When Should You Visit an Oral Surgeon?
Bone loss in the jaw, sleep apnea, and other dental issues can be serious and require the attention of an oral surgeon. In some cases, a dentist may recommend oral surgery to treat a structural problem that may be worsening apnea, extract impacted teeth, prepare the mouth for dental implants, or treat oral diseases. It's important to understand your condition and feel comfortable asking your dentist questions about the procedure. Here are some of the reasons why you may need to visit an oral surgeon.
The Importance of Oral Surgery in Maintaining Dental Health and Preventing Complications
When it comes to dental health, it's important to save natural teeth as much as possible. However, when extreme situations arise, immediate tooth extraction may be necessary. Some cases may include severe pain due to dental impaction, misaligned teeth, bleeding gums, hard-to-reach teeth, severe tooth decay, or cavities below the gum line. All of these cases require a visit to an oral surgeon to prevent the situation from worsening. Has your dentist told you that your mouth is too small for all of your teeth, that sleep apnea contributes to daytime fatigue, or that temporomandibular joint pain may improve with oral surgery? There are many reasons why a dentist may recommend oral surgery.
It's nearly impossible to see some malignant tumors (or those suspected to be malignant) in a patient's mouth or throat. Some patients may only know that they have oral cancer or a tumor that may be cancerous when they visit their general dentist for a regular cleaning appointment. Fortunately, these tumors can be removed surgically. Extracting wisdom teeth has become almost a rite of passage for teens and young adults. Many young adults expect to have their wisdom teeth removed sometime in their late teens (usually between 18 and 2 years old).
The Role of Oral Surgery in Treating Sleep Apnea and Other Complex Dental Conditions
These large molars are supposed to be leftovers from eons ago, when the mouth and jaw of humans were larger. Now, with our smaller jaws, we don't have room for the amount of teeth that our body is programmed to give us. You might be surprised to learn that oral surgery is sometimes recommended to treat severe cases of sleep apnea. Often, these patients use corrective treatments such as CPAP machines, oral appliances, or medications but these measures are not sufficient to solve the problem in some patients. Oral surgery is sometimes recommended to treat a structural problem that may be worsening apnea.
Oral surgery may be recommended for patients with sleep apnea whose uvula or tonsils are too large or obstructive and make it difficult to breathe during sleep. Similarly, surgery can move the tongue forward or insert a corrective rod into the soft palate to keep the patient's airway unobstructed. Some examples of conditions that may require at least one surgical consultation include extracting impacted teeth, preparing the mouth for dental implants, and treating oral diseases. Because oral surgeons provide state-of-the-art care and treat complex cases, visiting an oral surgeon generally involves a greater initial investment. At one time or another, anyone who has been to the dentist will have to undergo one or more oral surgery procedures to solve their oral health problems. Many dental conditions can be corrected without the help of oral surgery but when you need surgical help it's important that you fully understand your condition and feel comfortable asking your dentist questions about the procedure. In addition, they have the extensive education and training needed to perform emergency oral surgery which is extremely useful for patients who have had an accident or who need reconstructive dental surgery.
The Evolving Landscape of Oral Surgery: Advances in Technology and Techniques for Simple and Complex Treatments
With recent advances in dental technologies and techniques, oral surgeries are much less complex and invasive than before. Suitable candidates for dental implants must have an adequate bone level and density, not be prone to infection, and must be willing to maintain good oral hygiene practices. Before you attend your oral surgery appointment, your general dentist will explain the basics of your condition and ensure that surgery is the right course of action to correct your oral problem. Oral surgery is often combined with other treatments such as dental implants, orthodontics, and periodontal disease.
Oral surgeons are experts at providing simple and complex treatments such as wisdom tooth extractions and dental implants. Many people will never have to interact with an oral surgeon in their lifetime but when accidents happen or when the mouth is in poor condition an oral surgeon is probably the best specialist to go to. An oral surgeon corrects orthodontic and dental problems that cannot be resolved with nonsurgical treatments.