There are many different types of surgery that could be needed to maximize oral health, including surgeries on the bone, teeth, gums, or other soft tissues. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are specialists in these procedures, and can perform them at the highest quality. Procedures like tori removal, bone grafting, gum surgery and orthodontic surgery in Austin are best performed by an oral surgeon.
There are various types of preprosthetic surgery. In some cases, more tissue or bone may need to be added to a part of the mouth to allow your dentist to restore your smile. Soft tissue and bone grafts are used to remove tissue from another part of the mouth and attach it where it’s needed. This can be done when tooth roots have become exposed, which often causes tooth sensitivity as well as cosmetic concerns.
In patients with severe gum disease or bone loss, it may be useful to remove excess or diseased gum tissue. This procedure is called a gingivectomy, and it’s useful in decreasing the numbers of harmful bacteria in those with gum disease. Treating gum disease can avoid the need for later extractions or other problems. Sometimes, a procedure called a gingivoplasty is performed along with a gingivectomy. This is a surgical reshaping of the gum tissue, which can be of cosmetic and/or functional benefit.
A frenum is a small fold of tissue located in the mouth. There is one under the tongue, and one each on the inside of the upper and lower lip. In some cases, a frenum may be too tight, leading to restriction of movements; this is most common under the tongue, which can prevent the patient from speaking normally. A tight frenum may also cause orthodontic concerns. A frenectomy is a simple procedure to loosen a frenum and allow more freedom of movement. This is typically done under local anesthesia and takes only a few minutes.
Orthodontists and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons work together to help ensure that you have the best possible outcome of your orthodontic treatment. Various types of orthodontic surgery may be of use in facilitating your treatment. In some cases, a tooth may be impacted (unable to erupt through the gums into the mouth). This is particularly common with the wisdom teeth. An oral surgeon may be able to perform a procedure to bring the impacted tooth through the gums and into the correct position.
Orthodontists sometimes use devices called Temporary Anchorage Devices, or TADs. They’re small screws anchored to the bone. TADs can be placed under local anesthesia in the oral surgeon’s office, and the procedure takes only a few minutes. The orthodontist can then use the device as an anchor point to cause the movement of teeth into their correct positions. Once the movement of the teeth is complete, then the TAD is removed; this is a very quick procedure, and often requires little to no anesthesia.
A root canal is a procedure used to treat an infection of the inside of a tooth. In some cases, the infection can spread from the tooth’s root into the bone and other tissues surrounding the tooth. In this case, an oral surgeon can do a procedure called an apicoectomy to clean up the infection. The infected portion of the tooth’s root is removed, the infected and dead tissue is removed, and then the space is filled.
Other methods used to treat severely infected teeth include root amputation, in which one root of a tooth is removed, or hemisection, in which a tooth is cut in half and the infected half is removed. These methods may be able to prevent the tooth from having to be completely extracted, although extraction may become necessary in some cases.
If a tooth is broken, cracked, or otherwise severely damaged, it may need a crown. To place a crown, a dentist needs to have enough tooth structure available. In cases where there is not enough tooth material available to securely hold a crown, then an oral surgeon can perform a crown lengthening procedure, which ensures that there’s enough tooth structure available to allow the placement of a crown. You will then visit your dentist to have the crown placed.
Dr. Derrick Flint, an oral surgeon in Austin with doctoral degrees in both medicine and dentistry, is able to perform dental and soft tissue procedures at the very highest quality. If you’re in need of gum surgery in Austin, orthodontic surgery in Austin, or any other oral surgery in Austin, please call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Flint. His friendly manner will put you at ease, and the breadth of his knowledge will make you feel comfortable trusting him with your care.