Oral Surgery Procedures
Dental implants are used to replace tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. Dental implants are small anchors made of biocompatible metal, called titanium, placed in the jawbone. The anchors begin to fuse with the bone over a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, abutment posts are inserted into the anchors to allow for the attachment of the replacement teeth. To fabricate the replacement teeth, an impression is taken and a model of the bite is created. The replacement teeth are based on this model. Replacement teeth can either be crowns, bridges or dentures.
Wisdom Teeth Removal (3rd Molars)
A wisdom tooth that is deemed problematic is normally extracted to avoid any oral complications. To have a wisdom tooth removed, a small incision is made to open up the gum tissue over the tooth and remove any bone that is covering the tooth. Once the tooth is in view, it is grasped with a dental instrument, known as a forcep, and gently rocked back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and surrounding ligaments. Sometimes the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier for removal. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a wisdom tooth.
Impacted Teeth & Teeth Exposure
An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to fully pass through the gums.
Impacted wisdom and cuspid (or canine) teeth are fairly common. To correct impacted teeth, there are a few treatment options. For impacted wisdom teeth, the most common procedure is extraction. For impacted canine teeth, several treatment modalities are available. Orthodontics (braces) can be used to open space for proper eruption. Primary (baby) teeth can either be extracted or surgically exposed to allow for the placement of an orthodontic bracket to help align the teeth.
Bone grafting is the replacement or enhancement of bone around teeth. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone collapses. Bone grafting is performed to reverse bone loss or enhance existing bone. The grafting material can be taken from parts of the body or from synthetic material. Bone grafting allows for proper support of dental implants or prostheses.
Oral Pathology & Biopsies
Oral and maxillofacial pathology refers to diseases of the mouth and the jaw. Treatment options vary based on the patient’s specific needs.
The smooth, pink skin lining the mouth is called mucosa. Abnormalities in the color or texture of this skin can sometimes indicate pathology. Any concerns with the skin in the mouth, a sore that is not healing properly or a lump on the inside of the cheeks, palate, gums or lips, may merit a biopsy so that the tissue sample can be tested for oral cancer.
Please do not ignore these warning signs and be sure to mention any concerns you may have during your visit.
Labial or Lingual Frenectomies
A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure performed to release the connection of the “frenum,” a connective muscle between two tissues. There are two types of oral frenectomies that are frequently performed on both adults and children for a variety of reasons.
A Labial Frenectomy is performed on the tissue that connects the lip to the gums. This may be performed on children or adults to aid with orthodontic treatment or even help with the proper fitting for a denture or appliance.
A Lingual Frenectomy may also be referred to as the release of tongue-ties (ankyloglossia). This procedure is performed on the connective tissue under the tongue. The procedure is often performed on neonatal patients to assist with nursing or on toddlers or older patients who need the surgery to help correct speech issues caused by limited movement due the the frenum.
A sinus lift is a surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the premolar and molar areas of your mouth. To add bone, an incision is made where the premolar and molar teeth were previously located. Once the bone is exposed, a small circular shape is made in the bone to access the sinus. Once the sinus is accessed, the sinus membrane is gently pushed up and away from the upper jaw. Once this is done, bone graft material is placed into the sinus space to change the shape and provide support. Once the bone is in place, the incision is closed and the healing process begins.
Depending on the type of facial trauma sustained, there are many different treatment options available. The primary goals of treatment are to stop any bleeding from occurring, create a clear airway, repair any broken or fractured bone, and or suture any damaged soft tissue. Treatment is immediate, as long as there are no neck fractures or life-threatening injuries.
Orthognathic surgery can involve procedures such as an osteotomy (bone cutting), bone grafts, or distraction osteogenesis (stretching of the bone) and orthodontic (braces) care. Orthognathic correction is conducted in stages, and the course of treatment can last from a few months to a year or more.
In order to perform the procedure successfully, the jawbones will be repositioned in accordance with one’s specific needs. Inconspicuous incisions are usually made inside, and if needed, outside the mouth to allow for surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands to be used to hold your jaws in their new positions.
A series of surgeries can restore normal function and achieve a more normal appearance with minimal scarring.
A cleft lip is usually repaired between the ages of 3 to 6 months. Some children require a lip adhesion or a device such as a molding plate to bring the parts closer together before the full lip repair. A child with a repaired cleft lip will have a scar on the lip under the nose.
A cleft palate is usually repaired between 9 and 12 months of age. To repair the palate, the soft palate muscles from each side are connected to each other and the normal barrier between the mouth and nose is created.
Additional surgeries are needed to improve the appearance of the lip and nose, close the opening between the mouth and nose, help breathing, and stabilize and realign the jaw. Once the permanent teeth grow in, braces are often needed to straighten the teeth.
To treat TMJ disorders, first the cause has to be identified. In less severe cases, TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (eating soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox® injections, or stabilization splints.) In more severe cases, surgical treatments (jaw joint replacements) may be necessary.
TMJ conditions fall into three main categories:
- Myofascial pain – discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function.
- Internal derangement of the joint – a possible indicator of a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle.
- Arthritis – a degenerative inflammatory disorder.
Sleep apnea is an ongoing condition that disrupts sleep. When breathing is paused or becomes shallow, one will often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep, making the quality of sleep poor.
Sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and/or surgery.
For mild sleep apnea, a custom fitted mouthpiece or some lifestyle changes (weight loss, smoking cessation, clearing nasal passages) may be helpful.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, a breathing device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or surgery to widen the breathing passages by shrinking, stiffening, or removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat or resetting the lower jaw may be helpful. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and/or nose and gently blows air into your throat. This air pressure helps keep your airway open while you sleep. Surgery to shrink the tissue involves a small shot into the breathing passages. Surgery to stiffen excess tissue requires a small incision in the tissue and the insertion of a piece of stiff plastic.
The following are some of the facial cosmetic surgeries performed:
- Cheekbone Implants
- Chin Surgery
- Ear Surgery
- Eyelid Surgery
- Facial and Neck
- Forehead/Brow Lift
- Lip Enhancement
- Nasal Reconstruction
These growth factors are in the form of a mixed gel that can be applied directly into tooth sockets and other sites. Placing this material in tooth sockets after tooth extractions can improve soft tissue healing and positively influence bone regeneration.
These techniques offer a new approach to tissue regeneration. PRP derives from the centrifugation of a patient’s own blood and contains growth factors that influence wound healing. This is important in tissue repairing mechanisms. The use of PRP in surgical practice could have beneficial outcomes, reducing bleeding and enhancing soft tissue healing and bone regeneration.
Lasers have several uses for dental surgery. Some common types of dental laser surgery include but are not limited to: dental cavities, root canals, gum surgery, dental abscess, biopsy, and treatment of lesions.
IV sedation is an alternative sedation that allows patients to be unconscious during procedures. Your doctor will combine the use of IV sedation along with a local anesthetic so you have little to no discomfort and will have no memory of the procedure.
For IV Sedation, patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate, are continuously monitored by our trained staff. Patients should plan to have someone bring them to the appointment and be available to drive them home following treatment.
If you are planning to have IV sedation or general anesthesia with your surgery, make sure you have a designated driver and/or escort and nothing to eat or drink 6 hours prior to surgery time. The only exception to this fasting rule is if you take any medications regularly. If this is the case, you are to take a few sips of water with your medications 2 hours prior.