No matter how much emphasis you place on your oral care, there are some conditions that are unavoidable. Oral surgery can help correct these conditions and ease the pain they cause, but different surgeries are required depending on the specific problems at hand.
Oral surgery is a specific type of dentistry used to address a host of problems in the mouth. Whether dealing with deformations of the teeth and gum, calcification in uncommon locations, or simple wisdom teeth extraction, oral surgery is a necessary part of maintaining proper oral health. Most of these surgeries are performed as an outpatient procedure, with general or local anesthesia.
If you have a serious issue and are looking for a dentist in St. George Utah to evaluate and/or treat your oral health problem, we can help.
Wisdom teeth extraction is perhaps the most common form of surgery. While it isn’t required for everyone, the majority of people will need their wisdom teeth removed due to overcrowding in the mouth. Your third molars, commonly known as your wisdom teeth, are typically the last teeth to erupt in your mouth. If healthy and functional, your wisdom teeth can be useful. In other cases, they can be impacted or only partially erupted. This can lead to painful pressure on the top and bottom rows of teeth. They can put pressure on nearby teeth and can even cause cysts which could potentially affect your jaw. In these cases, they need to be removed.
The dentist will apply local anesthetic (and sometimes nitrous oxide gas) and extract the teeth. The procedure can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour and requires around a week of recovery, during which time you should only consume soft foods and drink. Proper care per our dentist’s instructions is important once you return home.
Another form of surgery is a root canal. This is a procedure in which the dentist tunnels underneath the tooth and removes the decayed nerve and any lingering infection. By the time a root canal is required for treatment, the tooth has usually decayed extensively and will often require a crown or filling to cover the damage that has been caused. Recovery is only a few days, during which time the affected tooth may be sensitive or numb.
A common problem in the mouth is TMJ, or problems with the temporomandibular joint. This condition often causes a painful ‘popping’ of the jaw. Patients may have difficulty speaking, swallowing, and eating if the condition becomes too severe. Treatment requires manipulating the jaw bone into the proper position. Surgery and recovery can take several weeks, particularly if the surgery required the breaking and resetting of the bone itself. If you think you are having a TMJ issue, let us evaluate you and help you decide on next steps.
A cleft palate is when the roof of the mouth, or the palate, is split into two pieces. It is very rare to find this in adults; the most common patients are newly born children. Dentists will often treat this problem before the children grow older to promote proper dental health and development. If left untreated, a cleft palate can pose severe problems in eating and drinking, as well as lead to a number of potential facial deformities.
If our dentist sees signs of oral cancer, we will recommend a biopsy to test a suspicious piece of tissue. This requires the extraction of a small amount of tissue from the mouth and can usually be done through the use of a needle. Should larger amounts of tissue be needed, we may recommend that a patient undergo surgery in order to remove the affected areas. In the event cancer is detected, surgery may be needed to remove the tumor.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person fails to take in enough oxygen while sleeping. This is can be caused by obstructions in the airway, which can be treated through surgery. The procedure often involves the removal of soft tissue from the back of the mouth and throat, and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. Call us for an evaluation appointment. (We also offer non-surgical solutions for sleep apnea.)
If you, or anyone you know, is in need of a competent, skilled dentist to do a surgical evaluation or procedure, we are the dentist in St. George, Utah who can help.
Call us today for an appointment. 435-673-9606