Do I Really Need Oral Surgery?
Finding out that you need oral surgery can hit you like a ton of bricks. We get it. Just the very word “surgery” can fill anyone’s head with uncertainty about the procedure and subsequent recovery.
It’s possible to reduce the need for oral surgery by taking care of your mouth, but sometimes oral surgery is completely necessary not matter how well you take care of your teeth. And fun fact: your oral health affects every other aspect of your overall health, so it’s important to keep an eye on it.
So, how do you avoid oral surgery in the first place, and when is it absolutely unavoidable?
Reducing the possibility of oral surgery
A lot of people tend to assume oral health only focuses on one’s teeth, but your gums and tongue are an extremely important part of your oral health. It’s important to care for all three if you’re going to be proactive.
Brushing for at least two minutes twice a day and flossing is the first step to good oral care. Water flossers, such as Waterpik and Air Flosser, are a great way to remove bacteria and plaque from under your gum line. Don’t focus solely on your teeth, but brush your tongue as well.
No matter how attentive we are to our oral hygiene, things can still require a little more attention.
Types of oral surgery
Oral surgery can be a necessary way to address a myriad of oral health issues, including gum disease, wisdom teeth removal, and jaw correction. If your dentist decides that oral surgery is necessary, there are different types that they might recommend.
Tooth extractions are, actually, quite common. In our busy lives and overfilled schedules, dentist appointments sometimes get pushed back. By the time people make it in, gum disease and tooth infection or decay have sometimes progressed to a point where treatment is no longer an option. In these instances, tooth extraction can be the best option for you.
There are other circumstances, like an overcrowded mouth or wisdom teeth removal where tooth extraction is a vital part of your orthodontic care as well. Nothing to worry about – just a little help to make space in your mouth for that beautiful smile that is en-route!
Dental implants are the most common recommendation for patients with missing teeth. If you just had a tooth extraction, the next step will most likely be a dental implant. Implants help to secure your replacement tooth while preserving your jawbone.
A certain amount of bone is needed for an implant to be placed, so that’s where the need for a bone graft comes in. A bone graft is surgically placed into your jawbone. Your existing bone and the bone grafting material will bond together creating a strong and sturdy foundation for your dental implant and replacement tooth.
Orthognathic surgery, better known as corrective jaw surgery, is used to correct conditions like TMJ, sleep apnea, and other jaw alignment issues. If you’re experiencing trouble chewing, breathing, or swallowing you may be a candidate for corrective jaw surgery. Misaligned jaws can cause multiple problems, so even though oral surgery isn’t an exciting option, it can help correct your jaw and help you remain pain-free and healthy.
If you’re not completely comfortable with the recommendation for oral surgery made by your dentist, remember that it’s always OK to get a second opinion. At Willow Spring Family Dentistry, we’re aiming to change the conversation around dental care. If you have any questions or are looking for a dentist, give us a call or send us an email. We actually love talking about oral care!