How to tell if you will need dental surgery

Posted on: 25 September 2018

Dental (or oral) surgery often sounds scary to most people. The thought of incisions being made in your jaw and gums may cause you to imagine a painful and uncomfortable experience.

However, dental surgery is sometimes essential in restoring the health of your teeth. It may be necessary to extract wisdom teeth, to remove a partially broken tooth or to insert dental implants. If you have any of the following conditions, dental surgery may be the best course of action (don't worry, most surgeries are carried out after administering of anaesthetic).

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom tooth extractions are among the most common type of dental surgery. In your mouth, wisdom teeth are the last set of permanent teeth to emerge. They often cause overcrowding and can push your other teeth out of position. The undue pressure caused by wisdom teeth also results in jaw pains, swelling and possible gum disease. Dental surgery is normally required to remove wisdom teeth. The teeth are extracted from above or beneath the gums, depending on how far they've grown.

Jaw positioning issues

Another common type of dental surgery is overbite/underbite corrective surgery. During overbite, patients have their upper jaw protruding further than their lower jaw. This often results in complications when chewing and breathing. During underbite, patients have their lower jaw protruding further than their upper jaw. This also causes chewing complications, as well as the wearing out of front teeth.

Corrective surgery is often necessary to address overbite/underbite issues. What can you expect during surgery? Incisions will first be made into the jawbone, after which the jaw itself is gently adjusted back to its correct position.

Dental implant

Dental implant surgery is another popular procedure. It involves replacing a missing tooth/teeth with synthetic implants. Dental implants are important because they cover gaps in your teeth that may lead to plaque accumulation and tooth misalignment. During surgery, an implant is screwed into the jawbone, with an artificial cap placed on the surface of your gums (to mimic a normal tooth).

If a permanent tooth hasn't fully emerged

In some cases, a permanent tooth (which is not a wisdom tooth) may fail to fully emerge from underneath the gums. This partially emerged tooth can cause frequent pain, gum infections and tooth decay. Oral surgery is often necessary to remove this partially emerged tooth. During the procedure, a dentist will cut into your jawbone to access your gums and extract the partial tooth.