Occasionally, your dental needs will extend beyond standard cleanings or cavity fillings. For more involved corrective or diagnostic procedures, you may need to enlist the services of an oral surgeon. At San Diego Dental Specialty Center, we perform a wide range of oral and maxillofacial surgery, from routine extractions to dental reconstruction.
What is oral surgery?
Oral surgery is a specialized branch of dentistry concerned with treating diseases, injuries, and defects of the mouth or jaw with surgical interventions. While the idea of oral surgery may sound intimidating, many procedures are quite commonplace and are usually performed in the comfort of our San Diego office by our experienced and highly trained oral surgeon.
Oral surgeons are dentists who’ve received several years of additional training after dental school, including participation in hospital-based residency programs. Oral surgeons work closely with your dentist and other members of your oral healthcare team to ensure you receive the best treatment for your condition.
How do I know if I need oral surgery?
If you’re concerned about an issue with your teeth, gums, mouth, or jaw, the dentists at San Diego Dental Specialty Center will perform a thorough examination and diagnose any potential problems that may require dental surgery. You may be referred to an oral surgeon for corrective surgical procedures if:
- You need a tooth removed
- You have an impacted tooth
- You have an infection beneath the gum
- You have pain in your face or jaw
- You have a lesion, tumor, or other physical abnormality in your mouth or jaw
- You have bone loss in your jaw
At San Diego Dental Specialty Center, our team of dentists, oral surgeons, and other oral health specialists, all work together in the same office to provide you with comprehensive and consistent care.
Some procedures performed by an oral surgeon include:
- Tooth extractions
Although you want to keep your natural teeth as long as possible, there are some circumstances where you may need to have a tooth pulled. Whether you’re suffering from an infection or need to prepare an overcrowded mouth for orthodontia, tooth extraction for non-impacted teeth is usually a simple and straightforward procedure.
- Impacted wisdom teeth extractions
As the last teeth to grow in, wisdom teeth often don’t have enough room to develop normally. This commonly leads to impaction, where the teeth become twisted or tilted beneath the gum line. Left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to pain, infection, and damage to other healthy teeth. Extraction of impacted teeth can be performed under local or general anesthesia, and the surgical site is often stitched closed.
- Dental implants
If you’re missing teeth, dental implants provide a strong, natural-looking alternative to dentures or bridgework. Implants work as artificial tooth roots that support custom-made crowns. An oral surgeon will surgically place the implant deep in your jawbone, where it will fuse with the implant post through a natural process called osseointegration. When osseointegration is complete, your oral surgeon may need to perform a second, minor surgical procedure to place an abutment, which is a connector that attaches the implant to the crown.
According to the American Cancer Society, oral cancer kills more than 10,000 people in the United States every year. Early detection is the key to finding effective treatment and increasing your chances of a full recovery. Oral surgeons are trained to identify potentially dangerous lesions and surgically remove small samples of affected tissues for biopsy. Biopsy is usually performed using local anesthesia, and if incisions are made, they’re often closed with self-dissolving stitches.
- Bone grafts
Before receiving dental implants, it may be necessary to undergo a bone graft procedure. Bone grafts help to regenerate jawbone tissue that has been lost due to missing teeth, injury, or infection. It’s considered a minor surgical procedure, in which donor bone tissue is inserted beneath an incision in your gum. Over time, the graft encourages your body to repair and rebuild your own natural bone.
- Corrective jaw surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can address a wide range of irregularities in the jaw, including conditions resulting from birth defects or facial injuries. They can also help to correct problems with misalignment, TMJ pain, or sleep apnea. The specifics of the procedure will vary depending on your particular condition; your oral surgeon will complete a full evaluation and put together a treatment plan that’s right for you.
San Diego Dental Specialty Center offers excellence in oral surgery
Oral surgery can help optimize your current oral health and prevent further complications from arising in the future. San Diego Dental Specialty Center can support you through your oral surgery, providing cutting-edge treatment and top-quality patient care.
To make an appointment or to schedule a consultation, call (619) 263-6683.