In the world of dentistry, our goal is to bring smiles to life. The vibrant, beaming smiles of our patients at ICD Implant & Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL are a testament to the expertise and dedication of our orthodontic professionals. We know that a healthy smile is not just about aesthetics, it’s about confidence, wellness, and overall quality of life. Sometimes, however, a radiant smile requires more than just regular cleaning or the occasional filling—it necessitates oral surgery.
When Is Oral Surgery Necessary?
As skilled professionals, we are trained to recognize the scenarios where oral surgery becomes a crucial part of a dental treatment plan. In most cases, it’s not possible to self-diagnose when that time has come; however, we can offer some general guidelines to help you consider the matter. Typically, issues such as impacted teeth, wisdom teeth complications, jaw-related problems, and severe cases of tooth decay often call for oral surgery.
Impacted teeth and wisdom teeth complications are some common reasons why patients need oral surgery. Impacted teeth, when not addressed promptly, can lead to pain, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth. Wisdom teeth, on the other hand, often grow in awkward positions, causing discomfort and potentially leading to cysts or tumors.
The oral complications arising from impacted teeth and wisdom teeth issues can often only be rectified efficiently through surgical intervention. Oral surgery removes the root cause, hence mitigating the risk of future complications while restoring oral health.
How Teeth Become Impacted
Teeth become impacted when they are prevented from moving into their correct position in the oral cavity, usually due to a lack of space in the dental arch. An impacted tooth remains either partially or fully lodged in the jaw bone, which could potentially result in various dental complications. The primary issue with impacted teeth, aside from being a common cause for oral surgery, is their influence on surrounding structures.
The tooth’s incorrect positioning could exert pressure on the neighboring teeth, leading to tooth misalignment. This can disrupt the harmonious dental structure, making routine hygiene practices challenging and potentially contributing to periodontal disease. Moreover, in some cases, the impacted tooth could induce the formation of a cyst—a fluid-filled sac that develops around the crown of the unerupted tooth. If not addressed promptly, these cysts can lead to bone damage and displacement of nearby teeth.
Wisdom teeth, the last set of molars to emerge, usually make their appearance during the late teens or early twenties. Their late arrival often leads to issues, primarily because the jaw may not have enough space to accommodate these additional teeth. This lack of space can cause wisdom teeth to emerge at incorrect angles, even horizontally at times, or remain partially or entirely trapped within the gums—leading to their status as impacted teeth.
When wisdom teeth are partially erupted, it leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth, leading to an infection. This infection may result in stiffness, swelling, and other systemic issues. Furthermore, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to cyst formation, similar to other impacted teeth. The alignment of the remaining teeth can also be affected, requiring orthodontic treatment to correct.
Some patients experience problems with their jaw joint or have concerns about their facial appearance due to a disproportionate jaw. These situations can impact a person’s ability to chew, speak, or even breathe properly. Surgery becomes essential in these circumstances.
Temporomandibular joint disorders, often abbreviated as TMD, involve conditions affecting the joint that connects the lower jaw, or mandible, to the skull. While TMD can sometimes be managed with conservative therapies such as physical therapy or oral appliances, severe cases may require surgical intervention. This could include arthroscopy to remove inflamed tissue or realign the disc, or a more involved open joint surgery in cases of joint replacement or severe joint damage.
Developmental and Genetic Conditions
Jaw-related issues can also arise from developmental or genetic conditions that affect the jaw’s size and structure. In cases of maxillary or mandibular prognathism, where one jaw protrudes further than the other, surgery may be required to correct the imbalance. This surgery involves repositioning the jaws to ensure a harmonious alignment, which improves oral functionality and often enhances facial aesthetics.
Additionally, jaw surgeries are often performed to treat conditions like sleep apnea, where the structure of the jaw can block the airway during sleep.
Jaw-related problems can also result from injury or trauma that results in a fractured or dislocated jaw. These situations are often medical emergencies requiring immediate surgical intervention to restore function and prevent further complications.
Another common reason for oral surgery is severe tooth decay or damage that cannot be addressed by a simple filling or a crown. Treatments like root canals are usually sufficient for moderately damaged teeth, but when the tooth is beyond repair, an extraction followed by dental implant surgery is the best solution.
How Tooth Decay Develops
It’s essential to understand the progressive nature of this dental condition. It begins with the erosion of the tooth’s outermost layer, the enamel, caused by the acid produced by bacteria feeding on the sugars in our food. Over time, the decay can penetrate deeper into the dentin and, ultimately, the pulp of the tooth, which houses nerves and blood vessels.
In the early stages, tooth decay can often be addressed with fillings, inlays, onlays, or crowns. These treatments aim to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and restore the tooth’s structure and function. However, when decay becomes severe and reaches the pulp, it can lead to pulpitis, inflammation of the pulp, and subsequently, a dental abscess.
Fixing the Issues
When tooth decay reaches this level of severity, more comprehensive treatments become necessary. One of the standard treatments for such a condition is root canal therapy, which involves the removal of the infected pulp, disinfection of the canal, and then filling and sealing the cavity.
However, in cases where the tooth is structurally compromised and can’t be restored effectively with a root canal or a crown, dental extraction may be the only viable option. Following the extraction, dental implants or bridges are often recommended to replace the missing tooth and maintain the integrity of the dental arch.
Alternative Treatments and Their Scope
In some situations, non-surgical alternatives can provide a solution. For instance, with early diagnosis, non-impacted wisdom teeth can be managed with regular monitoring. Moderate tooth decay can often be treated with fillings or crowns, and some jaw-related issues can be mitigated with braces or other orthodontic devices.
However, these alternatives have their limitations. When it comes to extensive damage or conditions that affect functionality, surgery often becomes the best or only option. Jaw-related issues encompass a broad range of conditions, primarily focusing on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the jawbone itself, or the alignment of the upper and lower jaws. These conditions can severely impact oral functionality and aesthetics, often necessitating oral surgery for optimal outcomes.
The Expertise Behind Your Treatment
At ICD Implant & Comprehensive Dentistry, we have a team of seasoned professionals who will walk with you on this journey. Our esteemed Dr. Steven C. Hewett, a recognized figure in implant and reconstructive dentistry, has been instrumental in restoring smiles in Central Florida, having placed and restored over 10,000 dental implants.
Dr. Christopher Russo, renowned for enhancing dental function and aesthetics, provides treatments that are personalized and reliable. For over two decades, Dr. Kelly Soutas has crafted beautiful smiles. His continuous pursuit of knowledge and his passion for cutting-edge technology allow him to provide high-quality dental care in a relaxed atmosphere. Our latest addition, Dr. Natalie Hage, brings her own unique skills and enthusiasm to our team, further ensuring that our patients receive the care and attention they deserve.
Get the Help You Need From the Best in the Business
Surgery might seem daunting, but in capable hands, it is just another step towards a healthier, brighter smile. When non-surgical options fall short, surgical interventions offer a surefire way to reclaim your oral health. Should you feel you could benefit from our wide range of orthodontic treatments, including oral surgery, we invite you to get in touch with us. Contact us at ICD Implant & Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL, where our aim is to offer treatments that bring out your best smile.