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WHAT is oral surgery?
Oral Surgery can be an important aspect of a comprehensive plan for dental health. The most common dental oral surgery procedures include extractions and placing dental implants.
When restorative procedures such as root canal therapy, crowns, or fillings are not enough to save a tooth, it may need to be extracted. Tooth extraction procedures today are far less painful than ever before, thanks to powerful anesthetics and sedatives. In many cases, a patient who has tooth pulled experiences little or no discomfort, and only minor bleeding.
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that erupt in the back corners of the upper and lower normal adult mouth. Unfortunately, most people experience problems from wisdom teeth; in most cases, this is because the teeth erupt too close to existing permanent teeth, causing crowding, improper bites, and other problems. These teeth, if not removed, can affect the health of the surrounding teeth and jaw bone.
A dental implant is a titanium post (like a tooth root) that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows the dentist to anchor replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. An implant doesn’t come loose like a denture can. Dental implants also benefit general oral health because they do not have to be anchored to other teeth, like bridges.
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Before a tooth is extracted, the area surrounding the tooth is numbed with a topical/and or injectable anesthetic such as Novocaine. Patients with extracted teeth sometimes need to take an antibiotic, and at the very least, take precautions following the procedure to ensure that infection doesn’t occur. Smoking, vigorous brushing and rinsing, and drinking liquids through straws are discouraged during the post-operative period because they hinder healing and may cause the wound to open. Cold compresses applied to the outside cheek near the extraction area can help reduce any swelling and promote faster healing. Typically, over the counter pain medication as instructed by your doctor, is sufficient to handle any pain associated with tooth extraction.
If wisdom teeth are causing a problem and are not pulled, they can sometimes become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can be extremely painful, as well as harmful to your oral health. Symptoms are easy to spot: severe discomfort, inflammation, and some kinds of infections. Many people need to have their wisdom teeth extracted to avoid future serious problems. In general, the lack of the four wisdom teeth does not hamper one’s ability to properly bite down, speak or eat.
Dental implant surgery replaces the root area of the missing tooth with metal, screw-like posts that the artificial tooth can be anchored to. The artificial teeth look and act just like real ones, so this type of surgery can be a great alternative to wearing dentures or ill-fitting bridgework. Dental implant surgery may be performed in several steps depending upon the kind of implant you’re getting and the health of your jawbone. The process requires the jawbone to heal tightly around the dental implant area, effectively assimilating it into the gumline as if it were a natural tooth. The implants are surgically placed within the jawbone and serve as the “root” of the artificial tooth being implemented. Titanium is often used for this procedure because it fuses the implant with the jawbone, remains firmly in place, and won’t decay like some kinds of bridgework.