In the overwhelming majority of all cases, any dental problems can be fixed by a general dentist; a periodontist; an orthodontist; a hygienist. These wonderful folks and the dental assistants working with them can fix the shape, looks and health of your teeth – as well as heal and restore the looks and functionality of gum tissue and the muscles and ligaments keeping your teeth in place.
In some rare cases, though, the doctors above need a little extra help to give you the smile you want and deserve. When that happens, it’s necessary for an oral surgeon to step in and help in the ways listed below.
Sometimes, a tooth is beyond restoration. It may have decomposed too much; it may be causing a patient pain. Sometimes, a new (wisdom) tooth is otherwise healthy, but has no space to grow out.
When situations like these happen, it becomes necessary to remove a tooth via extraction. This is a surgeon’s job – and, as routine as the procedure may seem, an important part of oral surgery.
If a tooth has been missing for a long time, the jawbone it used to be attached to starts to wear thin. Specifically, minerals from the bone start being absorbed by the body due to being unnecessary.
Once this process has gone on long enough, it becomes impossible to use the bone to carry an implant. In the worst cases, the bone becomes misshapen to the point that it affects an individual’s appearance.
Fortunately, an oral surgeon can help repair and re-grow jawbone tissue, making it possible to restore full functionality and appearance over time.
If a tooth has been extracted, the gums that used to contain it tend to shrink over time. They can’t disappear completely – but like any soft tissue that isn’t used, they do change in size and shape. When this happens, it eventually becomes impossible to replace the missing tooth with a crown and/or install an implant.
At this point, it becomes necessary for an oral surgeon to step in, creating a “new” gum by expanding the existing one or – in very rare cases – sculpting a mostly-new gum from existing tissue.
If you’ve got a missing tooth (or teeth), you may want to replace it (or them) with a crown or dentures. To do this, you first need to get an implant attached to your jaw, below your gum. Since this is a surgical procedure, it requires a trained and experienced oral surgeon to be completed successfully.
If you’d like to find out more about our oral surgeons, and how they can help you get the smile and teeth you want (and should have), call us at (781) 277-3120. We’re always glad to help with a free phone consultation!