Oral & Maxollofacial Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
What is an oral surgeon?
An oral surgeon is a specialist who performs surgery of your face, mouth, and jaws, including cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. They perform tooth extractions, jaw realignments, dental implants, tumor removals, and more.
Oral surgeons treat various conditions that affect your jaw, neck, face, and mouth. Some of the most common conditions treated by oral surgeons include:
- abscessed tooth: a serious bacterial infection that forms a pocket of pus in your gums or near your tooth’s root
- bruxism: teeth grinding or jaw clenching that leads to dental wear
- impacted tooth: a blocked tooth that cannot surface through your gums
- jaw joint issues (temporomandibular joint disorder): a disorder that makes it difficult to open and close your jaw
- oral cancer: cancers of your mouth, including your tongue and gums
- tooth sensitivity: pain or discomfort that occurs with hot and cold food or beverages
- uneven jaw: an imbalance of your jaw’s muscles, tendons, and bones that causes issues with eating, sleeping, talking, and more
- wisdom teeth: your back molars, which can be removed before they crowd or damage your other teeth
Oral surgeons can perform various procedures that repair and treat conditions of your mouth that cause pain and discomfort. Some of the most common procedures include:
- dental implant: a procedure that uses a titanium screw and an artificial tooth to replace a missing tooth
- gum biopsy: the removal of gum tissue used to detect the presence of cancer or other diseases
- gum graft: a procedure to help treat and repair damaged gum tissue and receding gums
- impacted tooth removal: the surgical removal of teeth unable to surface through your gums
- root canal: a procedure that removes the unhealthy root of a tooth
Most oral concerns can be cared for by a general dentist. When the severity of your condition requires greater expertise, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon.
Consult with your general dentist if you need a referral to an oral surgeon, especially if you’re experiencing pain when opening or closing your jaw. You may also benefit from speaking with an oral surgeon if you have severe gum disease, an impacted tooth, dental nerve damage, or a serious infection.