Oral and maxillofacial surgery encompasses a broad range of procedures to treat problems related to the hard and soft tissues of the face, mouth and jaws. Specialists called oral surgeons perform these more advanced complex procedures in their offices or hospitals. Besides removal of wisdom teeth, they can perform corrective jaw surgery, reconstructive surgery, biopsies, tumor removal and placement of dental implants.
In our office, most surgical procedures are referred to excellent oral surgeons we often work closely with in the Valley.
A dental extraction is the procedure to remove a tooth from your mouth. It is most commonly required if a tooth is damaged beyond practical repair. Common reasons for tooth extractions include severe tooth decay, infection, advanced periodontal disease or to create space for crowded teeth prior to orthodontic treatment. Wisdom teeth which grow in around ages 17 - 25 are often extracted due to lack of space or difficult hygienic access.
During simple teeth extractions, we administer local anesthetic to numb the area and reduce discomfort. During the extraction, pressure is felt but you should not feel sharp pain. Typically, we are able to remove a tooth within a matter of minutes. Immediately after a tooth extraction, a small amount of bleeding is normal and sterile gauze is placed in the affected area. The area may bleed minimally for the next 24 hours or so and taper off after that. Follow our instructions on how often to change the gauze and what other post-operative steps to follow.
During your examinations, we evaluate soft tissues, the jawbone and x-rays to check for pathology, oral cancer or other anomalies. At times, patients notice swelling or discolorations in and around their mouths and come in for evaluations with us. Often, we can diagnose the conditions based on reviewing the history and evaluating the clinical appearances. If we don't have a definitive diagnosis, we can refer to an oral surgeon to evaluate and perform a biopsy as needed.
Our office usually refers the surgical placement of implants to a periodontist or oral surgeon. Once an implant has fully integrated to the jawbone, our role is to restore it with a crown or denture. Please see details of implant restoration in the prosthodontics section.