When you hear it, oral surgery sounds scary. Going to a dentist is scary in itself, what more if you have to go through a surgery there?
This is what a lot of people think. The misconception is that oral surgery requires anesthesia, several people working on your mouth, a lot of needles and medicines. However, oral surgery is totally different from what you have in mind.
If you’re curious as to what it is and how ‘un-scary’ it could be, you’re in the right place because you’ll find more info here regarding what oral surgery truly is.
What is oral surgery?
Oral surgery, the layman’s term for oral and maxillofacial surgery, deals with defects and issues involving the mouth, jaws, teeth, and the lower part of the face. The surgery is done in the dentist’s clinic, and not in the hospital. Unlike popular belief, oral surgery is not as painful as it sounds and it also isn’t anything like hospital surgeries. For one, not a lot of people will be swarming around you during the operation.
Who does oral surgery?
Those who administer these operations are called oral surgeons. Before becoming surgeons, they must have graduated from an accredited dental school and have completed their 4-year residency in an accredited maxillofacial surgery hospital. They should also be licensed in the state where they are practicing. You can already see here that they are not your ordinary dentists.
In fact, oral surgeons were trained together with hospital surgeons. This makes them qualified to treat patients other than those who are experiencing dental pain. Depending on their preferences, oral surgeons can opt to have their own clinic or work in surgery centers. Because of their extensive training during their four years and their residency program, oral surgeons are familiar with general anesthesia, plastic surgery, and pathology.
When are you qualified to go through oral surgery?
Oral surgery is not done to everyone. If you are experiencing toothache and infection, there are cases wherein surgery isn’t required. Instead, medicines will be prescribed to you by your dentist. However, there are cases where the impact is huge that an oral surgery should be done. There is more info here regarding the conditions that need oral surgery.
When you lose or miss a tooth, there is no doubt that you have to go through surgery. You would end up with surgery because of one or two reasons. One, you are going to put dentures but your jaws are misaligned. And two, you’re going to go through dental implants.
When your jaws are misaligned, you can’t just measure the teeth and continue with making dentures. If you do this, speech defects might occur since teeth will not be properly aligned. On the other hand, dental implants require surgery because it is the only way to put the screws and mounts into your jawbones. Adjusting the gums will also help in achieving a better fit for both dentures and dental implants.
Impacted teeth refer to the third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth, that did not fully grow. Wisdom teeth are one of the last sets of teeth that grow and it takes a long time for them to emerge that even adults get affected. Impacted teeth are what you call those molars that never emerged as full teeth. Instead, they were stuck between the gums and the jawbones.
Removing impacted teeth is considered surgery because the teeth haven’t fully grown. Therefore, it has to be pulled from the jawbone. Not doing so can cause an infection and severe toothache in the long run.
Jaw repair includes aligning the jaw or repairing broken bones. Broken bones can be caused by accidents and oral surgery can help put them back into place. Oral surgeons will also recommend exercises and medicines for the pain to be tolerable.
You might also need to have oral surgery if ever your jaws are misaligned. It may not seem serious, but misaligned jaws can cause defects in speech and a difficult time talking, eating, and even breathing. Oral surgery will help move the bones in place and this also means that your teeth will be aligned.