How well do you care for your teeth and gums? Did you know that if you are diligent in your oral care routine and visit your dentist at least twice a year, your chances of developing oral health issues are significantly reduced? This also means your risk of undergoing oral surgeries is low. However, there are certain cases wherein your dentist will have no choice but to refer you to an oral surgeon to help restore or maintain your oral health. Trust us; if they could use non-invasive treatments, they would prefer those over surgery. Surgeries are expensive and come with risks, but if your condition can only be saved or improved through surgery, they will explain it to you in more detail.
Most people think that surgeries are bad. Well, they aren’t. You just have to choose a skilled and experienced oral surgeon. Let’s explore the different types of oral surgeries.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth are your third molars. They are the last to erupt, usually between the ages seventeen and twenty-five, hence the name. There are people whose wisdom teeth erupt without problem, but those whose wisdom teeth surface somewhat abnormally. The latter is notoriously known as impacted wisdom teeth. This occurs when your mouth does not have enough space to accommodate your teeth.
As a result, they either partially erupt or stay underneath. Unfortunately, the impacted wisdom tooth may grow at an angle that pushes the tooth next to it, or it could grow backward or at a right angle to surrounding teeth.
Many problems are associated with impacted wisdom teeth, such as pain, food trapped in the tooth, gum disease, gum infection, tooth decay, jawbone and nearby teeth damage, cyst development around the wisdom tooth, and other orthodontic complications.
In such a case, your dentist will suggest that you undergo wisdom tooth removal. It’s one of the most widely performed surgeries in the dental industry. Wisdom teeth are determined after taking an X-ray image of your mouth.
Don’t worry; today’s wisdom tooth extractions are performed quickly and efficiently while keeping you comfortable for the entire time. The recovery periods are also shorter.
Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery is an elective type of surgery. It’s not considered an emergency procedure since other non-invasive tooth replacement treatments are available, like dentures and bridges. Nevertheless, most American popular prefer dental implants to other procedures because of their durability, strength, longevity, and resemblance to natural teeth in terms of function and aesthetic appeal.
Dental implants are artificial replacements for natural tooth roots. A dental implant consists of three parts – a biocompatible screw-shaped post, an abutment, and, lastly, a dental crown. You will only be given the signal to undergo dental implant surgery if you pass the eligibility criteria. Screening is essential because dental implant failure is highly likely if you push through with the surgery, even if you aren’t qualified.
In this procedure, your oral surgeon will slice through your gum tissues. The site will be anesthetized so you won’t feel any pain. After creating a small incision over your gums, a handheld tool is used to drill through your jawbone. Holes are made to receive the implants. Once the implants are embedded in place, your oral surgeon will stitch the gum tissues back to allow osseointegration to take place. This process involves the permanent fusion of the implants with your bone tissues to create a strong anchor for your artificial crowns. As mentioned, they replicate the physiology of natural tooth roots. Once osseointegration is complete, the abutments are attached. Gum tissues are stitched around the abutments. When your gums have healed, the artificial crowns are attached last. The entire procedure can last for months. Despite the long duration, rest assured that these implants are forever.
According to surveys, people love dental implants because they’ll stay there for a lifetime once they are in place. This is not the case for dentures and bridges that need to be replaced after ten to fifteen years. There are no adjustments and no replacements with implants, but you do need to care for them. Luckily, dental implants don’t need special care. You just have to practice proper oral hygiene and regularly see your dentist.
Some patients require bone grafting. This is also a surgical procedure usually done before dental implant surgery for those who don’t have sufficient jaw bone density.
Oral surgeries can be preventive and restorative, depending on your situation. Regardless, make sure you find a skilled oral surgeon to minimize risks and a high chance of a successful outcome.