When you think about going on a trip that will improve your quality of life, a trip to the dentist probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
But maybe it should.
Research shows that the demand for oral surgeons, is increasing, jumping 17% between 2016 and 2026, as these doctors can help to improve patients’ oral health and thus their overall wellbeing.
Part of the reason for the rise in demand for oral surgeons is that as baby boomers age, they will likely need more of the complicated types of oral care procedures that these professionals provide.
If you’re having problems with your mouth, here’s a rundown on common types of oral surgery that might be able to help you.
Let’s jump in.
1. Types of Oral Surgery Include the Removal of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Your third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, are the final teeth to come in.
Sometimes these teeth erupt without causing issues. However, these teeth oftentimes don’t erupt completely or are not properly aligned. As a result, they become impacted or stuck between your jawbone and gums, which may affect your surrounding teeth.
In this situation, you may need an oral surgeon to remove your wisdom teeth. But don’t worry — wisdom tooth removal is among the most frequently performed dental surgeries.
That’s because the average human being’s mouth doesn’t have enough space to support wisdom teeth.
Your oral surgeon can tell from an x-ray if you need your wisdom teeth removed. And if you do, the good thing about taking them out immediately is that you never have to worry about them affecting the rest of your mouth — and thus your ability to chew or smile comfortably — again.
Perhaps your mouth has a lesion that appears suspect. In this case, your oral surgeon can biopsy it to see if you may have oral cancer.
The biopsy process involves removing a tiny piece of the tissue and then sending it to a lab to be analyzed. The sooner you get this done, the sooner you can jump on cancer treatments and thus improve your prognosis if you do end up having oral cancer.
3. Dental Implants
Let’s say one of your teeth is missing. Did you know that you can replace this missing tooth with a fake one called a dental implant?
Your oral surgeon can place a titanium post into your jawbone, and this post will then fuse with your bone and gum tissue over time.
Next, a crown — or an artificial tooth that looks real — will go on top of the post. Then, you’ll have a fake tooth that functions like a real one, if not better than a real one.
A dental implant is an excellent option if you would like a tooth replacement option that is designed to be long-lasting. After all, the body doesn’t generate replacement teeth.
With a dental implant, you can no doubt feel confident enough to chew regularly and smile confidently going forward.
4. Bone Grafting
This type of oral surgery may be necessary for you if you’ve ignored the fact that one of your teeth has been missing for a while.
When your tooth is missing, the jawbone beneath the vacant spot will be reabsorbed or weaken over time. As a result, your jawbone will no longer be able to support a dental implant.
Fortunately, an oral surgeon can address this issue by using your own bone.
Yes — your own bone.
The oral surgeon can take a piece of bone from another area of the mouth for the purpose of shoring up the weak area. Following this bone grafting procedure, your mouth’s empty spot will be more than ready to take an implant, and you can get your smile and chewing ability back.
5. Jaw Surgery
Perhaps your jaws are not aligned properly. This can, of course, lead to appearance hang-ups for you, but it can also impact your teeth’s function in a negative way.
For instance, you may find it challenging to eat, speak and even breathe normally.
Oral surgery is oftentimes needed to fix this issue and restore your teeth’s function. Your doctor can assess your situation and let you know if jaw surgery can correct it.
6. Reconstructive Surgery
If you’ve suffered facial injuries or your teeth have been knocked out, this may make everyday functions hard for you — such as eating.
However, reconstructive surgery can help to replace damaged or missing teeth. It can also be helpful for correcting issues with your jaw joints, or for treating jawbone damage. Surgery can even help with addressing gum damage (discover more about gum grafting surgery here).
Prior to surgery, your oral surgeon will examine your issue and give you a customized treatment plan for tackling it. They’ll also discuss your anesthesia options and answer whatever questions you might have.
Then, following your procedure, you’ll need to have a family member or friend take you home if you underwent general anesthesia. This is necessary since you’ll feel tired and groggy.
You might also receive a prescription for painkillers to help you to stay comfortable during your recovery period. In addition, your surgeon will give you a detailed list of what to do and what to avoid the following surgery.
When done properly, reconstructive surgery can improve your quality of life both physically and emotionally.
7. Sleep Apnea
You may struggle with sleep apnea. If so, an oral surgeon can help you with this issue, too.
Sometimes conservative treatments aren’t enough to help those who have serious problems with sleep apnea. However, an oral surgeon can eliminate extra unnecessary tissue from your throat’s back part to reduce your symptoms.
As a result, you’ll finally be able to breathe easier — literally. You can’t beat that.
How We Can Help
In addition to highlighting the different types of oral surgery, we offer tips and advice on other ways to live a healthy lifestyle.
For instance, you can find out the health benefits of braces for your teeth, or even the health benefits of cannabis. We also show you how to increase your chances of living to 100 years old.
Take a peek here to find out more about the steps you can take to look and feel your best in 2019 and beyond.