Patients may need to seek treatment from an oral surgeon for a number of reasons, ranging from the routine (such as wisdom teeth extraction) to the complex (such as facial reconstruction surgery).
Listed below are descriptions of a number of different conditions that might require some sort of oral surgeon.
- Impacted wisdom teeth – When the large third molars—the “wisdom teeth” fail to erupt properly, they often become impacted in either the bone or gum tissue, requiring a surgical procedure to remove them and reduce the patient’s risk of infection or other negative outcomes.
- Tooth and bone loss – An oral surgeon can place dental implants to provide patients with a structurally complete replacement tooth that includes both root and crown structures. If the patient has insufficient bone to support dental implants, the oral surgeon may need to perform a bone graft prior to placing the implants.
- Sleep apnea – This condition, in which patients repeatedly stop breathing during sleep, is often caused by a poorly positioned jaw or excessive soft tissues in the vicinity of the airway opening.
- Facial trauma/injuries – Facial injuries that result in a fractured or dislocated jaw should be treated promptly, and oral surgery often is necessary to re-set the jaw. An oral surgeon can also treat facial and oral lacerations caused by trauma.
- TMJ disorders – When an abnormality in the structure of the jaw causes a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, oral surgery may be necessary to correct the problem and give the patient relief from the discomfort associated with this condition.
- Congenital jaw defects – When the upper and lower jaws do not develop at the same rate, the jaw’s appearance and function may suffer. Birth defects can also cause abnormalities in the jaw. Orthognathic surgery can help to improve the alignment of the jaw in such cases.
Some patients may be intimidated by or anxious about the prospect of oral surgery, but oral surgeons are skilled, experienced practitioners who take steps to maximize patient comfort. Patients can choose from a variety of sedation options, in addition to a local anesthetic, for a relaxed experience.
If you have a condition that could benefit from oral surgery, schedule a consultation with our skilled team at Austin Oral Surgery to learn more about the procedures and treatment process.