Oral Surgery Long Island
Oral surgery encompasses a wide range of surgical procedures designed to improve the function of the mouth and correct any abnormalities. These procedures involve the removal of damaged or diseased teeth, management of oral and facial pathology, placement of dental implants, correction of bone deformities and the regeneration of bone or gum tissue around the teeth. Certain cosmetic procedures may also be considered oral surgery.
Oral surgery can be used to treat:
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Cleft lip and palate
- TMJ and other jaw growth discrepancy problems
- Tooth loss
- Facial injury
Your dentist will decide which type of surgery is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your individual condition. Most types of oral surgery are performed in an ambulatory office setting, while more complex cases may be performed in a hospital. Patients can be assured that their dentist is fully trained and experienced in oral surgery, as it requires several additional years of training in dental school.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, develop during early adulthood, most often between the ages of 15 and 25. Most mouths are too small to support these additional molars, making an extraction procedure necessary. If not removed, wisdom teeth may cause pain, infection and swelling of the face or gum line, as well as the development of cysts and tumors.
Extraction of the wisdom teeth involves opening up the gum tissue over the tooth and removing any bone that covers the tooth. The connecting tissue will then be separated so that the entire tooth can be removed. The area is then sutured closed and covered with gauze to control bleeding.
Most wisdom teeth procedures can be performed in your dentist's office under local anesthesia, although some patients may require general anesthesia if all four teeth are to be removed at the same time.
Cleft Lip and Palate
A cleft lip and palate is the most common birth defect of the face, involving a split in the upper lip and/or a gap in the roof of the mouth. Over 6,000 infants are born in the US each year with this condition, causing feeding, speech, ear and dental problems.
Reconstructive surgery is the ideal treatment for clefts, and is usually performed during the first year of life. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia and involves closing the cleft with absorbable stitches. The skin is then sewn over the corrected area to minimize scarring. Speech therapy may be required after surgery.
Jaw Growth Discrepancy Problems
Many people experience problems in the jaw as a result of improper bone growth, joint dysfunction or ill-fitting dentures. Jaw problems can cause difficulty speaking, eating, swallowing and breathing, as well as facial pain and headaches in patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. These problems can be corrected through surgical procedures that align the bones to restore function to the jaw. The upper or lower law may be moved to a more balanced position. In some patients, orthodontic appliances can be used to correct these problems.
Oral surgery can also be beneficial to patients with dentures to help create a better fit and improve the comfort and function of the dentures. A bone graft can help strengthen areas of the jaw where only little amounts of bone remain.