No one wants to have dental problems – especially ones that require treatments that go beyond regular dentistry.
For more serious dental treatments, it is sometimes necessary to visit an oral surgeon.
What Is An Oral Surgeon?
Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? If so, chances are that you were under the care of an oral surgeon. Removal of wisdom teeth is one of the most common procedures that oral surgeons provide. In order to perform oral surgery, a dental specialist must have extensive training in surgery of the head, neck, face, jaws – as well as hard and soft oral (mouth) tissue. They perform procedures that your family dentist may not feel comfortable performing or unqualified to do. Oral surgery is a recognized surgical specialty.
Why You Might Need To See An Oral Surgeon
Many procedures and even some elective cosmetic procedures may require the expertise of an oral surgeon. Oral surgery might be indicated for procedures as common as dental implants – or as complicated as the repair of a trauma related jaw injury.
- Cancer of the face, jaw or neck area
- Cleft lip and palette
- Complicated tooth extractions
- Dental implants
- Detection of disease
- Facial pain related to TMJ disease
- Injury related reconstructive surgery
- Misaligned jaw
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Wisdom teeth
An oral surgeon is able to provide emergency and scheduled dental healthcare when you need it.
Dental implants. Dental implant procedures can vary, depending on the technique and the type of implant used. Dental implants are becoming a very common procedure for replacing missing teeth. Sometimes the individual’s situation is best to be taken care of by an oral surgeon.
Disease detection. Your dentist and oral surgery specialist are trained to detect oral cancer. Oral cancer can be a devastating disease, often with no symptoms - and can go unnoticed. When you are examined by your dentist and/or oral surgery specialist, you have the best chance of having these life-threatening diseases diagnosed in the early and treatable stages.
TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disease). The joint that joins your jaw to your skull is referred to as the temporomandibular joint – or TMJ. Problems with this joint can cause pain when you open and close your mouth due to the muscles or ligaments around the joint. Symptoms of TMJ disorder can experience headaches, facial pain, ear-aches and even a locked jaw. Depending on the severity of the disorder, your dental specialist may recommend relaxation techniques or a bite guard. Extreme cases may require surgical intervention.
Injury related oral surgery. Injuries of the mouth and to the teeth can happen in many different ways. Young children riding bikes, automobile accidents, and sports injuries are common reasons to seek an oral surgery specialist. Treatment for these injuries will vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Permanent teeth that have been lost, fractured or damaged by an injury can oftentimes be saved when treated in a timely manner. Jaw injuries are often treated by your specialty dentist.
These are just a few of the procedures that are performed by an oral surgery specialist.
Many dental practices have oral surgeons on staff to provide specialized procedures for their patients. Your family dentist will be able to give you recommendations to an oral surgeon who is part of his or her practice, or will advise you where to go for the treatment you need. Regular checkups and timely followups by your dental professionals are extremely important in your overall health.