At times, the dental problem you are dealing with might require a few oral surgery procedures to rectify. It is not something to be afraid of since anesthetics are used during the treatments. The patient does not feel much as the dentist works on them, and the problem that brought them to the clinic is typically resolved by the time their surgery is over.
Common oral surgery procedures
Here are some of the more common oral surgery procedures most people have to get at some point in their lives:
1. Dental implant installation
Implants are a popular way to replace missing teeth, and their installation requires oral surgery. The implant is a rod or screw that is surgically inserted into the patient's jaw. Most implants are made with titanium, but they are sometimes made with other materials, like zirconium.
A crown might be attached to the implant once it is placed depending on the type of implant used and how healthy the patient's jaw is. Others might have to wait up to six months for surrounding bone tissue to fuse with the implant.
2. Tooth extractions
At times, a patient needs a tooth extracted and a simple extraction will not get the job done. When this is the case, a surgical extraction is performed. This involves the oral surgeon making an incision into the patient's gums so the tooth can be reached and extracted. It can be performed under local or general anesthesia.
Common reasons a tooth might be extracted include severe tooth decay, damage or infection.
3. Bone grafting
This surgical procedure is performed when a person does not have sufficient jaw bone tissue. This can be the result of failing to replace a missing tooth or a dental condition that deteriorates jawbone tissue. Bone grafting is also performed when a patient wants implants but lacks the bone tissue needed to hold the oral prosthetic in place.
4. Corrective jaw surgery
Also called orthognathic surgery, this is used to fix a variety of minor and major dental and skeletal irregularities, like a misaligned jaw. The procedure can drastically improve the patient's ability to breathe, speak and chew properly.
5. Sleep apnea treatment
Surgery is sometimes needed to address sleep apnea. This condition leads to a person's airways becoming blocked during sleep. This leads to interruptions to their sleep cycle as their body wakes them up so proper breathing can be restored.
Surgery can be used to remove excess soft tissues that may be blocking a patient's airways. It can be used as a permanent solution for some types of sleep apnea.
What to expect when getting oral surgery
The instructions for each type of surgical procedure is different, but it typically includes:
- Not eating for at least a few hours before the surgery
- Refraining from tobacco products and alcohol consumption
- Arranging transportation from the clinic
- Planning ahead so the patient can avoid strenuous activity during recovery
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