Common Types of Oral Surgery
Sometimes regular dentistry is not enough. When oral treatments go beyond what fillings, veneers and crowns can solve, it may become necessary to resort to oral surgery. In many cases the intervention required involves minor surgery which can be handled by your dentist at Markham Dental Hygiene & Wellness. However, when the treatment calls for major procedures, it might be time to draw on the special skills of oral or maxillofacial surgeons.
When is surgery likely to be involved?
Damage repair and extractions:
Serious injury, trauma, decay or disease impact badly on the mouth, jaw and teeth. This can lead to surgically removing teeth that are too badly damaged to save, or might cause further oral damage if not removed. Wisdom Teeth are often removed as a preventative measure when they don’t emerge properly, or when their emergence could spoil your bite.
While some extractions can be handled under sedation in the dentist’s room, others require surgical intervention, particularly when badly broken teeth, curved roots, root tips, or the bones around the teeth are involved. It also might be necessary to repair jaws or facial bones that have been fractured or broken.
When gaps are left by loss of a tooth or teeth as a result of disease, congenital absence, trauma injury or surgical removal, these toothless areas can cause the remaining teeth to grow crookedly, or become longer. This can affect the bite considerably. Dental implants might need to be lodged surgically in the jaw bone to act as substitute roots to support artificial tooth replacements.
Cleaning the roots:
Conventional root canal treatment sometimes fails to clear away inflammation and infection in the canal between the tooth and its root. Endodontal treatment, involving microscopes and digital technology, is then used to remove calcium deposits in the root canals; treat those roots that have surface damager; and address problems affecting the bones around the teeth.
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
When the small temporomandibular joint, where the skull and jaw meet in front of the ear, malfunctions, headaches and pain can result. Surgery may be necessary if splints, physical therapy or medication don’t manage to correct the problem.
Some people are born with anomalies that can have effects on the teeth, mouth and jaw areas. Many of these can be repaired or improved by oral surgery. Included are anomalies like cleft (split) palates and lips; missing teeth; and unequal growth in the jaw (malocclusion) leading to crowded, protruding or crooked teeth. These can affect the ability to speak or chew, as well as altering a person’s appearance.
Surgery may be required when damage to the gum pockets in which the teeth are lodged cannot be repaired with normal dental procedures like scaling and planning. Surgical intervention will also be needed if the bones around the teeth have been damaged. This can involve reduction of the size of the pockets, bone or soft tissue grafts, bone surgery or tissue regeneration.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons may intervene when facial injuries or congenital anomalies in the neck and facial area affect a person’s appearance.
When one procedure is not enough
Sometimes adjunctive treatments, in the form of additional procedures, are needed to ensure the primary surgery is both effective, and long lasting. Such treatments include bone-grafting to make sure implants are properly placed when there’s insufficient bone left after tooth loss or gum disease. Bone grafting can also be necessary after a tooth is removed, in order to preserve the tooth socket; or to increase the amount of bone between the floor of the sinus cavity and the gum.
Undergoing surgery can be a daunting concept at best, and terrifying at worst. However, a dentist will be able to explain what each surgery entails, why it has to be done, and what the ultimate oral health benefits will be.