Oral surgeons diagnose and treat conditions and diseases of the maxillofacial region. This includes the mouth, as well as the jaw, face, and neck. There are several types of oral surgeries and conditions that necessitate them:
Bone grafting is used to augment a patient’s jawbone – usually to support a dental implants or dentures. The bone beneath the gums can deteriorate due to periodontal disease or tooth loss. Oral surgeons may take bone from the patient for the graft or otherwise use a bio-compatible synthetic grafting material to build up the jaw line.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Most people have their wisdom teeth extracted at some point in their lives – often during young adulthood. The wisdom teeth easily become impacted, causing pain, swelling and infection. An oral surgeon can remove crowded or impacted wisdom teeth, reducing the potential for complications in the future.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw surgery is used to address abnormalities in the jaw, such as temporomandibular joint disorders, bone fractures, and unequal jawbone growth. Untreated, these conditions can interfere with normal bite function, such as eating and speaking.
A dental implant is a solution for missing tooth replacement. Implants are titanium posts anchored inside the jaw. They fuse with the bone, eventually becoming strong enough to support a crown or denture.
Patients with sleep apnea struggle to breathe while sleeping. Oral surgeries are available to reduce the palate and open airways during sleep.
An apicoectomy is the surgical exposure and removal of a tooth’s root tips. This procedure is reserved for patients who continue to have infection despite root canal and retreatment. Removing the infected root tip can help save a tooth from extraction.
Surgical Cyst Removal
Cysts can develop nearly anywhere in the body – including the face and jaw. Surgical cyst removal involves clearing away cysts that form in the jaw or near dead nerve root.
Treatment for Oral Infections
An oral surgeon may need to surgically treat facial infections to prevent them from spreading and affecting other areas of the body. Treatment often involves draining the infection, extracting potentially infected teeth, and treating the infection with antibiotics.
Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Repair
A cleft lip or cleft palate is a congenital condition in which the lip, roof of the mouth, and nasal cavity do not grow together correctly. Treating cleft lip or cleft palate may require several oral surgeries over many years.