A number of conditions may require oral surgery. Here are some of the most
common diseases that need dental surgery:
Dental implants are an option for tooth loss due to an accident or infection or
as an alternative to dentures. The implants are tooth root substitutes that are
surgically anchored in place in the jawbone and act to stabilize the artificial
teeth to which they are attached. Suitable candidates for dental implants need
to have an adequate bone level and density, must not be prone to infection, and
must be willing to maintain good oral hygiene practices.
Wisdom teeth, otherwise known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to
develop. Sometimes these teeth emerge from the gum line and the jaw is large
enough to allow room for them, but most of the time, this is not the case. More
often, one or more of these third molars fails to emerge in proper alignment or
fails to fully emerge through the gum line and becomes entrapped or "impacted"
between the jawbone and the gum tissue. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in
swelling, pain, and infection of the gum tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth. In
addition, impacted wisdom teeth can cause permanent damage to nearby teeth,
gums, and bone and can sometimes lead to the formation of cysts or tumors that
can destroy sections of the jaw. Therefore, dentists recommend people with
impacted wisdom teeth have them surgically removed.
It's not just wisdom teeth that sometimes become impacted and need to be
removed. Other teeth, such as the cuspids and the bicuspids can become impacted
and can cause the same types of problems described with impacted wisdom teeth.
Unequal jaw growth. In some individuals, the upper and lower jaw fail to
grow properly. This can cause difficulty in speaking, eating, swallowing,
and breathing. While some of these problems like improper teeth alignment can be corrected with braces and other orthodontic appliances, more
serious problems require oral surgery to move all or part of the upper jaw,
lower jaw, or both into a new position that is more balanced, functional,
Improve fit of dentures. For first-time denture wearers, oral surgery
can be done to correct any irregularities of the jaws prior to creating the
dentures to ensure a better fit. Oral surgery can also help long-term
denture wearers. Supporting bone often deteriorates over time resulting in
dentures that no longer fit properly. In severe cases, an oral surgeon can
add a bone graft to areas where little bone remains.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Dysfunction of the TMJ, the
small joint in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet, is a
common source of headache and facial pain. Most patients with TMJ disorders
can be successfully treated with a combination of oral medications, physical
therapy, and splints. However, joint surgery is an option for advanced cases
and when the diagnosis indicates a specific problem in the joint.