Learning what an oral surgeon does is a great idea. There are many different types of dental professionals in business, making it necessary to understand the differences between each type of professional. When it comes to oral surgeons, they tend to focus on correcting dental problems using one or more surgical processes.Consultation appointments with oral…
What Can an Oral Surgeon Treat?
An oral surgeon is a dentist who takes additional years of training after dental school to learn about the intricacies of performing surgical dental treatments. These specialists are qualified to do everything a dentist can do as well as more complex procedures. Dentists typically refer their patients to oral surgeons when they come across a dental problem that requires surgical intervention.
Issues commonly treated by an oral surgeon
Oral surgeons specialize in performing surgical treatments. Dental issues such as the following can require their services:
1. Impacted teeth
Wisdom teeth are the most likely to be impacted. A tooth becomes impacted when it runs into an obstacle as it erupts. The obstacle could be another tooth or bone tissues in the jaw. Whatever its nature, it hinders the tooth from developing properly, which can lead to issues like adjacent teeth becoming damaged and decay.
The standard treatment for an impacted tooth is an extraction. A simple extraction can be performed by most dentists, but an oral surgeon is often needed for an impacted tooth. An impacted tooth may not have emerged above the gums, so the dentist may have to make an incision to reach the tooth.
2. Implant installation
Oral surgeons often install dental prosthetics such as implants. The installation of implants requires minor oral surgery since the oral prosthetic is placed directly into the patient's jaw.
An oral surgeon's extra training comes in handy for such procedures. The procedure usually starts with a consultation with a dentist who can refer a patient to an oral surgeon. Once it is determined the patient has enough bone tissue to support implants and is healthy enough for the surgery, a date is set for the treatment.
During the installation of implants, the surgeon cuts a path in the patient's gums to access the jawbone. A hole is drilled into the jaw and the implant is pushed into it until it is secure. A crown is placed on the implant once the patient has had enough time to heal.
3. Jaw issues
Oral surgeons treat all sorts of jaw irregularities and deformities, including issues with the temporomandibular joints. These are the hinge-like joints that connect the lower jaw with the rest of the skull. An oral surgeon can perform surgical treatments that can improve the conditions of patients with jaw trouble.
4. Sleep apnea
People with sleep apnea have interruptions in their breathing that forces them to wake up during sleep to restore proper breathing. Surgical interventions for sleep apnea is usually a last resort, since there are less invasive ways to treat the condition, such as oral appliances and CPAP breathing devices.
However, when these fail, surgical treatments become an option. Surgery can be used to remove tissues that block the patient's airways while they sleep.
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