done on the upper arch, above the bony ridge of the gum line that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw.
One common reason a patient may need a bone graft or sinus lift is due to the deterioration of their natural jaw and gum tissue after tooth loss. When a natural tooth is lost, the underlying tissue is no longer protected or stimulated, and will begin to recede and weaken (otherwise known as resorption). Other reasons include gum disease, face injury or trauma and development defects.