What is dental surgery?
Dental or oral surgery is a category of medical procedures which modify dentition. It is surgery of the teeth or jaw bones. Some of the common types of oral surgery involve impacted teeth (wisdom teeth), extraction of regular teeth, surgery needed for dental implants, and surgery to improve the fit of a denture.
Impacted Teeth (Wisdom Teeth)
Wisdom teeth are sometimes called “third molars.” They are teeth the farthest back (distal) in each quadrant of your mouth. They generally appear between the ages of 17 and 25. It is thought that early humans used them to grind down plant tissue. The human diet changed over time, and now wisdom teeth are viewed as usually vestigial –no longer serving a function. (It should be noted that in some individuals, wisdom teeth emerge and don’t cause a problem.)
Impacted wisdom teeth are wisdom teeth which do not emerge fully into the mouth as normal teeth do, because they are blocked by other teeth — there’s not enough room. This can result in pain due to inflammation or infection or damage to the nearby teeth. The most common symptoms when this happen is pain, and swelling and bleeding of the tissue overlying the tooth. The most common treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction. Depending on the patient and the conditions of the impacted tooth, the extraction can be performed under local anesthetic, sedation, or general anesthetic.
Teeth other wisdom teeth can become impacted and need to be extracted. The cuspids and the bicuspids can become impacted, resulting in the same problems described with impacted wisdom teeth.
Dental implants are replacements for missing teeth. In the first part of a dental implant procedure, the dentist drills a hole in the jaw bone underlying the gum where the natural tooth used to be. Then a titanium screw, which will serve as the replacement of the roots of the missing tooth, is inserted into the hole. In the next step, an abutment is attached to the titanium screw. This serves as a connector between the screw and the crown. The crown, a replacement for the top part of the missing tooth, is then attached to the abutment.
Surgery for Denture Fit
For first-time denture wearers, it’s sometimes possible to ensure a better fit with oral surgery, to correct any irregularities of the jaws prior to creating the dentures. Supporting jaw bone often deteriorates over time, resulting in the dentures of longtime wearers no longer fitting properly. Sometimes an oral surgeon can add a bone graft to areas where little bone remains.