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Dental surgery is any of a number of medical procedures that involve artificially modifying dentition, in other words surgery of the teeth and jaw bones.

Types of Surgical Procedures:

Pulpotomy The opening of the pulp chamber of the tooth to allow an infection to drain; Usually a precursor to a root canal

Pulpectomy - The removal of the pulp from the pulp chamber to temporarily relieve pain; Usually a precursor to a root canal.

Apicoectomy - A root-end resection. Occasionally a root canal alone will not be enough to relieve pain and the end of the tooth, called the apex, will be removed by entering through the gingiva and surgically extracting the diseased material.

Apiectomy — also an orthodontic treatment as part of the underlying bone structure must be removed.

Extraction — a procedure in which a diseased, redundant, or problematic tooth is removed, either by pulling or cutting out. This procedure can be done under local or general anesthesia and is very common — many people have their wisdom teeth removed before they become problematic.

Fiberotomy — a procedure to sever the fibers around a tooth, preventing it from relapsing.

Dental surgery

Surgery is usually performed in extreme cases or where non-surgical forms of treatment have failed to ease or relieve the problem.

Many people dislike the idea of having surgery but there are times when it is the most suitable option which will pay dividends in the long term. If you are in severe pain and discomfort then it may be the only answer.

This branch of dentistry is often known as ‘oral surgery’. It includes a wide range of procedures to treat conditions related to the teeth, gums and jaws.

Types of dental surgery

These include:

  • Maxillofacial surgery
  • Root canal surgery
  • Tooth extraction
  • TMJ disorder
  • Facial/jaw injury

Maxillofacial surgery

Maxillofacial surgery refers to surgery undertaken on the jaw, teeth, gums and neck. This includes both soft and hard tissues in those areas and involves some very complex procedures.

Examples of maxillofacial surgery include bone grafting, complex tooth extractions, overbite, facial tumours and birth defects such as a cleft palate.

Root canal surgery

This is performed to treat a tooth infected by bacteria which has spread to the pulp and root canal itself causing pain and inflammation. The site of the infection is removed and the root canal cleaned before being filled.

Find out more in the root treatment section.

Tooth extraction

Extractions are less commonly performed than they used to be but there are still occasions where a tooth will need to be removed. One example of this is wisdom teeth removal. Plus a tooth may have to be removed if it has become severely infected to the extent that it has destroyed the nerve.

TMJ disorder

This stands for temporomandibular disorder and affects the movement and flexibility of the jaw. In some cases surgery is needed to reposition the jaw to enable normal functioning.

Facial/jaw injury

Facial injuries such as those sustained in an accident may require reconstructive surgery. This can involve grafting bone into the damaged area in order to rebuild the jaw.

Other types of dental surgery

Other related areas include treating severe facial lacerations and the reconnection of severed nerves and blood vessels.

Surgery is performed in orthodontic cases where teeth have to be removed in order to allow the fitting of a brace. One example of that is an overbite which is discussed below.

Another area is that of correcting an overbite: this is where the upper teeth protrude over the bottom teeth rather than meeting in the middle which leads to jaw pain and an increased risk of wear and tear on the teeth.

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