Oral and Dental Surgery

Oral and dental surgery, also known as oral surgery or oral and maxillofacial surgery, is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, surgical treatment, and management of various conditions affecting the mouth, jaw, and facial regions. It involves surgical procedures performed on the teeth, gums, jawbones, and surrounding tissues.

Here are some common procedures and conditions that oral and dental surgeons may address:

  1. Tooth extractions: Oral surgeons commonly perform both simple and complex tooth extractions, including impacted wisdom teeth removal and extraction of teeth damaged by decay or trauma.

  2. Dental implants: Oral surgeons are involved in the placement of dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots used to support prosthetic teeth.

  3. Corrective jaw surgery: Also known as orthognathic surgery, this procedure is performed to correct abnormalities of the jawbones or malocclusion (improper bite). It involves repositioning the jaws to improve chewing, speaking, and breathing.

  4. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders: Oral surgeons can diagnose and treat disorders of the TMJ, which can cause jaw pain, facial pain, clicking or popping sounds, and limited jaw movement.

  5. Facial trauma: Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to treat facial injuries resulting from accidents, sports-related injuries, or assaults. They can repair fractures of the facial bones and soft tissues.

  6. Cleft lip and palate repair: Oral surgeons may be involved in the surgical repair of cleft lips and palates, which are congenital conditions that affect the formation of the upper lip and roof of the mouth.

  7. Oral pathology: Oral surgeons can diagnose and treat oral diseases and conditions, including oral cancer, cysts, and tumors. They may perform biopsies and surgical removal of abnormal tissues.

  8. Pre-prosthetic surgery: Oral surgeons may perform procedures to prepare the mouth for the placement of dentures or other dental prosthetics, such as bone grafting or sinus lifts.

  9. Sleep apnea surgery: In some cases, oral surgeons may perform surgical procedures to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a condition characterized by breathing interruptions during sleep.

It’s important to note that oral and dental surgeons receive extensive training beyond general dentistry to perform these surgical procedures. They typically complete several years of additional education and residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery after obtaining their dental degree.

Impacted Tooth Extraction

Impacted tooth extraction is a common procedure performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. An impacted tooth refers to a tooth that fails to erupt fully or properly into its designated position in the mouth. This usually occurs when there is insufficient space in the jaw for the tooth to grow or when the tooth grows in an abnormal direction.

The most frequently impacted teeth are wisdom teeth, also known as third molars. However, other teeth, such as canines (maxillary canines or mandibular premolars), may also become impacted.

Here’s an overview of the impacted tooth extraction process:

  1. Evaluation: Before performing the extraction, the oral surgeon will evaluate the tooth and its position using dental X-rays or other imaging techniques. This helps determine the exact position of the impacted tooth and the best approach for extraction.

  2. Anesthesia: The surgeon will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the tooth, ensuring the patient is comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. In some cases, general anesthesia may be used, particularly if multiple impacted teeth are being extracted or if the patient prefers to be unconscious during the procedure.

  3. Incision and access: The surgeon will make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the impacted tooth and the surrounding area. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone to access the tooth.

  4. Tooth removal: The surgeon will carefully remove the impacted tooth from its position. This may involve separating the tooth from the surrounding tissues and bone. In some cases, the tooth may need to be divided into smaller sections for easier removal.

  5. Closure: After the tooth is extracted, the surgeon will clean the area and stitch the incision site if necessary. Dissolvable sutures are commonly used, which eliminate the need for suture removal.

  6. Recovery: Following the procedure, the patient will receive instructions on post-operative care, including pain management, oral hygiene, and dietary restrictions. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the extraction area are common after the procedure, but they typically subside within a few days to a week.

It’s important to follow the post-operative instructions provided by the oral surgeon to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

If you have an impacted tooth, it’s recommended to consult with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who can evaluate your specific case and provide appropriate treatment options. They will determine whether extraction is necessary and develop a personalized treatment plan for your situation.

20 Years Teeth Extraction

If you are referring to the extraction of teeth that have been in the mouth for 20 years, it is important to note that the extraction of teeth should only be performed when necessary and based on a professional evaluation by a dentist or oral surgeon. The specific reasons for extracting a tooth can vary, but some common reasons include severe decay, infection, periodontal disease, overcrowding, impaction, or trauma.

If you believe that a tooth extraction is necessary after 20 years, I would strongly recommend consulting with a dental professional. They will examine your teeth and take into consideration your dental history, X-rays, and other diagnostic tests to determine the best course of action. Depending on the specific circumstances, a tooth extraction may be recommended, and the dental professional will guide you through the process and discuss any potential alternatives or replacements for the extracted tooth, such as dental implants or dentures.

