Seymour Office

What Is An Oral Surgeon And Why Might I Need One?

oral surgeon at Strull Oral Surgery Clinic

Oral health problems can cause discomfort, difficulty eating or speaking, and affect your overall well-being. Have you ever wondered about the role of an oral surgeon and how they can help you overcome these challenges?

This blog post will discuss the work of these dental professionals and explain when and why you need their advanced expertise. From tooth extractions to corrective surgery, find out how oral surgeons can help you restore your brilliant smile.

What Is Oral Surgery?

Oral surgery, a branch of dentistry, specializes in treating diseases, injuries, and defects in the mouth, jaws, and facial region. Oral surgery types encompass procedures like tooth extractions, dental implants, corrective jaw surgery, and facial trauma repair. The oral surgeon who performs a dental operation has extensive training beyond regular dental education.

What Is an Oral Surgeon?

Oral Surgeons, or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, are dental professionals who go beyond the scope of standard dentistry. After dental school, these specialists undertake additional years of training in a hands-on, hospital-based surgical and anesthesia residency program.

This advanced training equips oral surgeons to handle a wide range of dental procedures and oral health challenges that regular dentists can’t, including complex dental surgeries.

What Does an Oral Surgeon Do?

Oral surgeons, thanks to their advanced training, tend to focus on more challenging procedures. They specialize in treating many diseases, injuries, and defects in the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaws and face) regions. They also can perform difficult tooth extractions, surgically correct facial injuries, and treat patients with a complex medical history.

Types of Oral Surgery Procedures

  • Oral Pathology like cancer treatment.
  • Complex tooth extractions, including wisdom tooth extraction.
  • Dental implant surgery and other methods of tooth replacement.
  • Orthognathic surgery for correction of bite issues and jaw problems.
  • Reconstructive and cosmetic surgery to fix congenital disabilities like a cleft lip or palate.
  • Surgical treatment for sleep apnea.

Why Might You Need an Oral Surgeon?

1. Extraction of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The third molars, often known as wisdom teeth, usually start to emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood. When they don’t have enough space to grow or develop properly, they might become impacted. You might feel pain, experience swelling, or notice an infection developing as a result, which can also pose a risk to neighboring teeth.

In this case, an oral surgeon is needed to extract the impacted tooth and relieve any discomfort or complications.

2. Oral and Maxillofacial Conditions

There’s a whole range of oral and maxillofacial conditions that may require the attention of an oral surgeon. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which can cause persistent pain in the joint that connects the jaw to the skull, are some such conditions that oral surgeons can diagnose and treat.

Suppose you are unfortunate enough to get diagnosed with oral cancer. In that case, an oral surgeon plays a vital role in the surgical management of the disease, which may involve tumor removal and reconstructive surgery.

3. Corrective Jaw Surgery

Also known as orthognathic surgery, corrective jaw surgery might be necessary if there’s a problem with the way your teeth fit together or if your jaws are positioned incorrectly, causing facial imbalances or difficulties with daily functions like chewing, speaking, or even breathing.

Your dentist or orthodontist might refer you to an oral surgeon for further assessment and treatment, which could improve both the function and the appearance of your face and teeth.

3. Dental Implants for Tooth Loss

If you’ve lost a tooth due to disease or injury, dental implants may be a recommended solution. An oral surgeon is often the best professional to perform such a procedure. A dental implant involves the placement of a titanium post into your jawbone, which acts as the root of the tooth.

Over time, a replacement tooth is mounted onto this implant, providing a secure and long-lasting solution for tooth loss.

4. Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by periodic pauses in breathing while sleeping, which can lead to various health issues. If non-surgical treatments like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or oral appliances are not effective, a surgical intervention might be suggested.

An oral surgeon can perform certain procedures that reposition the jaw or remove excess tissue from the throat to open up the airway and alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea.

How Long Does Oral Surgery Take

The duration of oral surgery varies greatly depending on the type and complexity of the procedure. For instance, a standard wisdom tooth extraction, which is a common and relatively straightforward surgery, often takes less than an hour. On the other hand, corrective jaw surgery, known as orthognathic surgery, is much more involved. It requires precise realignment of the jaw for optimal function and appearance and can take several hours.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that recovery times can also vary, with some procedures requiring weeks or even months of healing time. Therefore, it’s best to discuss the expected duration and recovery time of the procedure with your oral surgeon to have a clear understanding.

What to Expect During Oral Surgery

Step 1: Examination

The oral surgeon will thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, and gums to assess your overall oral condition and determine the type of surgery you will need.

Step 2: Anesthesia Administration

Depending on the surgery’s complexity, you will receive either local sedation or general anesthesia to ensure your comfort during the procedure.

Step 3: Performing the Procedure

The surgeon will then carry out the surgery. This could range from simple tooth extraction to complex procedures like gum grafts, oral cancer removal, or jaw correction surgeries.

Step 4: Post-Surgery

After the procedure, it’s common to experience some pain, swelling, and discomfort. However, you will be prescribed the necessary medications to manage these symptoms.

Step 5: Aftercare Instructions

Lastly, the oral surgeon will provide comprehensive aftercare instructions to aid your recovery process and maintain your oral health after the surgery.

Why Is Selecting a Reliable Oral Surgeon Important?

Accuracy of Procedure

Oral surgery is a specialized dental medicine area requiring training, education, and an eye for precision. If you choose a reliable oral surgeon, you can trust that your procedure will be performed with the best knowledge and skill possible. This ensures the procedure’s success rate, improving the oral structure’s overall health and appearance.

Management of Possible Complications

Like in any field of medicine, complications can arise during oral surgery. Hence, picking an oral surgeon who can handle these unexpected situations is crucial. The knowledge and experience of a reliable oral surgeon can make the difference between minor adjustments and a life-threatening scenario.

High-Quality Aftercare

A good oral surgeon goes beyond just operating. They also provide patients with thorough aftercare instructions and are available for follow-up visits or calls. This is vital because the success of any procedure isn’t solely dependent on the surgery itself but also on how well the recovery process is managed.

Personal Comfort

Choosing a reliable oral surgeon means you’re selecting someone who can put your mind at ease before, during, and after the procedure. The thought of oral surgery can be stressful. However, a skilled and empathetic surgeon can provide a reassuring presence on this journey, making the process less intimidating.

Cost Savings

While the cost of the procedure might not necessarily be reduced when picking a reliable oral surgeon, in the long term, you could save more. If something doesn’t go as planned or you get a low-quality procedure, you may need additional surgeries to correct issues. Therefore, choosing a reliable oral surgeon is an investment that could save both your time and money.

Improved Overall Health

Oral health is interconnected with overall health. Many oral problems can affect or be affected by other body parts like the heart, bones, etc. Having a reliable surgeon means entrusting your oral health to a professional who understands this relationship and can provide treatments that consider your overall well-being.

Experience Expert Care at Strull Oral Surgery Clinic

When it comes to your oral health, don’t trust just anyone—choose the best. At Strull Oral Surgery Clinic, our board-certified oral surgeons provide superior personalized care tailored to your needs. Whether you need wisdom teeth removed or a more complex surgery, our team’s extensive training and hands-on experience ensure optimal results.

Enhance your smile and restore your oral health under our expert care at Strull Oral Surgery Clinic. Call or schedule an appointment online today.