Oral surgeons are dentists that focus on treating issues that relate to the hard and soft tissue of the face, jaw, and mouth.
Many oral surgeons practice out of an office, similar to the way your dentist works, or in a hospital setting. Oral surgeons complete four years of dental school as well as an additional four years in a hospital-based residency program.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
Oral surgeons are able to improve jaw irregularities that can help improve speaking, breathing, and chewing. This is done by the oral surgeon realigning the jaw into the proper position. This type of surgery can also help correct cleft palates and lips.
If you have any teeth that are damaged or impacted, an oral surgeon is able to remove them.
Although dental implants can be placed by a cosmetic or restorative dentist, oral surgeons are able to reconstruct the bone in the areas where you will be receiving dental implants. Oral surgeons can also reconstruct gum tissue around the implant in order to create a more natural look.
Oral Cancer Treatment
In the more advanced stages of oral cancer, an oral surgeon is able to perform specific operations. These surgeries include:
- Removal of the tumor
- Removal of cancer cells that have spread to your neck
- Reconstruction of your mouth following the operation
Treating TMJ Issues
Temporomandibular joints connect the jaw to the temporal bones. These joints allow you to move your jaw side to side, and up and down. Oral surgeons are able to evaluate images of the joints and can make suggestions to dental specialists or physical therapists on the proper treatment. Sometimes surgery may be required when the joints have been damaged.
In the event you have experienced any kind of trauma to your jaw, facial bones or facial soft tissues, an oral surgeon will be able to correct the issues. The surgery can restore functionality to the affected area by using skin, nerves, or bones from other parts of your body.