Oral surgery is a branch of dentistry that involves diagnosing, preventing, and treating conditions affecting the mouth, teeth, and associated structures. This type of surgery is done by oral surgeons who have been trained to deal with everything from routine procedures such as tooth extractions to the more complex ones like jaw reconstruction after an accident. The latter is usually the job of the maxillofacial surgeon, who has to deal with both fractures and tumors involving facial bones. Given how complicated these procedures are, you need to ensure that you work with the best Monterey, CA oral surgery. Here are some problems only an oral surgeon should treat.
- Complex Tooth Extractions
An experienced surgeon should remove a tooth using the least invasive method possible. This will most likely involve extracting it with tiny surgical tools. Other times, you may need an open extraction, which means making multiple cuts in the gum to access the root. This technique is necessary when there are no other alternatives or when the patient has poorly formed roots. For instance, removing wisdom teeth may require open extraction if they are impacted or unable to break through the gum independently.
- Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth typically start growing when you’re teens but can become impacted as you get older. It means that instead of poking out from the gums, these molars grow in the wrong direction due to lack of space. There are cases when they can break through the bone independently, but you may need surgery if they don’t. Your oral surgeon will make an incision in your gums to access them and remove them with small surgical tools.
- Jaw Fractures
Your jaw is a highly complex structure made up of the lower and upper jaw or mandible and maxilla. It’s also quite delicate, which means you need to be extra careful when it gets injured. Fractures in the jaw can happen due to sports injuries, car crashes, and falls from a height. The treatment depends on the severity and location of the fracture. For instance, your oral surgeon will apply screws and plates to hold the jaw together if it’s fractured in multiple places. He may also need to wire his mouth shut during the recovery process.
- Inadequate Bone Structure
Another reason you may need oral surgery is to reconfigure your jawbone if it’s poorly structured. This usually happens because of an untreated tooth abscess that’s eroded the bone or a tumor in your jaw that needs to be removed. If the tissue in the lower half of your face starts displacing upward, it can also affect how your teeth line up. The only way to fix this is by reconstructing your jaw with invasive surgery.
- Jaw Tumors and Cysts
Your jaw may also need oral surgery if it has benign or cancerous tumors. A tumor can cause irregularities in your jawline, which may make some of your teeth look crooked. Besides removing the growth, your doctor will probably remove all or part of your lower jaw to prevent cancer from spreading. This type of condition is usually caused by smoking and chewing tobacco.
In summary, you may need oral surgery if you have an impacted wisdom tooth, a broken jaw, or poorly developed jaw bone. You should consider visiting an oral surgeon if you notice any irregularities in your jawline.