When is Oral Surgery Necessary?

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No patient enjoys the idea of surgery, and our staff certainly does not want our patients to undergo invasive treatments. Unfortunately, there are times when, despite our best efforts, oral surgery is necessary.

There are several reasons why our Van Nuys dentist recommends surgery for patients. The most common causes include:

• Impacted Wisdom Teeth-
The third molars, often called wisdom teeth because they erupt around the age of 18, are a prevalent reason for oral surgery. Occasionally, there will be room for the third molars in a patient’s jaw. Frequently, there is no room for these teeth, and they become trapped or impacted and require surgical removal. If a dentist does not remove the impacted teeth, then the patient experiences extreme pain and swelling. If left untreated long enough, the third molars will push the other molars out of place or possibly become infected.

• Tooth Loss-
When one or more teeth are missing, regardless of the reason, the patient is at risk for bone loss. Bone loss happens because the body senses the empty tooth socket and believes there is no reason to maintain that section of the jaw bone. With the advent of dental implant surgery, bone loss is reversible. The oral surgeon inserts a small titanium screw into the empty tooth socket. After several months, the body accepts the screw, and there is a permanent fusion. Once the implant is secure, you receive a specially designed crown to fit on the screw and replace the missing tooth.

• Temporomandibular Joint Disorders-
Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) cause patients extreme pain and misery in the form of a headache, facial pain, ear pain, difficulty chewing, and sleep disturbance. Often these symptoms are managed with pain medication and physical therapy. Occasionally, extreme symptoms warrant oral surgery to repair the joint.

• Other conditions- There are many more reasons our oral surgeon in Van Nuys recommends oral surgery to a patient. Problems such as facial injuries, cleft-palate, biopsy, abnormal jaw growth, and facial infections all may require oral surgery.

If you believe you are experiencing any of the problems seen above, please contact our office for an appointment right away.

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Which Dental Problems Require Surgery?

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Oral surgery is at the extreme end of dentistry, when milder treatments have been exhausted. This is not to say that oral surgery is not routine, as most procedures are outpatient and require minimal aftercare. However, most dentists try a range of things before recommending the patient to a surgeon.
You need an oral surgeon in Van Nuys for the following:
• Wisdom teeth removal
• Dental implants
• Bone grafting and gingival flap surgery
• The repair of broken facial bones
• Removal of tumors or cysts
One hypothetical that satisfies the “last resort” definition of oral surgery is a severe case of Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). This is a mysterious condition that affects jaw movement and function and can lead to systemic dysfunction. Not a lot is known about the nature of TMJ, so surgery for it is still considered experimental.
Unequal jaw growth, usually hereditary or a birth defect, can also require surgery. Eating, speaking, and even breathing may be affected by a malformed jaw.
Something like dental implants may involve less cutting than is typically associated with surgery. But an oral surgeon usually heads this procedure, working with a periodontist and prosthodontist.
For more about oral surgery, contact our dentist in Van Nuys.