General dentists and oral surgeons are both types of medical professionals who perform different types of treatments and interventions that involve teeth and they usually collaborate closely, they even refer patients to each other, but their work is different. While general dentists usually perform dental cleaning, apply fillings, inlays, on-lays, facets, crown and bridges, oral surgeons are the specialists to turn to if dental implants are needed or if surgical interventions that involve the jaw, the face or the oral cavity are necessary. Here are some of the most common issues treated by oral surgeons.
The Installation of Dental Implants
Dental implants consist of an artificial root made from titanium alloy, an abutment and a crown and they are the most modern dental replacement solutions available today. The process of getting implants is usually lengthy and involves several minor surgical interventions that are usually performed by oral surgeons specializing in implantology.
The Removal of Impacted or Deceased Teeth
Dental extractions are the most common surgical interventions performed by oral surgeons. The process involves the administration of some sort of analgesic, in the form of nitrous gas, pills, IV or general anesthesia, depending on the type and complexity of the intervention, followed by the removal of the tooth and the dressing of the wound.
The Removal of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth no longer play any role in the way we chew our food and they are almost never used, therefore they are more prone to growth problems and to decay than other teeth. These problems can manifest in many forms – wisdom tooth might grow horizontally, underneath the gum or they might erupt, but go in the wrong direction and they are prone to developing cavities and infections. The specialist to turn to for problems that affect the wisdom teeth are general dentists first, but if the problem cannot be fixed with a root canal treatment or with a filling, your general dentist is likely to refer the patient to an maxillofacial surgeon Park Ridge area for the removal of the tooth.
Also known as TMD, a TMJ disorder is a problem of the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects the mandible to the skull. When the joint and the surrounding nerves and muscles are affected, the patient might experience pain, jaw locking, headaches and earaches and many other symptoms that are usually treated by oral surgeons.
The Removal of Clogged Salivary Glands
The oral cavity is lined with tiny nodes called salivary glands the clogging and enlargement of which can be caused by many things, such as lip biting or other types of minor trauma. When these tiny glands get clogged, they usually form small lumps that are in most cases benign, but can interfere with eating or speaking and need removal. The removal is performed by means of a small incision and it is among the most common interventions performed by oral surgeons.
More Complex Surgeries that Involve the Face and the Jaws
Oral surgeons also perform more complex procedures, such as the correction of facial trauma, the treatment of pathological conditions, such as tumors or cysts and they also perform cosmetic or reconstructive surgeries on the face and the jaws.