Common Oral Surgery Procedures Explained 

April 1, 2024

When regular dental care isn't enough, oral surgery steps in to tackle tougher dental problems. But don't let the idea scare you! Getting to know common procedures like tooth extraction, dental implants, bone grafting, and gum grafting can ease your worries. Together, let's learn more about these treatments and see how Kingsport oral surgeons expertly solve dental issues, bringing back your smile's strength and beauty. 

Kingsport oral surgeon taking a look at xrays

Tooth Extraction 

Tooth extraction, which includes both simple and surgical procedures, involves removing a tooth from its socket within the jawbone. While simple extractions are straightforward and involve visible teeth, surgical extractions are necessary for more complex cases. 

Common Reasons for Tooth Extraction 

  • Severe Decay: When tooth decay reaches an advanced stage and compromises the tooth's structure beyond repair, extraction may be necessary to prevent further damage or infection. 
  • Overcrowding: In cases of overcrowded teeth, extraction may be recommended to create space for proper alignment during orthodontic treatment. 
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Wisdom teeth often become impacted due to lack of space in the jaw. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection, and damage to adjacent teeth, necessitating extraction. 

The Tooth Extraction Process 

Anesthesia Options 

Before the extraction procedure, the dentist or oral surgeon will discuss anesthesia options with the patient to ensure comfort during the procedure. Options may include local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia. 

Extraction Techniques  

The extraction technique used depends on factors such as the tooth's position, condition, and the patient's overall oral health. Common extraction techniques include simple extraction for visible teeth and surgical extraction for impacted or severely damaged teeth. 

Post-Operative Care Tips 

After tooth extraction, patients are provided with post-operative care instructions to promote healing and minimize discomfort. These may include guidelines for managing pain and swelling, maintaining oral hygiene, avoiding certain foods, and attending follow-up appointments. 

Dental Implants 

Dental implants are titanium posts surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. They serve as sturdy anchors for artificial teeth, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures, restoring both function and aesthetics. 

When Are They Recommended? 

  • Missing Teeth: Dental implants are recommended for those with one or more missing teeth, providing a stable and long-lasting solution for tooth replacement. 
  • Enhanced Stability: For people seeking enhanced stability and function compared to removable dentures, especially in cases where dentures may not fit comfortably or securely. 
  • Healthy Gums and Bone Density: Dental implants are suitable for those with healthy gums and sufficient bone density in the jaw, ensuring successful implant placement. 

Dental Implant Procedure 

Initial Consultation 

The initial consultation is when the dentist assesses the patient's oral health and discusses treatment options. This includes examining the jawbone and surrounding structures through X-rays and scans to determine suitability for implants. 

Implant Placement Surgery 

During implant placement surgery, the patient receives local anesthesia for comfort. The dentist makes a small incision in the gum tissue and then inserts the implant into the jawbone. After securing the implant, the gum tissue is stitched closed. 

Osseointegration Process 

Following surgery, the implant integrates with the jawbone over several months in a process called osseointegration. This is essential for the stability and durability of the implant.  

Placement of Final Restoration 

Once osseointegration is complete, an abutment is attached to the implant, providing support for the final restoration. The dentist takes impressions to create a custom-made crown, bridge, or denture, which is then securely attached to the abutment. 

Kingsport oral surgeon explaining procedure to patient

Bone Grafting 

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure used to replace or augment bone that has been lost or damaged. In dental implant surgery and jaw reconstruction, bone grafting provides adequate bone volume and density to support dental implants or reconstruct the jawbone. 

When Is Bone Grafting Needed?  

  • Tooth Loss: When teeth are lost or extracted, the underlying jawbone may begin to resorb or deteriorate over time due to lack of stimulation from the tooth roots. 
  • Gum Disease: Periodontal disease can lead to bone loss in the jaw, compromising the support for surrounding teeth and affecting the overall bone density. 
  • Trauma: Facial trauma or injury to the jawbone can result in bone loss, affecting the stability and function of the jaw. 
  • Infection: Infections in the jawbone, such as osteomyelitis, can cause bone loss and compromise the health of the surrounding tissues. 

Bone Grafting Procedure 

Types of Bone Grafts 

Bone grafts can be classified into several types, including autografts (bone harvested from the patient's own body), allografts (donor bone from another human), and xenografts (bone from a different species, usually bovine or porcine). The choice depends on factors such as the extent of bone loss, surgical site, and patient preference. 

Surgical Techniques 

The bone grafting procedure begins with making an incision in the gum tissue to access the jawbone. The graft material is then placed into the defect or the area requiring augmentation. Your Kingsport surgeon may secure the graft with screws, pins, or membranes to stabilize it and promote proper healing.  

Post-operative Care  

After bone grafting surgery, patients are provided with post-operative care instructions to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications. This may include guidelines for managing pain and swelling, maintaining oral hygiene, and attending follow-up appointments to monitor progress. 

Gum Grafting 

Gum grafting is a surgical procedure performed to address gum recession and restore lost or damaged gum tissue. It helps to maintain optimal oral health by protecting tooth roots, reducing sensitivity, and improving the aesthetic appearance of the smile. 

Indications for Gum Grafting 

  • Treatment of Gum Recession: When the gum tissue has receded, exposing the tooth roots and compromising oral health. 
  • Improvement of Aesthetics: Gum grafting can enhance the appearance of the smile by restoring a more balanced gum line. 
  • Reduction of Tooth Sensitivity: Exposed tooth roots can lead to increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages. 
  • Prevention of Further Recession: Gum grafting helps prevent ongoing recession and protects against future gum and bone loss. 

Gum Grafting Procedure 

Initial Evaluation 

The process begins with a thorough examination and assessment of the patient's oral health, including the extent of gum recession and the condition of the surrounding tissues. 

Graft Selection 

Depending on the patient's needs and the severity of the recession, different types of grafts may be used, including connective tissue grafts, free gingival grafts, and pedicle grafts. 

Surgical Procedure 

During the gum grafting surgery, the dentist or periodontist harvests tissue from the patient's palate or uses donor tissue and sutures it into place over the exposed root surfaces. 

Post-operative Care 

Patients are provided with post-operative instructions to promote healing and reduce discomfort, including instructions for oral hygiene, diet, and medication management. 

Kingsport oral surgeon smiling

Need the Help of a Kingsport Oral Surgeon? 

Experience the expertise of Martin Dental Group for your oral surgery needs. From expert implant placement to comprehensive oral care, our skilled team is here to restore your smile's health and beauty. Contact us today to schedule a consultation! 

girl looks in the mirror after appointment with a Kingsport oral surgeon