Understanding Why You May Need Oral Surgery
Most people don’t like talking or even thinking about surgery. That’s truer when it comes to oral surgery.
It’s also understandable. Having someone performing a surgical procedure in your mouth can be scary.
Even so, sometimes oral surgery is the best option to keep your mouth as healthy as it can be. Two examples of this are bone grafts to tooth extractions, both of which you can have done at Hubbard & Leath Dental in Rochester Hills, MI.
Oral surgery is just one of the many services our dentists are proud to offer our patients in and around Rochester Hills, MI.
What Is A Bone Graft?
A bone graft is performed when a patient does not have enough bone density in a particular part of his or her mouth.
Bone density becomes particularly important if you have lost a tooth or teeth. This is one of the reasons dentists recommend tooth replacement when a tooth is lost.
The roots of your teeth are anchored in your jawbone. Whenever you bite into something and whenever you chew on something, you are pressing your roots into those bone.
The pressure stimulates your jawbone, which responds with new growth. This new growth keeps the jawbone healthy and strong.
If you are missing a tooth (and, therefore, a root), then part of your jawbone is not being spurred to make new growth. It’s possible to lose up to 25 percent of the bone density in that part of your mouth in a single year.
Now imagine you have been missing multiple teeth for multiple years. This could become a problem if you decide to get dental implants.
Dental implants are an excellent replacement option because they replace the missing roots of your teeth. However, if you have lost too much bone density, it may not be possible to place the implant where it is needed.
This is when a bone graft is necessary. Bone grafts can be done by removing bone from one of part of your mouth (such as your chin or the lower part of your jaw) and placing it where it is needed.
After you have healed from this procedure, we can place your dental implants, which can be fitted with dental bridges or dentures depending on how many teeth need to be replaced.
When Might You Need A Tooth Extraction?
One of the most common reasons for this type of oral surgery is when someone has an impacted tooth.
Wisdom teeth are also known as your third molars. They are the last of your permanent teeth to erupt. Unfortunately, many people don’t have enough room for these teeth to emerge correctly or completely.
If that happens, you wisdom teeth may become partially or completely impacted. A partially impacted tooth emerges part of the way from your gums, while a completely impacted tooth remains below the gumline.
In either situation, the tooth can cause a lot of problems, such as:
• Swelling of your gums
• Painful gums
• Jaw pain
• Difficulty opening your mouth
• A bad taste in your mouth
If the impacted wisdom teeth are growing into your existing teeth, this can press those teeth into one another. This can create crowding and misalignment problems that did not exist before.
Removing a wisdom tooth (which can emerge between the ages of 16 and 30) is often the safest way to prevent long-term oral health problems.
Wisdom teeth aren’t the only teeth that may need to be removed, however.
Our dentists prefer for you to keep as many of your teeth as you can. Even if a tooth becomes infected, the dentist would rather leave the healthy parts of the tooth in place whenever possible.
This is why we recommend dental crowns and root canals whenever possible.
When a tooth has been too damaged or too infected, then the best thing to do is remove the tooth (and preferably to replace it). This can limit the spread of the infection to other parts of your mouth.
Crowded teeth can also complicate teeth-straightening treatments like braces. For some patients, the best approach is to remove a tooth or two before the braces are applied. This can create the space needed to give you the healthy, straight smile that you deserve.
Protect Your Oral Health
Oral surgery is often the last resort to preserve a patient’s oral health. One of the reasons we make X-rays during your routine cleanings and examinations is to monitor any changes in your teeth. The earlier we can spot a problem, the easier we can treat it.
At Hubbard & Leath Dental, we won’t recommend oral surgery unless it’s necessary, but we are prepared to do it if it’s the best way to keep you mouth healthy.