Common Procedures Offered by an Oral Surgeon

oral surgeon CharlottesvilleAn oral surgeon is a specialist who provides focused care to treat tooth loss, abscessed and impacted teeth, and facial trauma. They also provide corrective treatments for TMJ disorder, malocclusions, and congenital or developmental abnormalities.

If your dentist has recommended that you see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS), you might have questions about the types of procedures they perform and the health conditions they treat. Following are common procedures performed by an OMS and why they might be necessary.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth (third molars) are often removed because they rarely erupt the gums properly. Many times, the arrival of a third molar leads to the development of an impacted tooth. When a tooth is impacted, it’s roots and crown become “stuck” in the jaw and/or the gingiva. Removing wisdom teeth reduces a patient’s risk for developing decay, gum disease, and abscesses. It also relieves discomfort associated with wisdom tooth arrival.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a common procedure performed before dental implants are placed. A bone graft might also be necessary to treat osteoporosis of the jaw. Bone grafts thicken and widen the jaw by grafting tissue where bone is sparse or atrophied. Receiving tissue grafts are beneficial for protecting dental implants and the health of biological teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are prosthetics used to treat tooth loss. These prosthetics replace the roots of teeth and hold dental crowns, bridges, and dentures. Implants provide a lifelike and durable alternative to biological teeth that support oral health structures and restore one’s ability to eat and speak comfortably.

Jaw Surgery

Jaw surgery is necessary to treat complex TMJ disorder, malocclusions, congenital or developmental abnormalities, and facial trauma. This type of surgical procedure can involve repositioning the jaws or altering their structure to enhance oral function and one’s appearance.

Oral Pathology

Cancers can develop anywhere inside the oral cavity. Malignant lesions typically form on the lips, insides of cheeks, and the tongue. If a dentist suspects oral cancer, he or she may refer a patient to an OMS for oral pathology. Oral pathology involves taking samples of tissue (biopsies) and evaluating them for malignancy.

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