When you suffer from serious injuries affecting your jaws, gum tissue, or teeth, you may need oral surgery to help remedy the condition. The type of oral surgery you receive depends on the injury requiring treatment. Based on this, you need information about the different types of oral surgeries and the conditions they aim to treat. You can then rely on the details to determine the most suitable option for you ahead of your appointment.
Once your dentist schedules you for oral surgery, you must also undergo several preparation procedures to ensure a smooth session. The preparation processes vary between patients, so you will receive specific instructions from the medical professional handling your case. Working with a skilled and experienced oral surgeon is critical to achieving a successful outcome, so you must choose a trusted partner. In doing so, you avoid facing possible risks and medical complications arising from poor surgical procedures.
At South Coast Dentistry, we work towards providing excellent and high-quality oral surgery services to our clients. Our team has developed oral surgical skills thanks to the many cases we have handled. You can trust us to deliver the expected results, allowing you to fully recover and return to your everyday life. Our services are available for anyone seeking oral surgery in Aliso Viejo, California.
What Oral Surgery Entails
Your body may sometimes succumb to severe medical risks, prompting a medical service provider to take drastic action. Among the medical responses applicable in urgent circumstances is surgery, which involves invasive procedures on your body to access the ailing body part.
Oral surgery is any invasive procedure targeting any part of your dental structure, including your jaw and facial bones. Your dentist may recommend oral surgery for various dental conditions, especially if they advance to severe levels, threatening your well-being.
Like any other surgery, oral surgical procedures require your dentist to have high skill levels, meaning they must have specialized practice. As a result, you will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with additional training compared to a regular dentist.
As a patient awaiting oral surgery, your dentist will provide various guidelines to help you prepare. For example, they should identify the area of your oral cavity they intend to operate on and provide reasons for it. Further, they should inform you of the potential risks associated with the surgery, allowing you to make an informed decision.
Some oral surgery procedures are minimally invasive and take a short time to complete, allowing you to receive outpatient treatment. If so, you do not have to take too much time off your everyday schedule, as you can quickly recover.
On the other hand, some procedures involve more invasive techniques that require several hours to complete. Due to this, your dentist may check you in for patient treatment to keep you under observation for a few hours after surgery and before your release.
Persons Eligible for Oral Surgery
Dental conditions vary in severity, making it essential to establish whether you are eligible for oral surgery. Usually, the procedures are a last resort after your dentist has tried alternative treatment options without success. An oral surgery recommendation is thus reserved for severe dental conditions requiring urgent medical interventions to prevent the case from worsening.
Upon consultation with your dentist, they may recommend oral surgery in the following circumstances:
You Have Signs of Oral Cancer
Cancer is a terminal disease that manifests through lumps and growths in the body area where the condition occurs. An oral cancer patient may have small lumps on their gums, tongue, mouth palate, and inner cheeks, making it difficult to perform essential functions.
Oral surgery helps remedy the condition by removing the lumps from the affected area, allowing you to recover over time. Surgery also effectively eradicates cancer, especially if you discover it early. By surgically removing the malignant growths, you reduce their chances of recurring, giving you a chance to fully recover.
You Have Severe Tooth Decay
Tooth decay arises when bacteria attack your teeth continuously without treatment, resulting in the erosion of your enamel and surrounding parts of the tooth. Many tooth decay cases start as cavities and develop as the bacteria multiply. The erosion occurs because of the harmful chemicals the bacteria release after consuming sugar, especially after consuming foods with high sugar concentrations.
In extreme cases, tooth decay extends to the sensitive parts of the affected tooth, like the dentine, root blood vessels, surrounding nerves, and gum tissue. Since the tooth is likely dead when you seek treatment, your dentist can perform oral surgery to extract the affected areas and clean the remaining tissue.
You Experience Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that prevents you from breathing correctly when asleep because your air passageway is blocked. The condition is common among patients with throat tissue that falls out of place when you lie down, blocking the trachea and preventing you from breathing for seconds.
Living with the condition can be dangerous, exposing you to potential suffocation and brain damage when your brain receives insufficient oxygen. Your dentist can perform oral surgery to correct the throat tissue position or remove it to ensure your trachea passageway remains open.
