If you need to undergo a complex procedure on the teeth or other parts of the oral cavity, a visit to the oral surgeon is usually necessary. Oral surgery includes surgical procedures on the mouth, especially those that require artificial modification of the oral structures. This article discusses conditions that might necessitate an appointment with an oral surgeon.
When to see an oral surgeon
An oral examination to assess the patient’s oral health and its condition is necessary to know whether they are a candidate for dental surgery. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the condition, the oral surgeon may even recommend nonsurgical procedures. The following are the conditions that might require a visit to the dental specialist.
Root canal therapy
A root canal is one of the most common types of oral surgeries. These dental specialists treat many teeth every year, preventing teeth extractions and relieving pain and sensitivity. Root canals are generally pain-free and highly effective.
The layer under the tooth’s enamel is a soft portion called the dental pulp, which holds the nerve endings, blood vessels and tissue. When the tooth decays, bacteria invade the tooth and infect the dental pulp. The infected pulp results in toothache, swelling or pain around the jaw or neck area. The oral surgeon can treat this condition by removing the decayed layer of the tooth, as well as the infected pulp material.
Dental implant placement
Dental implants have transformed the way that teeth are replaced over the last few years. An implant replaces and functions as the root of a lost tooth. They are made from titanium metal, which is both lightweight and biocompatible; the body will not reject them. The implant holds and anchors a tooth restoration like bridge, crown or denture to the jawbone. If a tooth is lost due to decay, trauma or a health condition, the oral surgeon can replace it with dental implants.
Dental implant restoration takes time to complete because the bone needs to fuse properly with the implant before the prosthetic tooth can be attached. To place the implant, the dentist will create an access hole through the gums to fit the metal post to the bone. It takes between three to six months for the bone fusion to occur. The treatment ends after fixing the tooth restoration.
Wisdom tooth extraction
Wisdom teeth extraction is often required when these last set of molars become problematic. Wisdom teeth usually erupt between ages 17 and 25, and when there is no space on the jaw for their emergence, they may become impacted and cause oral issues like pain and infection. Sometimes, the dental professional may recommend teeth extraction even if the teeth are not problematic, as a preventive measure.
Wisdom teeth extraction is done on an outpatient basis, and it takes a few days to recover completely. The oral surgeon will do the procedure by making surgical incisions and stitching the extraction site closed to ensure healing. Patients need to follow aftercare instructions for complete recovery and to prevent complications.
The bottom line
If you are experiencing certain oral symptoms that may compromise your oral health, it is advisable to visit the oral surgeon for a diagnosis and treatment.
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