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Oral Surgery Services

What is an Oral Surgeon?

Oral maxillofacial surgeons are dental specialists who treat conditions, defects, injuries, and esthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws, and face. Their training includes a four-year graduate degree in dentistry and the completion of a minimum four-year hospital surgical residency program. Oral maxillofacial surgeons care for patients who experience such conditions as problem wisdom teeth, facial pain, and misaligned jaws.

They treat accident victims suffering facial injuries, offer reconstructive and dental implant surgery, and care for patients with tumors and cysts of the jaws and functional and esthetic conditions of the maxillofacial areas. The oral surgeon job description includes specialized knowledge in pain control and advanced training in anesthesia. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon is able to provide quality care with maximum patient comfort and safety in the office setting.

Services offered by the Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon are: Removal of Diseased and Impacted Teeth, and Anesthesia

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons remove impacted, damaged, and non-restorable teeth. They also provide sophisticated, safe, and effective anesthesia services in their office including intravenous (IV) sedation and general anesthesia.

Dental Implants

Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons, in close collaboration with restorative dentists, help plan and then place implants used to replace missing teeth. They can also reconstruct bone in places needing bone for implant placement and modify gingival (gum) tissue surrounding implants when necessary to make teeth placed on implants look even more natural.

Facial Trauma

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons care for facial injuries by repairing routine and complex facial skin lacerations (cuts), setting fractured jaw and facial bones, reconnecting severed nerves and ducts, and treating other injuries. These procedures include care of oral tissues, the jaws, cheek and nasal bones, the forehead, and eye sockets.

Pathologic Conditions

Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons manage patients with benign and malignant cysts and tumors of the oral and facial regions. Severe infections of the oral cavity, salivary glands, jaws, and neck are also treated.

Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery

Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons correct jaw, facial bone, and facial soft tissue problems left as the result of previous trauma or removal of pathology. This surgery to restore form and function often includes moving skin, bone, nerves, and other tissues from other parts of the body to reconstruct the jaws and face. These same skills are also used when oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform cosmetic procedures for improvement of problems due to unwanted facial features or aging.

Facial Pain Including Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Maxillofacial Surgeons possess skills in the diagnosis and treatment of facial pain disorders including those due to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems.

Correction of Dento-facial (Bite) Deformities and Birth Defects

Usually in conjunction with an orthodontist, surgically reconstruct and realign the upper and lower jaws into proper dental and facial relationships to provide improved biting function and facial appearance. They also surgically correct birth defects of the face and skull including cleft lip and palate.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your mouth. These teeth usually appear in late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. The most common type of impacted wisdom tooth is “mesial”, meaning that the tooth is angled forward toward the front of your mouth.

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.

Each patient’s situation is unique. Your dentist will usually take a panoramic X-ray to determine whether your wisdom teeth will need to be removed. If your dentist recommends the removal of your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them removed sooner rather than later.

When are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the teeth’s roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier, as well as making the recovery time much shorter.

How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

To remove a wisdom tooth, your dentist first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Your dentist can use additional medication to safely sedate you during the extraction if you are feeling nervous about the procedure. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your jaw bone, your dentist will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, your dentist will often “section” your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.

Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Healing time varies depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction. Your dentist let you know what to expect and will provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.

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