Oral and maxillofacial surgery is surgery to correct a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. It is a recognized international surgical specialty and it is one of the nine specialties of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association. Your dentist has a trusted network of multiple oral and maxillofacial surgery specialists in the Twin Cities area that you may be referred to for major surgeries that fall into the above categories.
Fortunately, Saint Anthony Park Dental Care patients are not required to make a separate appointment with the oral and maxillofacial surgeon specialist for most standard oral surgery treatments. The procedures that are commonly completed by your dentist at Saint Anthony Park Dental Care include the majority of tooth extractions (both adult and baby teeth), removal of wisdom teeth, placement of dental implants, placement of certain bone grafts, and safe, effective anesthesia, including local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, and intravenous moderate conscious sedation.
- Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to develop. Sometimes they emerge from below the gums and the jaw is large enough to allow room for them, but more often than not, they fail to emerge and become impacted. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly recommends that wisdom teeth be removed when there is significant risk of or present pain, periodontal (gum) disease, infections, cysts, tumors, extensive cavities, damage to adjacent teeth, or other pathologies. IGNORING your wisdom teeth is the WORST thing you can do because their problems do not go away and they usually become worse.
Dental Implants and Bone Grafts
- Dental implants are long-term replacements for missing teeth that your Saint Anthony Park Dental Care dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon specialist surgically places in the jawbone. Composed of titanium metal that fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, dental implants never slip like denture teeth and do not get cavities. Plus, because dental implants fuse with the jawbone, future bone loss is generally not a problem. Sometimes, bone material needs to be added to the jawbone either before or simultaneously with the placement of an implant to ensure adequate bone for osseointegration and strength. Depending upon your treatment needs, the bone material used by your Saint Anthony Park Dental Care dentist may be entirely synthetic, sourced from animal bones, or made from donated human bone. Extensive and very difficult cases may require more intensive treatment and care in conjunction with a specialist.
Oral Surgeons: Changing Lives with a Smile
Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon has many years of education and hands-on training to provide treatment for a wide range of conditions. Oral surgeons can provide their patients with deep or general anesthesia during some of these treatments, which include, but are not limited to:
- Corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery
- Cleft lip and cleft palate
- Maxillofacial injuries, or facial trauma
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery
- Oral cancer assessment and treatment