As an experienced dentist in Rolla, Missouri, Linda K. Westmoreland, DDS, is skilled in oral surgery procedures used to address a wide array of issues in patients at Wedgewood Dental. Today's surgical techniques and pain management methods mean patients can enjoy optimal outcomes with minimal discomfort. Call or book an appointment to learn more about your oral surgery options.
Oral surgery includes all the surgical techniques that are used to correct defects in the mouth, including surgeries to correct damage from diseases as well as reconstructive surgeries used following trauma or cancer treatment. Oral surgery can also include complex tooth extractions that require incisions, like most wisdom tooth extractions and extractions of impacted teeth (teeth that are “stuck” under other teeth and cannot emerge from the gum). Bone grafting and gum grafting procedures and dental implant procedures may also be considered types of oral surgery.
Wisdom teeth emerge after all the other teeth have already come in, so the mouth is usually quite crowded. As a result, these teeth often emerge sideways or become impacted under neighboring teeth, causing pressure and pain, and compromising the integrity of neighboring healthy teeth.
These teeth need to be removed to preserve the health and balance of the teeth and the rest of the mouth.
But what about wisdom teeth that come in straight? Because of their location way in the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth can be extremely hard to keep clean, which means they are at significant risk for developing gum disease and decay, which can also threaten other teeth. As a result, even wisdom teeth that emerge normally generally should be removed to prevent future problems and maintain optimal oral health.
Some relatively minor types of surgery may be performed using local anesthetics, sometimes combined with oral sedation. But often, IV sedation is used to help patients “sleep” during surgery. IV sedation is sometimes called “conscious sedation” because patients can still respond to commands (like “open wider”) but they will not feel pain or have the memory of their procedures. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the procedure that is being performed as well as patient health and personal preference.
If you’re in need of oral surgery, you can trust Dr. Westmoreland at Wedgewood Dental. Call or book your appointment using the online tool.