When Is Oral Surgery Necessary?

Oral surgery can be used to treat issues related to your teeth as well as diseases and defects in the head, face, jaw, neck, and soft tissues of the mouth. It’s often key to providing treatments that relieve pain, eradicate disease, and improve functional and cosmetic issues.

Despite common concerns about pain and complications, oral surgery is performed routinely to resolve a wide range of issues safely and effectively. Modern sedation options, cutting-edge techniques, and advances in dental instruments have improved the experience and outcomes for patients who require these treatments. 

You can expect the best outcomes when you work with experienced oral surgery specialists. John Vellequette, DDS, and Stephanie Fung, DDS, of Smile Center Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale, California, provide expert oral surgery services for a wide range of conditions. In addition to their expert skills, the team at Smile Center Silicon Valley has extensive training in the use of oral anesthetics and sedation dentistry to help patients feel calm and comfortable during their procedures.

Find out more about the types of conditions that require treatment with oral surgery.

Tooth extraction

Tooth extraction, or tooth removal, is the most common type of oral surgery. You may require tooth extraction to remove a tooth that can’t be repaired due to damage from disease or decay,  gum disease, injury, or biting down on hard food. 

Tooth extraction is also performed to relieve overcrowding when the gumline is crowded with too many teeth. The procedure is often performed before orthodontics to open space along the gumline before repositioning crowded or crooked teeth. 

Salvage a damaged tooth

If you seek treatment for a decayed or infected tooth, you may benefit from a root canal to save the affected tooth. 

Root canal therapy involves cleaning diseased or dead pulp from the root canal of the damaged tooth. This is the hollow section of your tooth that leads from the root to the top of the tooth. After the debris is cleaned from the root canal, the area is filled and sealed to permanently protect the tooth and avoid extraction. 

Remove impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are the four teeth positioned at the back of your mouth, with one on each side of your upper jaw and one on each side of your lower jaw. By the time these teeth erupt, usually between the ages of 17 and 21, most people have 28 teeth and can’t accommodate four more teeth.

If wisdom teeth aren’t removed, they can cause issues such as sinus problems or discomfort by pressing on nearby nerves. Partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause tooth decay and cyst formations. 

In many cases, wisdom teeth become impacted, which means that they don’t have enough room to break through the gum tissue. In this case, they must be surgically removed to relieve symptoms.

Correct sleep apnea 

Obstructive sleep apnea results when the muscles in the back of your throat relax and collapse when you fall asleep. The muscles block the airway in your throat, interfering with your ability to breathe normally while you sleep. 

The effect makes you react by snoring or choking loudly as your brain and body experience oxygen deficiency. As a result, you may stop breathing a hundred or more times each night in severe cases. 

The condition is often treatable with weight loss and devices that promote healthy airflow during sleep. Oral surgery to remove or shrink excess tissue or reposition the jaw is an option when these devices don’t work. 

Repair a misaligned jaw 

Your jaw can become misaligned as the result of improper positioning or physical trauma. Jaw realignment surgery is a form of oral surgery used to reposition a misaligned jaw.

This surgery can repair the jaw to allow normal chewing, swallowing, and breathing. It may also promote deeper sleep and improved speech. 

Jaw problems can also be caused by disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the small joint where your skull and lower jaw meet in front of your ear. Dysfunction of the TMJ can cause facial pain and headaches. You may benefit from one of several types of TMJ surgery, depending on your symptoms or their severity. 

Bone grafting

If you have advanced periodontal disease, you may experience bone loss in your jaw. Bone grafting helps grow new bone over time. 

The process involves taking bone from your body, a donor, or synthetic materials and grafting it to the jawbone. Your body creates new bone cells around the grafted material.

When tooth loss occurs as a result of periodontal disease, you may require bone grafting before a dental implant can be inserted. This provides a sturdy base for the titanium rod.

If you’re experiencing pain, discomfort, or signs of tooth decay, you may require oral surgery. Find out more about treatment options. Call our office today to arrange a consultation.

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