Although many tooth extractions can be performed by a dentist, there are some tooth extractions that are best handled by an oral surgeon.
A complex tooth extraction may be necessary if the tooth:
- Has very little substance above the gum
- Has curved or large roots
- Has not erupted or is impacted
If your dentist recommends going to an oral surgeon for your tooth extraction, here is what you can expect:
Step 1: Numbing the Area
Your oral surgeon will begin by injecting a local anesthetic to numb the area.
Step 2: Gum Tissue
For cases where the tooth is barely visible above the gum line, the gum tissue surrounding the tooth will be folded back to expose more of the tooth.
Step 3: Releasing Periodontal Ligaments
In order to remove the tooth, your oral surgeon will need to release the tooth. The tooth is held by a periodontal ligament that can be removed easily.
Step 4: Sectioning the Tooth
To remove the tooth safely, it may be cut into smaller pieces.
Step 5: Elevating the Tooth
If the tooth is not cut into smaller pieces, the oral surgeon will use a tool called an “elevator” to enlarge the socket of the tooth in order to remove it.
Step 6: After the Tooth Is Out
Once the tooth is pulled, it will be covered to control any bleeding.
Depending on your situation, your oral surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on what to do to care for the area and keep it clean.
When your wisdom teeth begin to grow, there is usually not enough room in your mouth to house these extra teeth.
This can lead to the tooth growing in at an angle and causing pain, infection, damage to other teeth and more.
It is important to maintain regular dental visits so your dentist can watch for any signs of trouble. You should also tell your dentist if you begin to feel pain in the area where wisdom teeth normally come in. If your dentist suggests having your wisdom teeth removed it is for a good reason.
Procedure for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Step 1: Anesthesia
Your dentist will give you either local anesthesia or general anesthesia to numb the pain. General anesthesia may be used if you are having multiple wisdom teeth pulled.
Step 2: Removal
To remove your wisdom teeth, the dentist will open the gum tissue that is covering the tooth. From there, they will remove any bone that may be blocking the tooth. Your dentist will then remove the tooth itself. Sometimes, they may need to cut the tooth into sections to make it easier to remove.
Step 3: Cleaning
When the tooth is removed, the dentist will clean the area, and, in some cases, you may receive stitches to help the wound heal. Gauze is then placed over the wound to stop any bleeding.
Step 4: Recovery
It is important to follow the dentist’s instructions on what to do after your procedure. They will likely tell you things such as:
- For the first 24 hours after your surgery, you should only drink water and eat soft foods
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling and bruising around your mouth and cheeks
- Do not rinse out your mouth, brush your teeth or use mouthwash for 24 hours after your procedure
- After 24 hours, rinse your mouth with salt water every couple of hours and resume brushing, but be gentle near the wound
Removal of wisdom teeth is a very common procedure; in fact, 85% of individuals get their wisdom teeth pulled. When you are done with your procedure be sure to rest and do exactly as your dentist instructs. They will be able to tell you how long the healing process will take.
A bone graft procedure is used in cases where a patient has lost a tooth and does not have enough bone to support a dental implant.
A dental implant acts like a post that holds a false tooth. When a tooth is removed, the bone that was holding the tooth can begin eroding and leave a hollow divot in our jaw bone. A bone graft will give patients enough bone to support an implant and a new tooth.
The procedure for a bone graft is not as scary as it may sound, here is what you can expect.
Step 1: New Bone
An oral surgeon will begin by taking bone from another area of your body or use a bone grafting material. In most cases, the oral surgeon will be able to use bone grafting material.
Step 2: Healing
The bone graft will need time to create new bone that is strong enough to hold a dental implant. The healing period may take a few months to completely heal before you can move on with your procedure.
Step 3: Implant
Once the bone graft has healed, you will receive your dental implant. You can read about the dental implant procedure here.
Once you have completed the bone graft and dental implant procedure, you should have a new tooth that looks and functions just like your permanent teeth.
Although dental professionals have the tools necessary to create a new tooth, nothing beats our permanent teeth. Practicing proper dental hygiene is important and only takes a couple minutes each day. Be sure to view our blog for even more dental information!
Dento-alveolar surgery is quite the mouthful, and it’s certainly not something you would hear your dentist talk about during a routine examination. This procedure is used to correct a number of reconstructive and rehabilitative concerns by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. There’s another word you can sprinkle into casual conversation to impress your friends!
A Breakdown of Dento-alveolar Surgery
Put your tongue to the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth. Just beyond those little bumps that you feel is what is called the alveolar ridge. This is one of the two jaw ridges that we have—the other one is behind your lower teeth—and it is an extension of the maxilla or mandible. Within these ridges are a series of pockets that hold our teeth in place. When our teeth sustain damage that goes beyond the quick-fix of a filling or a crown, the patient is referred to an OMS.
