A smile. It’s the universal sign of happiness. It’s a powerful tool for showing confidence and friendliness. Unfortunately, some people find it hard to smile. It could be because of a toothache, missing teeth, or other dental issues. Thank goodness we have professionals known as oral surgeons whose main job is to help us have the best smiles possible.
They handle the more complicated problems in our mouths that regular dentists usually don’t. What is the role of an oral surgeon in helping us achieve that perfect smile? This article will provide a clearer picture.
Understanding the Role of an Oral Surgeon in Dental Care
What exactly does an oral surgeon do? They are dental specialists who have spent more years learning and training after finishing dental school. This additional training equips them with the skills to handle certain dental and medical conditions that a regular dentist may not typically handle.
- Oral Surgery: This is a procedure where the oral surgeon examines, diagnoses, and operates on the patient’s mouth or jaws to treat diseases, injuries, and defects. Patients may need this type of surgery for a variety of reasons, such as to repair fractures or to remove cysts and tumors.
- Dental Implants: If you’ve ever lost a tooth, one of the ways it can be replaced is through dental implants. The oral surgeon places these artificial replacements into the patient’s mouth, securing them into the jawbone for a lasting solution to tooth loss.
- Jawbone preparation: This procedure is often necessary before dental implants or dentures are placed. The surgeon reshapes the bone in the jaw, ensuring it is the proper size, thickness, and shape for the implants or dentures.
- Full or Partial Dentures: These are artificial teeth and gums that can replace lost or failing teeth. Some denture fittings may require the expertise of an oral surgeon, especially in cases that involve pre-prosthetic surgery, which prepares the mouth for these appliances.
Taking a Closer Look at the Benefits of Oral Surgery
The advantages of oral surgery are plenty, making it an essential part of dental health. Great oral health starts with understanding the benefits of oral surgery. This notion is amplified by the excellent services offered by Strull Oral Surgery in Seymour.
- Improved Oral Health: Perhaps the most important benefit is the improvement in the overall health of the patient’s mouth. From treating gum disease and tooth decay to handling more serious matters like oral cancer, oral surgery is vital for maintaining good oral health.
- Enhanced Oral Functioning: A successful oral surgical procedure can also drastically improve everyday activities, including speaking, chewing, and even breathing. This makes a massive difference in the quality of life of many patients.
- Facial Aesthetics: Oral surgery can deal with congenital and acquired defects of the mouth, face, jaw, and neck. A patient who once might have been self-conscious about their appearance could find new confidence after successful surgery.
- Pain Relief: Oral surgeons can also provide solutions to chronic pain in the mouth and face. These include pain from temporomandibular joint disorder, which affects the joints on each side of the mouth, and trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that causes severe facial pain.
Determining What is an Oral Surgeon
There’s worried anticipation as you step into an oral surgeon office. The dental chair, dental lights, and an array of dental instruments can stir mixed feelings. Put simply, an oral surgeon is an extra-special dentist who has undergone even more training to handle more complex dental procedures. Let’s discover what they specialize in:
- Pre-Prosthetic Surgery: This is a necessary measure when the surgeon has to make sure the patient’s gums and bones are ready to support a dental prosthetic.
- Removal of Excess Bone or Soft Tissue: For better comfort and fit of dentures, sometimes it may be necessary to remove extra bone or soft tissue from within the mouth. This is another task that the oral surgeon is equipped to handle.
- Aftercare Instructions: It’s not just about the procedure itself. These dental experts provide guidance to patients on how to take care of themselves post-surgery, which is vital for a smooth and speedy recovery.
Dentures: what comes to mind when you hear the word? Maybe you think about those fake-looking sets of teeth that sit in a glass of water on the nightstand, like in the cartoons. But boot that thought right out of your head. Today’s natural-looking dentures are a far cry from those old stereotypes.
- Full Dentures: This is when a mouth has no teeth left and needs a complete set of false teeth. The dentist or oral surgeon fits these removable appliances custom to the patient’s mouth.
- Partial Dentures: If a person is missing only one or two teeth, then a partial denture could be the option. This removable prosthetic is wired to the remaining healthy teeth.
- Implant-Supported Dentures: These are essentially false teeth that attach to dental implants in the patient’s jaw. It contributes to higher stability and avoids bone loss in the jaw that can occur with regular dentures.
Distinguishing Between Dental Implants and Dentures
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dentures, and dental implants are two viable options. Deciding on which is best for you depends on various factors, including the nature of your dental situation, lifestyle, and budget. Let’s further delve into each of these potential tooth replacement methods:
- Dental Implants: These are alternatives to natural roots of teeth and provide a long-term solution for replacement teeth. Implants are an ideal solution for people suffering from missing teeth, failing teeth, or chronic dental problems. This is because they fit, feel, and function like natural teeth.
- Dentures: These false teeth provide an option for those who do not want to go through the more invasive procedure of getting implants. They can replace all or a row of missing teeth and are removable, unlike implants. However, they require regular adjustment for a comfortable and secure fit.
What to Expect During Pre-prosthetic Surgery Recovery
Completing your pre-prosthetic surgery is only the first step in a successful outcome. What follows is a recovery process, with the patient instructed to follow a specific set of aftercare instructions to hasten the healing process. The specific recovery period can vary based on the complexity of the surgery and the patient’s overall health.
- Bone Ridge Reduction: This is when the surgeon reduces or reshapes the bone beneath the gums, creating a secure area for the denture to sit. It’s a procedure that essentially provides a strong foundation for your new set of teeth.
- Reliable Oral Surgeon: In most dental procedures, especially surgeries, the caliber of the oral surgeon determines the success of the operation. Their competence influences the preparation for the dentures and the patient’s journey to recovery.
- Post-operative Care: Following up on your chores after surgery shouldn’t just include regular activities. A new entry should be taking care of the surgical site, keeping it clean, managing any discomfort, and of course, attending all follow-up visits to the oral surgeon.
The final word. Regardless of the dental issue, the most hard-working player in obtaining that fantastic, confident smile is an oral surgeon. They have the expertise and skills to tackle complex dental procedures, from dental implants to jawbone preparation, denture fitting, and pre-prosthetic surgeries. The impact they have on a patient’s life goes beyond aesthetics. Their work has the double duty of improving function, oral health, and general well-being, giving every patient a reason to smile again.