Oral Surgery Procedures
Oral and maxillofacial surgery refers to procedures performed by dental specialists who treat conditions, defects, injuries and aesthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws and face. Their training involves the completion of a minimum four-year hospital surgical residency program after dental school.
Oral surgeons care for patients who experience conditions such as problems with wisdom teeth, facial pain and misaligned jaws. They treat accident victims suffering from facial injuries, perform reconstructive and dental implant surgery, and care for patients with tumors or cysts of the jaws and functional and aesthetic conditions of the maxillofacial areas.
As a leading dental practice in Tennessee, we at American Family Dentistry understand the anxiety and inconvenience associated with any kind of surgery. Our skilled and caring staff will be with you every step of the way. Most oral surgeries performed at our Tennessee locations are completed in less than an hour.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth, usually in a person’s late teens or twenties. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt. Your dentist can determine if you need your wisdom teeth removed from the x-rays taken during your usual hygiene cleanings.Learn More
The surgical removal of teeth is a common procedure in our office. You and your doctor may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced gum disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, in most cases, your doctor will discuss alternatives to extractions as well as replacement options for the extracted tooth such as dental implants.
Dental implants are changing the way people live and are often the best option for people who have experienced tooth loss. They are the closest thing to natural teeth that modern dental technology has to offer. They are a desirable alternative to dentures as these are “permanent teeth” that look, feel and function similar to natural teeth. Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The posts act as tooth root substitutes and, within three to six months, the bone bonds with the titanium to create a strong foundation for artificial teeth. If you are considering dental implants, give us a call and we will thoroughly examine your mouth and dental records to determine if they are a good option.Learn More
TMJ disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. If you have had symptoms like pain or a clicking sound in your jaw, you’ll be glad to know these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles do not work together correctly. Causes can include clenching or grinding your teeth or stress and damage of your TM joint. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.Learn More
This is needed when jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t seem to fit with the jaws. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics, and corrective jaw surgery repositions a misaligned jaw. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
The oral surgery specialist performs the proper treatment of facial injuries. These professionals must be well versed in emergency care, acute treatment and long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation – not just for physical reasons but emotional as well. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained, skilled and uniquely qualified to manage and treat facial trauma. Injuries to the face, by their very nature, impart a high degree of emotional, as well as physical trauma to patients. The science and art of treating these injuries requires special training involving a “hands on” experience and an understanding of how the treatment provided will influence the patient’s long term function and appearance.Learn More
Powerful pain-killing medications known as anesthetics can not only help a patient avoid discomfort during a procedure, but post-operatively as well. Some patients may require higher doses of anesthetic than others. Sedation dentistry can help patients relax throughout the dental treatment. It is safe and effective, as patients are closely monitored by our trained professionals. Your dentist will talk to you about the most appropriate sedation option to address your particular needs.
- Local anesthesia: Anesthetics can be topically applied, injected or swallowed. Topical anesthetics are often applied with a cotton swab to numb the affected area. This approach is often used with tooth restoration. Topical anesthetics are also used to prepare an area of injection of an anesthetic. Lidocaine is the most common injectable anesthetic and is often used for fillings and root canals.
- Sedation and general anesthesia: Sedatives are medications designed to help a patient relax. This can be a powerful tool in avoiding pain. Sedatives are sometimes used in combination with other types of pain relievers. Conscious sedation involves administering a sedative while the patient is alert and awake. Intravenous (IV) sedation is usually in the form of a tranquilizing agent; patients given IV sedation are often awake but very relaxed. Deep sedation or general anesthesia involves administering a medication that places a patient in a state of monitored and controlled unconsciousness.