While the removal of wisdom teeth is the most well-known type of oral surgery, there are many reasons why oral surgery may be required, including:
Oral surgeons, also known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, are qualified dentists who have completed an additional four years of specialized training. Their advanced education includes anesthesiology and the diagnosis and surgical treatment of defects, injuries and diseases of the mouth, jaw, teeth, neck, gums and other soft tissues of the head.
Your dentist or specialist will refer you to an oral surgeon in many cases, including:
Referral by Your Dentist
After the application of anesthesia, special tools are inserted between the tooth and gum surrounding the tooth. The tooth is moved back and forth within its socket (the bone that encases the tooth's root) until it separates from the ligament that holds the tooth in place. Sometimes a tooth is cut into small pieces (sectioned) before it is removed.
The method for removing an impacted tooth will depend on how many roots it has and its location under your gum. Patient sedation is often used in addition to the application of an anesthesia to the impacted area.
A gum tissue flap is created to access bone tissue, and a small opening is made in the bone that covers the impacted tooth. The impacted tooth is then cut into small pieces (sectioned) and removed through the opening. The gum tissue flap is then repositioned and sutured in place.
Third molars, also called wisdom teeth, are the last set of permanent teeth to erupt in a person's mouth and are the ones least needed. Wisdom teeth can endanger a patient's dental health when:
When your jaw is too small to accommodate normal wisdom teeth, it is common for gum or jaw discomfort and swelling to occur. In addition, there is a greater risk of developing gum (periodontal) disease.
Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is typically the best course of action. If a wisdom tooth has fully erupted through the gum, a standard tooth extraction is performed. If the tooth has not erupted through the gum, an impacted tooth extraction method is used.