Dento-alveolar surgery includes the following:
- Removing a retained root
- Wisdom tooth extraction
- Pulling dead teeth
- Oral pathology
- Removal of tumors or cysts
- Aiding in a root canal and orthodontic treatments
- Extracting excess gum tissue or bone for partial or complete dentures
Pulling dead teeth or wisdom teeth seems pretty common, right? So why would an OMS need to perform these operations for those patients? Everyone is going to experience a varying level of difficulty when it comes to the condition of their teeth. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are referred to when there is a higher risk of injury to the surrounding nerves, if the tooth has fused to the jawbone, or if the roots are particularly large and complex.
Surgery is always the first step to recovery, and a long list of side effects is always to be expected once the procedure is complete. Dento-alveolar surgery is no exception. Patients who have undergone the surgical removal of a tooth, root, bone, or tissue, have reported side effects such as excessive bleeding at the surgery site, lip sores, a weakened jaw or TMJ, dry socket, and numbness.
There is an additional concern of nearby teeth shifting towards the gap that has been left by an extracted tooth. When this occurs, it can become difficult to clean which can lead to a higher risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Also, the patient’s bite might come misaligned, causing difficulty with eating and speaking.
What To Consider
Like any medical treatment, many facts must be taken into consideration by both the medical professionals and the patient. Of course, all doctors and surgeons want their patients to feel confident enough to ask questions about treatment and to talk about any uncertainties they might be having. A thorough understanding of the procedure by the patient is important.
Furthermore, patients should talk to their doctor about their medical and dental history, known allergies, as well as any medications that you might be taking or have taken previously. Things like birth control, osteoporosis medications, and even common over-the-counter solutions like aspirin and cold medicine can be vital information when it comes to determining the best treatment option for you.
Do you need to find an oral surgeon near you? Visit our dental directory and get in contact with one today!
A Toothy Transplant Topic
When we talk about surgical transplants, the first thing that comes to mind is organ transplants—heart, lung, kidney, and so on— but did you know that tooth transplants are something people have been doing since 1050? The first recorded documentation of this procedure happened in ancient Egypt when teeth from slaves were forcefully extracted and given to their pharaohs. Today, autotransplantation proves to be a highly successful option for patients who need a tooth replacement.
The word autogenous means to come from oneself. Therefore, autogenous tooth transplant, or autotransplantation, is the “surgical movement of a tooth from its original location to another site in the mouth within the same person,” according to a journal published by researchers from the National Institutes of Health. There are various reasons why a dentist or surgeon might perform a tooth transplant:
- Traumatic tooth loss
- Root fractures
- Juvenile periodontitis
- Invasive cavities
- Ectopic canine teeth
But how does a dentist decide when a transplant is a better option than extraction or an implant?
The Initial Assessment
A lot of consideration goes into determining whether or not a patient is a suitable candidate for autotransplantation. The dentist or oral surgeon will begin by performing an assessment on the patient, which includes examining the overall health of the patient, how effective the patient’s oral hygiene routine is, if there is a suitable donor tooth and if there is an adequate amount of bone to support the donor tooth. The likelihood of the patient to maintain post-operative care and follow-up visits with the dentist or surgeon is also vital information.
Once again, when we talk about surgery, we can’t help but conjure up images of doctors closely gathered around an operating table with tiny, sharp objects in their hands and masks over their faces. There might even be an organ or two hanging out in an unsuspecting mini cooler. But the truth is, autogenous transplantation is about as routine as it gets.
The surgery site will be numbed with a local anesthetic, and the damaged tooth is extracted. Then, the donor tooth—which is typically the third molar—is carefully pulled and deposited into the newly opened socket. This part must be performed quickly to ensure the periodontal tissue will successfully attach to the donor tooth. The longer the socket remains empty, the less vital the tissue becomes.
Good oral hygiene is important for everyone, but it’s especially crucial when we’re recovering from any sort of dental procedure. The surgery site must remain clean in order to heal properly and without added infection. At the end of the autogenous transplant, the surgeon will likely choose to affix a metal splint to the donor tooth and to the teeth around it, similar to the appliances used for braces, so that the donor tooth will adjust appropriately. Patients can expect to wear this splint for up to two weeks after the transplant.
Furthermore, the patient should maintain a soft food diet for a few days and also avoid chewing or biting with the donor tooth. The performing dentist will want to check in on the patient within two days of the transplant to document any issues or concerns that might arise directly after surgery. Then, the patient will be expected to attend follow-up visits every week for the first month, and then once every 6 months for the next two years.
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