Oral surgery is not on your Christmas wish list. It’s probably not going to be one of your New Year’s resolutions, either.
Nevertheless, you or someone you love may need oral surgery at some point to maintain a healthy mouth. This might mean removing something from your mouth, placing something in your mouth, or a combination of the two.
On the plus side, some conditions, like advanced gum disease, used to require oral surgery but can now be treated in other ways.
If you do need oral surgery, Beaumont Family Dentistry in Lexington can provide your care in a comfortable, relaxed setting.
One of the most common reasons for needing oral surgery is tooth removal. Generally, this is needed as a result of tooth decay or gum disease.
Before we get to this step, we will examine your tooth. We may be able to reshape it to remove only the parts damaged by decay. We can then place a dental crown on your tooth to preserve its appearance and functionality.
If the infection has reached the pulp inside your tooth, we usually consider root canal therapy first. Oral surgery to remove the tooth may be the only option depending on how much damage has been done.
Gum disease (which we will address later) can damage the jawbone that supports your teeth. If too much of your jawbone deteriorates, then tooth removal may be necessary for your long-term oral health.
Crowding is another reason we may have to remove a tooth. This kind of oral surgery may be necessary prior to orthodontic treatment.
Please be aware that we do not perform wisdom teeth removals or complicated extractions in our offices.
Dental implant placement
If tooth removal is necessary, we may perform another type of surgery at the same time — dental implant placement.
You don’t just have a gap in your smile when you lose a tooth or have a tooth removed. You also leave a space in your jaw where the root of your tooth was anchored to the bone.
A dental implant can fill in that space. As you heal, your jawbone will bond with your dental implant to hold it as securely as it holds your natural teeth. Then, a dental crown can be attached to your implant to restore the appearance of a full set of teeth.
We also might place dental implants for a patient who needs a full arch of teeth replaced. For these patients, we place multiple implants into their jawbones. The implants support implant-retained or implant-secured dentures.
Bone grafting is a type of oral surgery that may be needed before we can place a dental implant.
When you are missing a tooth, you lose bone density in that part of your mouth. If too much bone has deteriorated, then you will need added support to hold your dental implant in place.
During a bone graft, we remove bone from another part of your mouth and place it where it is needed. The grafted bone will fuse with the existing bone. Once you have healed, we can place a dental implant and be confident that it will be secure.
Non-surgical gum disease treatment
Years ago, oral surgery would be required in cases of advanced gum disease.
Today, we can use a dental laser instead. The laser allows our dentists to target the infected part of your gums.
The laser has a secondary benefit of sealing the healthy tissue, which means less bleeding during your procedure. This speeds up the treatment process and your recovery time when it’s over.
Sedation and surgery
If you or someone you know does need oral surgery, it will most likely take place while you or your loved one is under sedation.
Depending on the particular procedure, you may undergo nitrous oxide sedation (“laughing gas”), oral conscious sedation (taking medication prior to your procedure), or IV sedation (which is administered by a trained professional).
The purpose of sedation is to help you remain relaxed throughout your oral surgery and to allow you to experience the procedure without pain.
Ready if you need us
Hopefully, neither you nor your loved ones will ever need oral surgery. If you think you might, we encourage you to call us as soon as possible.
We will consider non-surgical treatments first, but if surgery is unavoidable, then we will provide your treatment in a comfortable, pain-free environment.
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