Oral surgery is a broad term that refers to many different procedures. Generally oral surgery require anesthetic of some kind and are also more intensive procedures than your standard dental work. One of the most standard types of oral surgery is having your wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom tooth removal is the most common tooth removal and it is frequently recommended because wisdom teeth can get stuck in the back of the jaw and start to become infected. Wisdom teeth no longer have any function, so removal is usually recommended once they start causing problems. Other tooth removal is less common, usually the result of infection or decay, but there will sometimes be the need for it. Often this removal leads to another common type of oral surgery, dental implants. Dental implants are rods that are inserted into your jawbone to create a foundation for an artificial tooth and help preserve function and appearance.
There are many reasons for oral surgery, sometimes it is necessary because of poor oral health that results in damage or decay, but other times it is the result of trauma. Powerful blows to the face, mostly commonly caused by sports or by motor vehicle accidents, can lead to jaw bone damage and displaced teeth which require immediate attention and a good oral surgeon will be able to repair the damage and come up with a solution as quickly as possible. The word “surgery” is scary, but most oral surgeries are routine out-patient procedures with quick recoveries. The long term benefits received by oral surgery far outweigh the temporary pain and discomfort caused by the procedure itself.
Some of the procedures our oral surgeon offers are:
Dental implants are permanent artificial replacements for missing or extracted teeth. The actual implant refers to the artificial root that acts to very securely hold an artificial tooth in place by rooting it into the bone just like a natural tooth. An implant crown is the artificial tooth portion that is visible and secured into place by the actual implant. When decay or breakage is so severe that your natural tooth cannot be saved, implants can be a life-changing solution. Permanently rooted and very similar to natural teeth, implants are comfortable, strong and easy to care for. When teeth are missing, it can not only have a negative impact on your appearance but can cause overuse and damage to remaining teeth as they strain to make up for their missing neighbors. This can cause you discomfort as well as a possible need for further extractions. Furthermore, failure to care for your mouth once teeth have been lost or removed can lead to very serious problems beyond additional tooth loss such as infection that can spread to other parts of the body as well. Bone loss is also possible from the added strain that missing teeth can cause to the bones of your mouth. Implants can be used to fix one missing tooth or multiple teeth. There is also the option of implant dentures which is a permanent form of denture for those needing a larger scale tooth replacement.
Even when it is causing pain or discomfort, no one likes to hear that they need a tooth extraction. This is why first and foremost, we want to assure our patients that the gentlest of care will be taken when a tooth (or teeth) need to be removed for any reason. Wisdom tooth extractions are extremely common but there are other issues that can pop up that require a tooth to be removed when it is beyond saving. In cases of decay or breakage, we always want to try to save the tooth first and look at other options second. However, either in cases of wisdom teeth or otherwise, sometimes a tooth absolutely has to come out in order to best care for your oral and overall health. As mentioned, our most common extractions involve the wisdom teeth. The behavior of wisdom teeth can vary greatly between individuals. Wisdom teeth make an appearance most often between the ages of 17 and 21. An individual may have a range of 1-4 wisdom teeth and some people have none. Sometimes wisdom teeth need to be removed and sometimes they don’t. If you are ever experiencing pain, pressure or some other oral discomfort, please consult us. If wisdom teeth or other teeth that need removing are left unchecked, it can cause any number of problems and your dentist can save you from letting small issues become serious problems.
Bone Grafting (Gum & Sinus Lifts)
Bone grafting is one of the more serious oral surgery procedures that can be necessary when tooth decay or loss has gotten to the point that it has begun to affect the bones of your mouth. When teeth are missing, broken or decayed down through to the bone, this can weaken the bones that once held a healthy set of teeth. Without those teeth in place or when they have become broken or badly decayed, you can actually experience bone loss as a result. Letting oral concerns go can create a domino effect of problems as teeth are lost and bones are strained and weakened. This can cause a number of very noticeable effects including discomfort, pain, a drop in oral appearance and sagging skin around the mouth due to bone loss and missing teeth. Once bone loss has begun to occur, we really urge you to understand that the next steps are crucial in saving remaining teeth and bone. Bone and gum grafting are solutions to problems that have become severe. Tissue for gums can be grafted from other parts of your mouth and bones can also be taken from other areas of the body or artificial bone can be used to replace what has been lost. Bone grafting is relatively invasive in comparison to our other oral procedures but can be a true saving grace when issues have passed a point where gums, teeth, and bone can no longer be saved with preventative measures or other procedures.
Get ahold of us to get started with your oral surgery consultation!
Dr. Fenton uses advanced training, experience, and expertise to remedy oral-related problems and deliver positive, predictable results. Patients benefit from experience, exemplary service, and world-class care at Laguna Vista Dental in Elk Grove, CA. Call (916) 684-3105 today to schedule an appointment.