There are several reasons why patients seek the skill and knowledge of a trained oral surgeon. Generally speaking, oral and maxillofacial surgeons can treat and care for conditions that impact the head, neck, mouth, teeth, and face. By specializing in these areas of the body, oral surgeons can provide the highest standards of care, ensuring patients are safe and comfortable while achieving the most desirable surgical outcomes.
The best way to learn about what oral surgeons can do is by scheduling a one-on-one consultation. At Somerset Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Group, our doctors are always happy to discuss different ways in which they can make your life better.
As you consider making an appointment for a consultation, here are a few of the primary conditions treated by oral surgeons.
What Do Oral Surgeons Treat?
1) Wisdom Teeth
The wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are typically the final adult teeth to emerge. Most people get their wisdom teeth between the ages of 17 and 21, though some people can get them as early as 11.
The problem with wisdom teeth is that the jaw simply is not large enough to accommodate them most of the time. This can lead to crowding, chronic pain, increased risk of infection, impaction, and more. Oral surgeons are skilled in safely extracting the wisdom teeth, helping you to proactively avoid these various risks.
2) Lost Teeth
What happens if you lose a tooth to disease, decay, or simple dental neglect? Any time you lose a tooth or have a tooth extracted, it is important to have the tooth replaced. Tooth replacement enables you to maintain both the function and aesthetics of your smile while also preventing further issues, such as bone loss.
An oral surgeon can provide different options for tooth replacement. Dental implants represent the standard of care, allowing you to enjoy results that last a lifetime.
3) Bone Loss
When you lose teeth, it is common to lose bone, as well. One reason for this is that, without the stimulation from your natural tooth root, the jawbone can atrophy and deteriorate. When this happens, it can lead to unwanted changes to your facial appearance. It may also make it more difficult for your oral surgeon to replace your teeth, as dental implants need a certain amount of bone in which to anchor.
Through a simple surgical procedure known as bone grafting, oral surgeons can regenerate bone where you need it the most.
4) Facial Trauma
There are a few reasons why patients may suffer from facial trauma, including car accidents, sports-related accidents, even accidents in the workplace. No matter the cause of the facial trauma, the results can include facial lacerations, missing teeth, or even damage to the jawbone.
An oral surgeon can help restore and repair any damage that is done to your face and return it to its normal function and appearance.
5) TMJ Disorder
TMJ Disorder refers to an issue with your temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your face. TMJ problems can lead to chronic pain, including both jaw pain and headaches, as well as difficulty chewing and swallowing.
There are a few potential remedies for TMJ pain, and often this condition can be addressed without requiring surgery. However, for extreme or advanced cases, surgical intervention may be the best solution. Oral surgeons often have experience working with TMJ patients.
6) Impacted Canines
What does it mean when a tooth is impacted? Basically, this term denotes a tooth that does not properly erupt through the gums, but instead remains partially or completely submerged under the gum tissue. The canines, or eye teeth, are especially prone to impaction. This can cause a host of problems, including difficulty keeping the tooth clean.
An oral surgeon can create a path for impacted canines to erupt. This typically involves collaboration with an orthodontist, who will help to bring the erupted canine into its proper position.
7) Periodontal Disease
Gum diseases may cause the gums to recede or else contribute to bone or tooth loss. Most patients can treat their periodontal disease without the need for surgery. In some instances, surgery may be the only option.
Oral surgeons can not only help to alleviate gum disease, but they can also repair some of the damage done, using soft tissue and bone grafts to restore the form and function of your mouth.
8) Cleft Lips and Cleft Palettes
Cleft lips and cleft palates are congenital disorders affecting the facial structure of babies and young children. Restoration is possible and usually requires collaboration between plastic surgeons, general dentists, orthodontists, and other specialists. Oral surgeons often play a critical role in addressing these concerns.
9) Unknown Growths
Some patients make an appointment with us because they have a growth in their mouth that they cannot identify. Often, these growths turn out to be benign cysts or lesions. In some cases, they may be malignant tumors.
Regardless of their nature, an oral surgeon can identify them and treat them as necessary.
10) Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common yet very serious condition in which your breathing is intermittently interrupted throughout the night. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to even more serious health complications.
This is another condition that can usually be treated non-surgically, but in some instances, may require surgical revision to the airways. A skilled oral surgeon can assist with this.
Schedule an Oral Surgery Consultation
Do you have questions about an oral health condition? Our doctors are here to help. We would love to talk with you further about some of the benefits of seeing an oral surgeon. Schedule a consultation with Somerset Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Group at your convenience.