Your dentist may refer you for oral surgery for a number of reasons.
If you have been suffering from severe discomfort in your tooth or jaw, you may be wondering what you can do to resolve the issue. The first thing you should do if you experience pain that is affecting your mouth or face is to see your dentist — they will be able to determine the cause of the problem, and in most cases, will recommend a suitable treatment. If necessary, your dentist will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Read on to find out when you might need oral surgery, and what a maxillofacial specialist can do for you.
What does an oral and maxillofacial surgeon do?
Maxillofacial surgery is a speciality of dentistry that focuses on issues related to the face and jaws. This type of surgery may be recommended for the treatment of oral diseases and injures beyond the scope of your dentist.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons undergo additional training and education beyond general dentistry so that they can specialise in the diagnosis and management of conditions affecting the maxillofacial region. This advanced training allows them to address a wide range of issues, including impacted teeth; jaw-joint problems; bite-related concerns; facial trauma; and implants and grafting.
Do I need oral surgery?
There are a number of reasons your dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for oral surgery, but some of the most common include:
Exposure of teeth
If one or more of your teeth have failed to erupt, you may be referred for tooth exposure surgery. A tooth can sometimes be blocked from erupting when another tooth is in the way, especially in the case of dental crowding. This can cause issues, such as the formation of a cyst and infection.
During tooth exposure surgery, your surgeon will carefully move the gum to expose the tooth before stitching it in position. A special ‘putty’ material will be placed to protect the tooth and prevent the gum from growing back.
Surgical removal of teeth
Your dentist will always try to save a tooth from extraction, but unfortunately, this is not always possible. They may refer you for oral surgery if one or more of your teeth need to be removed because of decay, disease, trauma, crowding, or impaction.
During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision in the gum and remove the bone around the tooth to allow better access. Often, the tooth will need to be sectioned into smaller pieces before it can be elevated and extracted. Any remaining sharp bone edges will be smoothed to ensure that you don’t experience any discomfort or complications after your surgery.
Wisdom tooth surgery
Wisdom tooth surgery is most often performed when the wisdom teeth have become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause severe pain, as well as a range of oral health issues such as tooth decay, infection and damage to the surrounding teeth and gums.
In some cases, your orthodontist may recommend that you have wisdom teeth surgery before your orthodontic treatment can begin.
How can we help?
At OMFS, our team of specialists provides a comprehensive range of services designed to address oral and maxillofacial issues. If you have been referred for oral surgery, we encourage you to come in and see us so that we can discuss your treatment plan in detail and address any concerns or questions that you might have about the procedure that has been recommended to you.
Each of our specialists is fully qualified and highly experienced in the field. Each surgeon has their own special interest in certain conditions and procedures, so we will make sure that you receive the care that you need from the specialist best suited to your case.
To find out more about our services, please have a look at our range of procedures.
To arrange an appointment, please get in touch or give us a call on (03) 9347 3788.