Oral Surgery

What is Oral Surgery?

Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS or OMFS) is usually performed to provide diagnosis and surgical and adjunctive treatment to a broad range of disorders affecting the functional and aesthetic aspects of the face, mouth, teeth and jaws (maxillofacial area). Oral and maxillofacial surgery is commonly referred to as oral surgery.

Conditions Treated With Oral Surgery

The different conditions where dentists perform oral surgery are:

Impacted Teeth

Wisdom teeth or the third molars, which are the last set of teeth to develop, sometimes emerge without causing any problems. But most of the time, these teeth either don’t fully erupt or aren’t properly aligned. This causes them to become entrapped or impacted between the gums and the jawbone, which causes swelling, pain, and infection of the gum tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth. It can also cause permanent damage to nearby teeth, gums, and bone. It can also sometimes lead to the formation of cysts or tumors. Dentists recommend people with impacted wisdom teeth to have them, surgically removed.

Dental Implant

The dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. Dentists will surgically implant a tooth root substitute into the jawbone, which will fuse with the gum tissue and bone over time. This creates a strong foundation on which an artificial tooth (or crown) is placed. Dental implants are an alternative to bridges and dentures.

Jaw-Related Problems

Misaligned jaws can cause difficulty in speaking, eating, swallowing, and breathing. Surgery is usually recommended to correct this problem.
Improve fit of dentures.
Oral Surgery is usually performed to correct any irregularities of the jaws prior to creating the dentures, at times, supporting the bone that will deteriorate over time. To ensure that dentures fit properly, an oral surgeon might add a bone graft to those areas.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

TMJ is a small joint in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. Dysfunction of this joint can cause a headache and facial pain. This disorder is successfully treated with a combination of oral medications, physical therapy, and splints. However, joint surgery is done in advanced cases or if there is a specific problem in the joint.


Oral surgeons will perform a biopsy to check for oral cancer by taking a small sample of the abnormal growth or tissue and then sending this sample to the laboratory for analysis.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Repair

There have been cases where either portions or the whole the mouth and nasal cavity do not grow together properly, during fetal development, it causes a gap in the lip and/or a split or opening in the roof of the mouth. This leads to Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate. Oral surgeons correct these problems through a series of treatments and surgical procedures.

Facial Infections

An infection in the face, neck, or jaws can cause pain and swelling. An oral surgeon can assist in diagnosing and treating this problem by cutting into and draining the infected area, as well as extracting any teeth that might be involved.

Sleep Apnea

When other conservative treatments don’t help treat sleep apnea patients, then oral surgery is performed to remove the excess tissue from the back of the throat to provide relief.

Reconstructive surgery

Oral surgery is often used to replace missing or damaged teeth, repair fractured jaws and broken facial bones and also to treat jawbone and gum damage.

Post-Procedure Care

Most of the oral surgeries are done under general anesthesia. The surgeon will provide you with the post-surgical instructions to prevent any infection to the surgical site. The doctor might prescribe painkillers for treating the pain related to recovery.

Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore

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