Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery

Oral surgery may be needed to restore function or improve a person’s appearance, relieve pain, or treat an infection.

If you have questions, all you to do is call our office at 302-645-7200 or Contact Us online.

Tooth Extraction

When the extraction of a tooth is required:

  1. An incision in the gums is made
  2. The tooth is removed
  3. The area is stitched up and is allowed to heal

During this time, it is important to think about a tooth replacement option. An extracted tooth leaves an open area in the jaw which, in time, allows the neighboring teeth to drift into the area where the tooth was extracted. This in turn, causes a chain reaction to all the surrounding teeth. Also, if you are considering placing an implant in the future, you should consider asking your dentist to place a bone graft at the time of surgery to preserve the bone width and height.

Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that re-contours the gum tissue and often the underlying bone of a tooth. Crown lengthening is often for a tooth to be fitted with a crown. It provides necessary space between the supporting bone and crown, which prevents the new crown from damaging bone and gum tissue.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is commonly performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to replace or augment bone in areas of tooth loss. Bone grafting to the jaws and facial structures may be necessary in a wide variety of scenarios. The most common bone grafts are facial skeleton and jaw procedures. Other common procedures include tooth extraction site graft, bone graft reconstruction and for a sinus lift. Shrinkage of bone often occurs when a tooth is lost due to trauma, severe caries, or periodontal disease. Additionally, bone loss may have already occurred due to infection or pathology around a tooth. There are many artificial biocompatible bone substitutes available; however, the best material for a bone graft is your own bone, which most likely will come from your chin, the back part of your lower jaw or your hip bone. The hip is considered to be a better source because the hip bone has a lot of marrow, which contains bone-forming cells. There are also synthetic materials that can be used for bone grafting. Most bone grafts use a person's own bone, possibly in combination with other materials.

To place the removed bone in the recipient site, little holes are drilled in the existing bone to cause bleeding. This is done because blood provides cells that help the bone heal. The block of bone that was removed will be anchored in place with titanium screws. A mixture of the patient's bone marrow and some other bone-graft material will then be placed around the edges of bone block. Finally, a membrane is placed over the area and the incision closed.

The bone graft will take about 6 to 12 months to heal before dental implants can be placed. At that time, the titanium screws used to anchor the bone block in place will be removed before the implant is placed.

Oral Pathology

The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer.

The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:

  • Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.

These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer. We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body's most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we may help.

After Extraction Care
  1. DO NOT RINSE MOUTH TODAY
    Tomorrow rinse mouth gently every 3 to 4 hours (especially after meals) using one quarter teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. Continue rinses for several days.
  2. BLEEDING
    Following extractions, some bleeding is to be expected. If persistent bleeding occurs, place gauze pads over bleeding area and bite down firmly for one-half hour. Repeat if necessary.
  3. SWELLING
    Ice bag or chopped ice wrapped in a towel should be applied to the operated area; one-half hour on, and one-half hour off for 4-5 hours.
  4. PAIN
    For mild to average pain, use any non-aspirin type of medication you like. If the doctor prescribes a specific pain medication, follow the instructions and do not mix with other medications unless approved by your doctor.
  5. FOOD
    Light diet is advisable during the first 24 hours.
  6. BONY EDGES
    Small sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots; if annoying, return to our office for their simple removal.
  7. If any unusual symptoms occur, call the office at once.
  8. The proper care following oral surgical procedures will hasten recovery and prevent complications.
Request An Appointment

Do you need dental work done? Has it been a while since you've been to the dentist? Do you just need a regular cleaning or are you looking for a brand new smile? Requesting an appointment is available online 24/7 and is as simple as submitting a simple form.