Your jawbone is essential to dental health, as it holds your teeth in position and helps with their nourishment. Over time, infections and other conditions may cause jawbone loss, reducing tooth support. Your dentist can remedy the condition by performing oral surgery to graft the jawbone to the affected area. The procedure allows your teeth to regain the nourishment and support necessary for good dental health.
Severely Broken and Impacted Teeth
As an accident victim, you may suffer from broken teeth, especially after a high-impact incident. While your dentist can easily add a filling to the broken tooth to restore its appearance, some patients experience severe breakage.
For example, the impact may have caused the tooth to break just above the gum tissue, making it challenging to restore using a filling. Oral surgery, therefore, becomes a valuable remedy to remove the tooth entirely as you contemplate whether to replace it with an artificial crown.
You may also benefit from oral surgery if you have impacted teeth, which arise when your teeth fail to erupt above the jawbone tissue onto the surface. You will likely have impacted teeth when growing molars, as some lack sufficient space to occupy the back of your jawbone.
Oral surgery helps access the tooth and extract it to reduce any pain or discomfort you may have experienced when it was still inside the jawbone. After extraction, your dentist will assess the space to determine whether you need a crown to fill it or if it can remain open as long as it recovers.
Types of Oral Surgery
Based on patients' multiple needs, oral surgeons apply different surgical procedures to provide effective treatment solutions. Examples of oral surgery that your dentist may recommend include:
Teeth Extraction Procedures
Many dental complications are related to tooth-related problems, making tooth extraction surgeries familiar. Your oral surgeon relies on the procedure to remedy tooth decay, severe breakage, and impacted teeth. A tooth extraction process can also effectively treat gum infections, mainly if the condition stems from the tooth root or dentine.
You may also need an extraction as you prepare for other dental procedures like orthodontic treatment, where your dentist intends to fit braces. Teeth removal is helpful in this case if the braces correct crowding by pushing the remaining teeth into the newly created spaces.
Jaw Alignment Surgery
Jaw misalignments may occur for various reasons, including severe trauma in an accident or for genetic reasons. Treating a misalignment requires highly invasive oral surgery because the surgeon targets the socket joints at the corners of your jawbone to realign them.
After the surgical procedure, you will need sufficient recovery time, and you may also need to wear a head brace to train your jaw in its new position. The treatment, therefore, calls for you to pay close attention to your dentist’s recommendations for a better chance of making a quick recovery.
Gum Disease Surgery
Conditions associated with gum disease are collectively called periodontal diseases, so your oral surgeon can recommend periodontal surgery to treat an infection or remove dead gum tissue. The process calls for expertise, as your gums are sensitive and may easily bleed out.
The periodontal surgery begins with an incision on the affected gum area and folding the sectioned gum tissue away to access the bacteria and plaque surrounding the tooth. The surgeon then cleans the area thoroughly, including along the line, to prevent bacteria from re-emerging and spreading.
Once the dentist brushes all the dirt and dead tissue away with water and a cleaning agent, they will revert the folded gum tissue and seal it with sutures to prevent bleeding. The surgery should eliminate possible infection triggers on your gums, and the tissue will grow healthier over time.
Oral Surgery to Remedy Sleep Apnea
The tissues blocking your air passageway are the primary focus of an oral surgery procedure to remedy sleep apnea. Your oral surgeon must prepare adequately for the procedure, as it involves accessing the tissues at the back of your throat using special tools. Despite this, you can expect the process to conclude within a few hours, giving you a chance to recover from the condition entirely.
When you lose significant jawbone tissue, the surrounding teeth do not receive sufficient nourishment and support. They may begin to shake and eventually fall off, resulting in additional medical conditions. A jawbone graft surgery can help remedy the situation by replacing the dead or lost jawbone, which ultimately helps to restore your dental health.
Since jawbone loss often occurs due to missing teeth, your dentist may also conclude the surgical procedure by fitting an artificial crown in the space. The presence of a tooth or a replacement signals your brain to continue nourishing the surrounding jawbone, so it has a lower chance of deteriorating in the future.
