Surgery of the Oral Cavity & Wisdom Teeth
Dentoalveolar surgery is a branch of surgery in which the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon has a great expertise.
“Dento” is a term that refers to the removal of teeth. Although the removal of impacted wisdom teeth is the most common of these procedures, the removal of all teeth falls under this very same term.
“Alveolar” refers to any treatment that involves the bone of the jaws where the teeth are found. This encompasses such procedures as the placement of dental implants, biopsies of any mouth lesions, trimming away of any excess gum tissue, trimming away of any excess bone tissue, bone grafting to augment the bone area of future dental implant sites, exposing teeth to help the orthodontist, and removal of chronic infections around teeth in patients that have already had root canal treatment (apicoectomy or apectomy).
All of the above treatments can be performed by the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon in a private office setting, with or without sedation, or with a general anaesthetic.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The removal of impacted wisdom teeth is best suited for the expert training of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.
Wisdom teeth often begin erupting in the mouth between the ages of 15 to 25. Everyone has a different growth rate, which explains why each person may have wisdom teeth removed at slightly different ages.
Wisdom teeth are the last molars to erupt within the mouth. Most often, there isn’t enough room in the mouth for these teeth. Because of the lack of space, the wisdom teeth often become mal-aligned. These mal-aligned wisdom teeth can cause pain, pressure, infection and damage to the adjacent molars. Sometimes these problems can occur without having any prior signs or symptoms.
A special (panoramic) radiograph taken of the jaw is best and recommended to see the condition of the wisdom teeth.
There are usually four wisdom teeth in total, and each one may be partially erupted, erupted inside the mouth, or still located under the gum or bone tissue. The tooth still located under the gum or bone tissue is known as an impacted tooth.
The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will often recommend the removal of wisdom teeth in a young adult. This is because the risks involved with the removal of wisdom teeth greatly increase with age. This is also the case with the recovery period: the older one is, the longer the recovery period tends to be.
At the initial consultation appointment with your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, the appropriate post-extraction care instructions will be explained in detail. The risks, complications and normal post-extraction course of action will also be well explained. Following all of the post-extraction care instructions is key to ensuring a fast and proper recovery.
Other Dentoalveolar Procedures
The expertise of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is also required for procedures such as:
- Bone grafting and soft tissue grafting to improve future implant sites in the jaws.
- Placement of dental implants.
- Biopsy of a suspicious area, or of a lesion found on the gums or in the jaw bone.
- Surgical exposure of impacted teeth, other than wisdom teeth, so that with the help of the orthodontist, these teeth can be pulled into proper alignment within the mouth.
- Removal of infections at the root ends of teeth with chronic infections (apicoectomy or apectomy).
- The surgical treatment to help a denture fit properly (pre-prosthetic surgery)
- The surgical removal of bone outgrowths that may occur in both upper and lower jaws (removal of tori and exostosis)