It is crucial to remember that tooth extraction should be performed by a trained professional to minimize any potential complications and ensure the best possible outcome for your oral health.

What are the Symptoms of Jaw Joint Diseases?

Jaw joint diseases, also known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, can present a variety of symptoms. The TMJ is the joint that connects the jawbone (mandible) to the skull, allowing for movements such as chewing, speaking, and yawning. Here are some common symptoms associated with TMJ disorders:

  1. Jaw pain: Pain or discomfort in the jaw joint is a hallmark symptom of TMJ disorders. The pain may be localized to the joint itself or radiate to the surrounding areas, including the jaw, face, neck, and even the shoulders.

  2. Jaw clicking or popping: You may experience clicking, popping, or grating sounds when you open or close your mouth. These sounds can occur due to irregular movement of the TMJ components, such as the disc or condyle.

  3. Limited jaw movement: TMJ disorders can cause restricted movement of the jaw. You may have difficulty fully opening or closing your mouth, and it may feel as if your jaw gets stuck or locked in a certain position.

  4. Jaw stiffness: TMJ disorders can lead to stiffness or a feeling of tightness in the jaw joint, making it uncomfortable or difficult to move the jaw.

  5. Ear pain: TMJ disorders can cause ear pain or a feeling of fullness in the ears. This can be mistaken for an ear infection or other ear-related condition, but it is actually referred pain from the jaw joint.

  6. Headaches: Frequent headaches, including tension headaches or migraines, can be associated with TMJ disorders. The pain may be localized around the temples, forehead, or behind the eyes.

  7. Facial pain: TMJ disorders can cause facial pain, particularly in the areas around the jaw joint, cheeks, or temples.

  8. Tooth pain: TMJ disorders can sometimes cause tooth pain or sensitivity, even though the teeth themselves may be healthy. This is known as referred pain, where the pain is felt in a different location than its source.

  9. Muscle tenderness: The muscles surrounding the jaw joint may become tender or sore. This can include the muscles of the jaw, neck, and shoulders.

It’s important to note that the presence of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have a TMJ disorder, as other conditions can cause similar symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended to consult with a dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon who can evaluate your specific case, perform a thorough examination, and provide an accurate diagnosis. They can then develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your needs.

What are the Causes of Jaw Joint Diseases?

Jaw joint diseases, also known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, can have multiple causes. While the exact cause of TMJ disorders is often unclear, several factors can contribute to their development. Here are some common causes:

  1. Jaw injury: Trauma to the jaw joint, such as a blow or impact, can result in TMJ disorders. Accidents, sports injuries, or any other events that cause damage to the jaw joint can lead to pain and dysfunction.

  2. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching: Habitual grinding or clenching of teeth, known as bruxism, puts excessive pressure on the jaw joint. This can strain the joint and surrounding structures, leading to TMJ disorders.

  3. Malocclusion: Poor bite alignment or misaligned teeth can disrupt the normal functioning of the jaw joint. When the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly, it can strain the TMJ, causing pain and discomfort.

  4. Arthritis: Various forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the jaw joint. Arthritis causes inflammation and deterioration of the joint cartilage, leading to TMJ disorders.

  5. Connective tissue disorders: Certain conditions that affect connective tissues, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), may increase the risk of developing TMJ disorders.

  6. Stress and muscle tension: Emotional stress and excessive muscle tension, particularly in the jaw and face, can contribute to TMJ disorders. Clenching the jaw or tightening facial muscles due to stress can strain the joint.

  7. Hormonal factors: Hormonal changes, particularly in women, have been associated with an increased risk of TMJ disorders. Fluctuations in estrogen levels during menstrual cycles or pregnancy can affect the jaw joint.

  8. Other factors: Some additional factors that may contribute to jaw joint diseases include poor posture, excessive chewing of gum, certain dental procedures, underlying genetic factors, and certain diseases like fibromyalgia.

It’s important to note that these factors may not directly cause TMJ disorders but rather increase the risk or contribute to their development. Additionally, in some cases, the exact cause of TMJ disorders remains unknown, and a combination of factors may be involved. If you are experiencing symptoms of a TMJ disorder, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a dentist who specializes in jaw disorders for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

How is Jaw Joint Diseases Treated?

First, the cause of jaw joint diseases is investigated, and the patient is informed. Then, depending on the cause of the disease, one of the following treatments can be applied if your dentist deems it appropriate.

  • Splint treatment,
  • Medication,
  • Orthodontic treatment,
  • Chin exercises can be given,
  • Physiotheraphy,
  • Treatments such as psychological support can be applied.

However, there may be some cases that are too late for treatment. In these cases, surgical treatments can be applied with the approval of your dentist.