Oral surgery is a branch of dentistry which covers the treatment of bone and soft tissues of the head and neck region. It usually involves surgery to cure infections, remove unwanted growth, correct bony mal-alignment, correct jaw functions, repair bony fractures and biopsy. Oral surgery is either done in a hospital set up or oral surgery clinics.
Mostly, oral surgery procedures involve signing an oral surgery consent form. This is to ensure that you know and understand the reason and nature of the surgery before it is done. Oral surgery anesthesia is always given locally or generally prior to the surgery to ensure it is painless. Oral surgery instruments are always sterile to prevent re-infection to surgical site. Oral surgery is often done by dentist, oral surgeon or oral maxillofacial surgeon with the help of oral surgery assistant. Oral surgery cost varies depending on the severity and difficulty of the cases. It is usually more expensive than normal dental treatment therefore it is advisable to have oral surgery insurance.
Common oral surgery
Wisdom tooth extraction
Wisdom tooth is the last and most posterior tooth to form. It often gives problem when our jaw could not accommodate its growth. A tilted wisdom tooth is going to cause gum problem and decay to the tooth next to it. Due to its difficult access, surgery is always required to remove it totally.
Difficult tooth extraction
A fractured tooth or endodontically treated tooth is always difficult to extract because it breaks easily during extraction. The retaining parts of a broken tooth may require surgery to remove it.
Infection that causes pus formation and tissue swelling may require incision and drainage to relieve swelling and drain out the pus for tissue healing.
A submerged tooth that is not seen clinically that gives problem requires surgery to remove it.
Head and neck trauma due to accidents requires surgery to clean, align and appose fractured bones.
Remove unwanted growth
To remove cancerous or benign growths from the regions of head and neck requires surgery.
Repair developmental defects
Cleft lip and palate requires surgery and it involves a team of health care personnel for the complete progress of a child.
Tissue samples are sometimes taken surgically due to its difficult access and its nature.
Correct jaw alignment
People with jaw discrepancies would have problem in chewing, speech and function. A jaw surgery is done to reposition them to a correct alignment to rectify the problem. Usually, orthodontic treatment (braces) is carried out to align the teeth as well.
Post oral surgery instructions
- Smoking is prohibited. Smoking would delay healing of wound.
- Oral medications are often prescribed to aid in healing, relieve pain and reduce swelling. Therefore, it is important to let your oral surgeon knows if you have any medical allergy.
- Prevent movement of surgical site to allow wound to appose well.
- Have a routine and thorough cleaning of wound site to prevent re-infection.
- It is important to return for review as the oral surgeon may need to advise you further on the healing and outcome of the surgery.
It is important to understand the nature of the oral surgery and the consequences it might have before going for it as it helps in solving any dispute or problems later on.