A wisdom tooth that is deemed problematic is normally extracted to avoid any oral complications. To have a wisdom tooth removed, a small incision is made to open up the gum tissue over the tooth and remove any bone that is covering the tooth. Once the tooth is in view, it is gently grasped with a dental instrument, known as a forcep, and gently rocked back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and surrounding ligaments. Sometimes the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier for removal. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a wisdom tooth.
A tooth that can not be saved with restorative materials may need to be removed. Before removing your tooth, the area will be numbed with anesthesia. The tooth is then loosened using a special dental instrument known as an elevator. After it is loosened from the socket, it is gently removed by a forcep, a dental instrument commonly used in dental extractions. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a tooth.
An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to fully pass through the gums for various reasons. Impacted wisdom and cuspid (or canine) teeth are fairly common. To correct impacted teeth, there are a few treatment options. For impacted wisdom, the most common procedure is extraction. For impacted canine teeth, several treatment modalities are available.
For impacted canine teeth, several treatment modalities are available. Treatment can involve orthodontics (braces) to allow open spaces for proper eruption, a visit to the oral surgeon to remove over retained primary (baby) teeth or to surgically expose the tooth and place an orthodontic bracket to help bring it down into proper alignment.
Dental implants are the replacement of tooth roots in the mouth. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. Dental implants are small anchors made of biocompatible metal called titanium, which are placed in the jawbone. The anchors begin to fuse with the bone over a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, abutment posts are inserted into the anchors to allow for the permanent attachment of the replacement teeth. To fabricate the replacement teeth, an impression is taken and a model of the bite is created. The replacement teeth are based on this model. Replacement teeth can either be crowns or dentures.
Bone grafting is the replacement or enhancement of bone around teeth. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone collapses. Bone grafting is performed to reverse bone loss or enhance bone. The bone can be taken from parts of the body or from synthetic material. Bone grafting allows for proper support of dental implants or prostheses.
Cleft lip is an opening/split in the upper lip and cleft palate is an opening/split in the roof of the mouth (palate). Cleft lip and cleft palate result when these developing facial structures in an unborn baby do not close completely.
A series of surgeries can restore normal function and achieve a more normal appearance with minimal scarring.
A cleft lip is usually repaired between the ages of 3 to 6 months. Some children require a lip adhesion or a device such as a molding plate to bring the parts closer together before the full lip repair. A child with a cleft lip that is repaired will have a scar on the lip under the nose.
A cleft palate is usually repaired between 9 and 12 months of age. To repair the palate, the soft palate muscles from each side are connected to each other and the normal barrier between the mouth and nose is created.
Additional surgeries are needed to improve the appearance of the lip and nose, close the opening between the mouth and nose, help breathing, and stabilize and realign the jaw. Once the permanent teeth grow in, braces are often needed to straighten the teeth.
Frena are small bands of muscle tissue that prevent excessive movement of an organ. A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens the frenum connected to the upper lip, inside the lower lip, under the tongue or connecting the cheeks to the gums. This is a simple procedure that can make a big difference in a patient’s smile or an infant’s ability to nurse by improving range of motion.
Orthognathic surgery is done to correct misalignments or other abnormalities in the upper jaw and lower jaws.
Orthognathic surgery can involve surgical procedures such as an osteotomy (bone cutting), bone grafts, or distraction osteogenesis (stretching of the bone) and orthodontic (braces) care. Orthognathic correction is conducted in stages, and the course of treatment can last a few months up to one year or more.
In order to perform the procedure successfully, the jawbones will be repositioned in accordance with one’s specific needs. Inconspicuous incisions are usually made inside, and if needed, outside the mouth to allow for surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands to be used to hold your jaws in their new positions.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is similar to a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.
To treat TMJ disorders, first the cause has to be identified. In less severe cases TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (easting soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, stabilization splints). In severe cases surgical treatments (jaw joint replacements) may be necessary.
TMJ conditions fall into three main categories:
Myofascial pain which involves discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function.
Internal derangement of the joint that can mean a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle.
Arthritis which is degenerative inflammatory disorder.
Facial trauma involves injuries to the bone, teeth, skin, gums or other soft tissues.
Depending on the type of facial trauma sustained there are many different treatment options available. However, the goal of treatment is to stop any bleeding from occurring, create a clear airway, repair any broken or fractured bone, and or suture any damaged soft tissue. Treatment is immediate, as long as there are no neck fractures or life-threatening injuries.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), a growth factor, is a mixed gel that can be applied directly into tooth sockets and other sites. The use of PRP in tooth sockets after tooth extractions is capable of improving soft tissue healing and positively influencing bone regeneration.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a new approach to tissue regeneration. PRP derives from the centrifugation of a patient’s own blood and contains growth factors that influence wound healing. This is important in tissue repairing mechanisms. The use of PRP in surgical practice could have beneficial outcomes, reducing bleeding and enhancing soft tissue healing and bone regeneration.
Nitrous Oxide, sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” is an effective and safe sedation agent that is inhaled through a mask that fits over the nose to help patients relax. Mixed with oxygen, nitrous oxide allows the patient to breathe normally through the nose. The effects of the sedation will be felt within just a few minutes and may be experienced as a light-headed feeling or a tingling or heaviness in the arms and legs. Ultimately, patients should feel comfortable and calm. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly after the small mask is removed. Talk to the doctor about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you.
IV Sedation, or general anesthesia, uses medications to allow the patient to go to sleep while receiving treatment. Patients with high levels of anxiety, or special needs may benefit from IV Sedation. General anesthesia can also be a good option for patients with extensive tooth decay, infections from tooth decay or who are undergoing surgical procedures. Our doctors can discuss the risks and benefits of general anesthesia to help patients know if it is a good choice for them.
To learn more about Oral Surgery, visit the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons by clicking the link below.