Most patients tend to puzzle between the roles of a general dentist and that of an oral surgeon. The difference boils down to the services they offer, based on their training. If you need to professionally clean your teeth, have an oral examination, or get a filling, your general dentist can offer such services. However, dental problems such as tooth extraction, jaw issues, impacted teeth, and dental implants require oral surgery in The Woodlands. In most cases, dentists refer patients to an oral surgeon when the dental problem is beyond their scope of work. Here is an insight into the reasons why you would need a session with your oral surgeon.
Impacted wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are normally the last to erupt since they come out in adult age. Usually, the jawbone should contain enough room to accommodate wisdom teeth. However, sometimes there is not sufficient space for the teeth to emerge from the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth are those that do not come out fully because of crowding. When this happens, the result can be pain, damage to nearby teeth and gums, and other dental problems such as cysts. Although impacted teeth mostly develop in third molars (wisdom teeth), they can also affect the cuspids and bicuspids.
Overbite and underbite
Teeth misalignment often improves with orthodontic treatment, including braces. However, sometimes advanced treatment such as orthognathic surgery is needed, especially if the problem lies within your jawbone. Surgery may involve removing part of the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. Overbite and underbite can be a result of improper growth of the lower jaw bone. People with severe overbites and underbites can have problems chewing, speaking, swallowing, and sometimes breathing. In some people, haw misalignment is a congenital disability, meaning they have had it since birth.
Improve fit of dentures
Dentures are removable prosthetic devices used in place of several missing teeth. They are custom-made to ensure a perfect fit based on a patient’s oral structure. Oral surgery can be useful if you need dentures yet you have some jaw irregularities. Those who have had dentures for a long time tend to lose jaw bone gradually. In such cases, oral surgery is recommended to strengthen the supporting bone, which results in ill-fitting dentures when weak. Depending on the severity of the deterioration, an oral surgeon can add a bone graft. The grafting material can be obtained from your body part or a donor.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that offer a strong permanent foundation for a crown. Tooth loss may be due to a car accident, periodontitis, or old age. Regardless of the cause of tooth loss, oral surgery can help you restore your teeth. Implants are made out of titanium due to their strength and non-reactive nature. Patients need to have adequate bone mass and density to qualify as good candidates for dental implants. Gums need to be healthy and free from infection, and a patient needs to be willing to maintain dental hygiene practices. Surgery for dental implants involves embedding a titanium implant into your jawbone, and the healing period allows the jaw to grow the implant, firmly securing it in place.
If your dentist has referred you to an oral surgeon, book an appointment with your specialist at Scott Young, DDS today.