Pre-Treatment Procedures You May Undergo
Preparations for oral surgery vary from one case to another, as some patients may present different symptoms and needs. Your dentist should take you through various pretreatment procedures to help you prepare for oral surgery and to protect you from unexpected complications, especially allergic reactions. Some recommended preparation steps include:
A Physical Examination
Your oral surgeon begins their assessment by physically examining your dental structure to determine the exact nature of your condition. For example, they can check your teeth for cavities or decay and use special tools to check your gum health.
A physical exam also includes checking for variations in gum appearance in different mouth parts, which may indicate a slow-progressing infection. Additional checks should help identify the severity of broken teeth and whether you have impacted teeth requiring extraction. The physical examination forms the foundation for all other steps and solidifies the dentist’s diagnosis.
Additionally, your dentist may need to establish the severity of jawbone loss or infection and the possibility of impacted teeth in some cases. Preparing for oral surgery to remedy a misaligned jaw requires your dentist to study X-ray images, as they can help determine the joint area to focus on.
X-ray images are, therefore, essential to providing a clear view of your skeletal structure, making it easier to form an effective treatment process. When your oral surgeon studies the X-ray images accordingly, they may uncover additional treatment options to help you avoid any future complications.
Providing Your Medical History
Most oral surgery procedures involve using anesthesia to numb the pain and discomfort you may experience. While using anesthetics is necessary for a smooth process, it may also negatively affect patients allergic to specific medications. Based on this, you must provide all necessary details about allergens or severe reactions to your dentist to help them determine what to avoid during treatment.
Further, you should disclose relevant information about any dosages and treatments you are currently receiving, as it also guides the surgeon on the types of medicine to prescribe or avoid.
Using Oral Devices
For some conditions, like sleep apnea and jaw misalignment, your dentist may recommend using an oral device to try and remedy the condition. They may prescribe the device for a few weeks or months, within which they will observe your progress and decide whether the treatment is effective.
Sleep apnea patients may receive a mouth guard device to support their throat, thus keeping the air passageway open. A jaw misalignment patient may wear a faceguard for a few weeks to help push the misaligned jaw back to its normal position.
If the oral device treatments are unsuccessful, your dentist can schedule oral surgery to provide a permanent solution to your condition. They should explain the importance of surgery over devices to give you confidence in their directive.
Aftercare Tips to Observe After Oral Surgery
Oral surgery procedures involve exposing sensitive oral parts as your surgeon performs corrective or restorative processes. You should therefore aim to keep the wounds clean and bacteria-free, and you can achieve this by observing the following guidelines:
Avoid Sugary Food and Drinks
Sugar is the primary cause of dental infections, promoting bacterial growth and spread. You can uphold the positive effects of oral surgery by avoiding sugary foods and drinks and sticking to a good oral hygiene routine.
Use a Recommended Antibacterial Mouthwash
Brushing and flossing are effective, but only for reachable areas on your teeth. You can achieve a more thorough cleaning effect by following up your routine with an antibacterial mouthwash swirl to eliminate disease-causing microbes.
Attend All Follow-up Dentist Appointments
While oral surgery is a conclusive treatment option, your dentist must monitor your recovery and ensure you are not at risk of reinfection or additional harm. They do this by scheduling several follow-up appointments, making it essential to attend them. You can also benefit from the sessions as you can raise concerns about your recovery.
Contact a Dentist Near Me
Severe dental conditions may warrant oral surgery to help you recover and rebuild your health. The dental procedures include invasive processes like removing gum tissue, extracting teeth, reconstructing your jaw, and performing a bone graft. Based on this, the professional handling your surgery must be experienced and informed about your circumstances.
Additionally, you need to learn about the preparation procedures applicable before surgery to help you avoid medical complications. Aftercare tips are also crucial to facilitating a fast and smooth recovery from your surgery. You, therefore, need to work with a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon who understands the importance of taking you through all the essential details before and after surgery.
At South Coast Dentistry, you will receive quality oral surgery services tailored to your needs. Your dentist will apply the necessary skill and expertise to ensure their surgical procedure is beneficial and does not escalate the possibility of complications.
You will also have access to professional medical assistants who will help you through the surgery preparation stages, giving you a better chance to benefit from the surgery. Our team is ready to provide excellent oral surgery services for patients in Aliso Viejo, California. Contact us today at 949-274-9086 if you or a loved one needs more information about oral surgery and what to expect.