Types of Dental Surgery

Most types of dental surgery include a medical procedure involving artificially modifying the dentition of a person's mouth. In many cases, surgery is chosen as being the best option for the long term interests of the patient. Some of the more common dental surgeries include: Endodontic, Prothodontic, Orthodontic, Oral/Maxiofacial, and Implant Surgeries. An overview of each procedure is described below.

Endodontic Surgery involves areas of the pulp or root of the tooth. Types of dental surgery which involve endodontics includes a root canal, pulpotomy, pulpectomy and apiectomy.

    Root canal - root canal treatment is designed to correct disorders of the dental pulp, the soft tissue inside of the tooth which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

    Pulpotomy - is the process where the pulp chamber of the tooth is opened to allow an infection to drain. This procedure usually precedes a root canal.

    Pulpectomy - is the removal of the pulp from the pulp chamber in order to temporarily relieve pain. This procedure also precedes a root canal.

    Apicoectomy - is a root-end resection which involves removal of the apex in order to surgically extract diseased material. Learn about the process of undergoing an apicoectomy.

Prosthodontic Surgery involves the specialty of implant, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry. Types of dental surgery which involve prosthodontics includes complete dentures, crowns, implant retained/supported restorations. Cosmetic dentistry, implants and joint problems most often fall under the area of prosthodontic dentistry.

    Crowns are prosthetic teeth designed by a dentist and usually created by a lab technician (or more recently, a CAD-CAM machine). A dental crown can be made of either metal like gold or platinum, porcelain fused to metal (PFM), or all porcelain/ceramic materials.

    Veneers - dental veneers are composed of ultra thin layers of ceramic or resin material that has been custom made to be bonded over the surface of the tooth.

    Fixed Bridges - replace missing teeth with artificial teeth, bridging the gap where one or more teeth may have been.

    Dentures - replace missing teeth and their adjacent tissues with a removable dental appliance made of acrylic resin and in some cases, a combination of metals.

    Implant-Supported Dentures - is a combination of dentures and implants. The base is placed into the bone, and metal appliances are fixed to the gingival surface, allowing for dentures to be fixed into place.

Orthodontic Surgery focuses on the development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws. Types of dental surgery which involve orthodontics includes implants and implant-supported prosthesis, apiectomies, extractions and fiberotomies.

    Implant-Supported Prosthesis - (refer to Prosthodontic Surgery above).

    Implants (refer to Implant Surgery below)

    Apicoectomy - (see Endodontic Surgery above).

    Fiberotomy - a procedure that removes gingival fibers around a tooth in order to prepare the teeth for using a retainer use. A fiberotomy reduces the tendency for a tooth to undergo relapse.

Oral and Maxiofacial Surgery. Oral and Maxiofacial Surgeons diagnose and treat cysts, tumors, oral cancer, facial pain, TMJ, as well as fractures of the jaw, cheek and nasal areas, but are mostly known for performing tooth extractions, as well as bone grafting procedures.

Extractions of the teeth can be simple or surgical. Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth, usually under local anesthesia, and require only the use of instruments to elevate and/or grasp the visible portion of the tooth. A surgical extraction involves removing teeth that cannot be easily accessed. The doctor may elevate the soft tissues covering the tooth and bone and may also remove some of the overlying and/or surrounding bone tissue with a drill or other dental device. In some instances, the tooth may be split into several pieces in order to facilitate its removal.

Implant Surgery

A dental implant is a procedure in which are artificial tooth root replacements used in dentistry. Once inserted and healed, an artificial tooth is screwed into place. In some instances, a bone graft made be needed prior to having the implant placed.

Bone grafting procedures are designed to reverse bone loss and is primarily used to augment bone for implant placement. As there are different types of bone grafts, your dentist will discuss the best option with you.

Post Care

For many of these types of dental surgery procedures, there will be post care instructions provided by your dental provider. It is important that you discuss and follow any after surgery care instructions with your surgeon. This will help to ensure that you have a speedy and healthy recovery.

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