Who is an Oral Surgeon?
You might think that ‘Oral Surgeon’ is just a fancy term for dentist, but there’s far more to their job than just tooth extractions. A general dentist can be considered as an oral surgeon in some respects – they remove teeth and perform some orthodontic procedures, but a specialist Oral surgeon is qualified to deal with a much wider spectrum of surgical problems. This kind of surgical specialty is recognised in the UK and worldwide.
What procedures are carried out by Oral surgeons?
Oral surgeons traditionally perform difficult tooth extractions such as impacted wisdom tooth removals which can be performed with or without Intra-venous sedation. Lower wisdom teeth are usually located close to nerves in the jaw that supplies the lip and tongue with sensation and during removal of wisdom teeth these nerves can be damaged and hence general dentists usually refer impacted or difficult wisdom tooth extractions to oral surgeons who are usually the most experienced in these procedures.
From time to time if involved in an accident or an assault, patients may fracture their jaw bones and require surgical splinting and screws to reattach the jaw bones together. Surgeries such as these trauma operations are performed by oral surgeons.
Occasionally especially in late teenage years, it becomes apparent that there is a jaw size or position discrepancy between the upper and lower jaws. This creates orthodontic problems as well as functional and aesthetics issues for the patients. Resetting jaws and correcting their position by surgery is usually carried out by experienced oral surgeons.
Dental implants are a popular procedure for Oral Surgeons, as it requires a steadier hand and a much more invasive approach than traditional dentistry. A dental implant is made from titanium and is fitted into the space left by an extracted or missing tooth then a new implant crown can be attached to it. This is a much more permanent solution to the loss of natural teeth, and they can last for up to a lifetime, probably because their titanium structure bonds with the jaw line and provides a strong structure for chewing.
When having a dental implant, it is very common to encounter a problem with lack of bone availability for the dental implants. Instead of placing a dental implant and hoping for the best, experienced oral surgeons usually carry out bone grafting and even soft tissue grafting to improve the amount of bone and soft tissues around the dental implant and ensure far better aesthetic and functional results.
The detection of diseases is a key responsibility of an Oral Surgeon, cancers of the mouth and neck are becoming more common the world over, so early diagnosis and treatment is paramount. Dentists are the first stop to preventing the spread of cancers affecting the neck and head, it is their initial discovery that can pave the way for successful surgery. If your dentist notices something un-towards in your mouth, face, neck, or jaw line, they should refer you to an Oral Surgeon as soon as possible, in order for them to perform a biopsy and find out what the problem is. Once diagnosed, oral cancers are usually treated with a combination of radiation therapy and oral surgery by Maxillofacial surgeons.
In some cases oral disease can be benign but yet still destructive and one such example is dental cysts. Dental cysts can silently damage jaw bone and grown to a considerable size without spreading to distant body organs as happens with cancers. Small cysts may resolve spontaneously simply by doing root canal treatment or extraction of the affected tooth. Large cysts will require surgical cyst removal and cyst enucleations performed by oral surgeons.
There are other specialist surgical procedures such as hemisections, sinus lifts and apicectomies. These are all very delicate surgical procedures which are very technique sensitive and if not done optimally could cause irreversible complications for patients and as such are usually referred to specialist oral surgeons.
How can I see an Oral surgeon?
At pearl dental clinic we have two experienced specialist oral surgeons who carry out our complex surgical procedures. They are both registered with the General dental council as specialists in Oral surgery. If you wish to see Dr Dejan Dragisic or Dr Hassan Taqvi for a surgical consultation, please call the practice and book an appointment with them.