Conditions Treated by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
An oral surgeon can help to treat a wide variety of conditions that can have a negative effect on a smile’s appearance and well-being. Typically, a family dentist will refer the patient for oral surgery for procedures that require attention from a surgical specialist.
Here are a number of interventions for which a patient might consult with an oral surgeon:
- Dental implants (including Bar Attachment Denture) – Dental implants offer the most structurally complete tooth replacement, and as a result, more patients are seeking this treatment following tooth loss. Oral surgery is required to insert the dental implants into the jaw, and the surgeon will continue to monitor the patient throughout the healing process. Often, dental implant placement can be completed in a matter of hours.
- Wisdom teeth removal – Impacted wisdom teeth can cause discomfort for patients and increase their risk of infection. Many patients choose to have impacted wisdom teeth removed before they become symptomatic, and this is typically a surgical extraction due to the structure and nature of the wisdom teeth.
- Bone grafting – Patients who have insufficient bone to support a dental implant at the site of a lost tooth may need to undergo a preliminary bone graft procedure to make them better candidates for implant placement.
- Facial trauma – Oral surgeons can repair damage done by facial trauma, such as fractures of the jaws or other facial bones, and soft tissue injuries.
- Jaw surgery – A congenital jaw defect or differences in growth patterns between the upper and lower jaws can detract from your smile and limit your mouth’s ability to chew effectively. Surgery can correct whatever defect has developed.
- Oral pathology – When a patient has an unusual spot or symptom in the soft or bony tissues of the mouth, oral surgeons may examine the pathology of the tissue to determine what, if any, oral diseases are present.
Some of these procedures, like dental implant placement and wisdom teeth extraction, can be performed right in the oral surgeon’s office. The patient may need to go to the hospital or a specialty surgical center for more time-intensive and complex surgeries, though.
Oral surgery can be used to help restore a beautiful smile to a patient who has suffered from facial trauma or a congenital jaw defect of some sort. This specialty can also address conditions that may threaten a patient’s oral health, like impacted wisdom teeth or oral cancer.