Oral Surgery

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that emerge, usually during your late teens to early twenties.

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Impacted wisdom teeth can cause structural damage to the jaw and other teeth. They can also provide a place for bacteria to gather since they are hard to reach and clean.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that emerge, usually during your late teens to early twenties. For some people the wisdom teeth emerge through the gums and have enough room to grow in naturally. For others, wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially.

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause structural damage to the jaw and other teeth. They can also provide a place for bacteria to gather since they are hard to reach and clean. These potential problems make it necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth so that larger problems do not arise. Routine x-rays during a dental exam can reveal if you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed.

Extractions

Wisdom teeth extractions are a fairly common procedure. Wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it means the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially.

When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially a flap of skin, called an operculum, may form over the tooth. This can make the tooth hard to clean, and pieces of food may be caught under the skin. This makes it easy for an infection, called pericoronitis, to develop. It will usually go away on its own, but it causes swelling and pain in the area.

Impacted teeth and wisdom teeth that can potentially cause problems, like infections, need to be removed. Extractions can range from a single tooth, to removing all four wisdom teeth at once. Based on the preference of the doctor and/or the patient, a local anesthetic could be used to numb the areas where the teeth will be extracted. Others will prefer to go under a general anesthetic so that they will be sedated during the procedure.

Extraction Site Preservation

When removing a tooth it is important to consider what will be done with the empty space after that tooth is removed. Wisdom teeth are in the back of the mouth, so that site will heal on its own with no complications. If it is necessary to remove another tooth, plans must be made. If a tooth is removed and nothing is done with the extraction site, the jaw bone will degenerate and change shape during healing and can cause your teeth to shift. This can create problems in your bite and affect your ability to speak and chew.

If you want to fill the space with a dental implant, a sturdy jaw bone is necessary to install the implant. If you opt for a dental bridge, the bridge must be molded and placed before the teeth shift.

Your dentist is always open to a conversation on what you would like to do with your extraction site before removing a tooth. They will be able to make a recommendation and layout a treatment plan. Make sure to schedule follow up appointments to properly care for your extraction site.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is where the jawbone is built up to accommodate a dental implant or other restorative device. Bone grafting is a common procedure that is used frequently for dental implants and other periodontal procedures. The bone used to graft is taken from a sample from the patient. Many times, the bone is taken from another area of the mouth when drilling takes place. The bone fragments are suctioned from the mouth and used for the graft. Cadaver bone fragments are also used. They are harvested by bone banks and are a very safe source for bone donation.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Medical research has demonstrated that using our own blood cells, accelerates healing and tissue regeneration in all forms of surgery. Specifically, platelets, plasma, and white blood cells are used for this procedure. The protein that is carried by the platelets is the magic ingredient that is being used in numerous private office settings for wound healing and various surgical procedures, including oral surgery.

As we only use innovative procedures in our offices and procedures, we routinely use platelet rich plasma (PRP) in oral surgeries that involve hard and soft tissues, derived from the patient. The plasma proteins are collected in the office in a short procedure which only takes a few minutes. The use of PRPs in surgery ensures that the patient has the best opportunity to successfully heal from their surgery. For patients who have a history of complications arising from hard and soft tissue regenerations, PRP is instrumental in surgical success.

Oral Pathology

Oral Pathology is the specialty that identifies and treats diseases of the mouth and maxillofacial region. Diagnosis is completed through radiographic, microscopic, biochemical and other in office examinations. Oral pathologists provide biopsy services for dentists and offer clinical their diagnosis based on their findings. Some of the diseases that Oral pathologists diagnose include mouth and throat cancer, mumps, salivary gland disorders, ulcers, Odontogenic Infection, and others.

Sleep Apnea

Using oral surgery to help sleep apnea seeks to remove the excess tissue in the throat that is vibrating and blocking the upper air passages. One surgical procedure is an Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This procedure involves removing the excess tissue from the upper mouth and throat. This procedure in performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. Maxillomandibular advancement is another type of procedure used to assist with sleep apnea. This procedure involves the upper and lower part of the jaw. In this procedure, the jaw is moved forward from the rest of the facial bones. This allows more room behind the soft palate, thereby reducing the obstruction. Finally a Tracheostomy is a last ditch effort when other treatments have failed. This involves the surgeon inserting a tube in your throat so you can breathe. It is covered during the day, but opens at night while you sleep. All of the aforementioned surgeries are routine and very safe.

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