Oral and dental surgery is necessary for maintaining oral health throughout your lifetime. Widespread misconceptions and the idea of dental drills can cause dental anxiety, often leading people to delay or avoid dental visits altogether. Delay in obtaining treatment can adversely affect your health and hamper your lifestyle.
This article seeks to explain a number of oral and dental conditions-impacted wisdom teeth, tooth loss, jaw-related problems and others requiring oral surgery-and the procedures that can rectify the condition.
Impacted wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth or the third molars become impacted when they fail to come out in the right alignment or do not fully emerge through the gums. The condition may cause swelling of the affected area and severe pain. If not remedied, infection may occur and spread to the surrounding tissue resulting in a condition called pericoronitis. The set of cuspids and bicuspids could also get impacted, but this happens rarely.
Depending on the exact condition, your dentist may recommend the removal of impacted teeth.
Tooth loss and dental implant surgery
Tooth loss can be attributed to many factors, including the natural cycle of the teeth for toddlers, tooth decay and accidents. Good oral hygiene can prevent tooth loss to a large degree, other than loss of baby teeth and those occurring as a result of accidents.
When tooth loss occurs due to dental caries and various periodontal diseases, it can be remedied with dental implant surgery.
Dental implants—tooth root substitutes which are anchored surgically in the jawbone—are an alternative to dentures. The procedure is only recommended for those with sufficient bone density in the jaw. They should also have no chronic conditions such as diabetes and be willing to maintain good oral hygiene.
Unequal jaw growth: In some people, jaw growth tends to develop unequally from birth. This can affect the way a person speaks, eats and swallows and lead to improper teeth alignment. This defect could be corrected with braces, but, more serious problems require oral surgery to correct the alignment of the jaw.
Irregularities of the fit of dentures can also be corrected by oral surgery. This makes it possible to wear dentures in the long-term. In some severe cases, a bone graft may be necessary.
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) are a complex group of problems that affect the jaw joint. They are sometimes called myofacial pain dysfunction or Costen’s syndrome. Since muscles and joints work together, a problem can lead to facial pain, ear pain, headaches, stiffness, bite problems, clicking sounds or locked jaws.1 This could be treated with oral medication, physical therapy and splints. A joint surgery is performed when this disorder is at an advanced stage.
Other conditions requiring oral surgery
Oral surgery is also performed for the following:
* To repair fractured jaws and broken facial bones
* For removing abnormal growths or tissue
* Repair of cleft lip and cleft palate are usually done by a team of doctors because a series of treatments and surgical procedures are needed to correct these conditions.
Oral and dental surgery is a necessary part of maintaining good oral health. Latest dental technologies enable speedy and effective performance of surgical procedures. Dentists and oral health practitioners will provide the care that you need, while being sensitive to your dental anxieties. In most instances, timely dental visits and treatment can save you money and unnecessary suffering.