A generic X-ray photo of the human teeth and mouth. Photo by Umanoide on Unsplash.

If there’s one thing that people fear at the dentist, it’s usually related to oral surgery. From root canal treatment to wisdom tooth extraction, the thought of having to go under for surgical work doesn’t sound terribly appealing.

Despite its seemingly scary name, however, oral surgery is a normal and beneficial part of healthy dental development. In many cases, these surgeries are simply a preventative measure that can correct problems before they turn into more serious issues.

In this article, we’ll take a look at several common kinds of oral surgery and explain what you need to know about them. Whether the procedures become necessary now or many years later, it’s helpful to understand oral surgery so that you can be better prepared for dental protection.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

In the back corners of your mouth on both top and bottom, there are four permanent teeth that emerge prior to adulthood, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. These are aptly referred to as wisdom teeth, but if these molars don’t grow in normally, wisdom alone won’t fix the problem.

Impacted wisdom teeth become an issue when one or more of the rear teeth grows in without sufficient space in the mouth to accommodate their size. If these impacted teeth are not removed, they may get stuck in the middle of their growth or cause issues with dental functionality later in life. To correct this problem, an oral surgery option called wisdom tooth extraction is commonly administered.

Not everyone develops wisdom teeth, and those who do won’t necessarily suffer from pain or spacing issues, but oral surgeons still tend to recommend the procedure just to practice proactive and preventative health measures. Failure to get wisdom teeth extraction can result in complications like tooth decay, pain, damage to surrounding teeth, and interference with orthodontic treatment.

Gum Grafts

As we age, it’s not unusual for the gums to begin receding. When this happens, a gum graft, also called a gingival graft, may be recommended. This is a form of oral surgery designed to reverse the negative impacts of gum recession, which can include tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss.

During the procedure, a section of tissue from somewhere else in the mouth such as the palate or the roof of the oral cavity is cut and extracted before being transferred to the gumline. By grafting gingival tissue from one area to another, the oral surgery can help immensely with the side effects and repercussions of receding gums.

Root Canal Treatment

When the soft tissue of the teeth, referred to as the pulp, becomes inflamed or infected, it may be necessary to conduct a root canal treatment. Essentially, this oral surgery procedure removes the infected or inflamed tissue and saves the tooth from future decay. This is common practice in oral surgery and usually yields successful results.

Conclusion 

Oral surgery might sound scary, but there’s no need to be afraid. Whether it’s a root canal, a wisdom tooth extraction, a gingival graft, or some other maxillofacial procedure, oral surgery is a vital part of preventive dentistry that can keep your teeth in optimal health for many years to come.

For more information on oral surgery and how it can improve your dental function and appearance, please contact Beautiful Smiles Dental Spa today!