Dentoalveolar Surgery/Tooth Extraction

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Dentoalveolar surgery is the term used for a wide variety of surgeries involving the teeth and surrounding structures. Below are some common examples.

Tooth Extraction

This is the most common procedure performed in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Teeth are removed for many reasons including decay, impaction, disease, infection or part of an orthodontic treatment plan. Dental extraction(s) can vary in complexity, which is why your dentist may have referred you to our offices for treatment.

Our extensive surgical experience allows us to perform the necessary procedure(s) quickly and with less surgical trauma to adjacent bone and tissues. We provide a variety of anesthetic options for your safety and comfort including IV sedation/general anesthesia, which enables you to sleep through the procedure.

Pre-prosthetic Surgery

The preparation of your mouth before the placement of a prosthesis such as a partial or full denture is referred to as pre-prosthetic surgery. It is important that the bony ridge underneath your partial or denture is of the proper size and shape.

One or more of the following procedures might need to be performed to prepare your mouth for your appliance:

  • Bone smoothing and reshaping
  • Bone augmentation/grafting
  • Removal of excess bone
  • Removal of excess gum tissue
  • Removal of impacted wisdom teeth

We will review your particular needs with you during your pre-surgical appointment.

Uncovery - Exposure and Bonding of Teeth

Teeth other than wisdom teeth can erupt abnormally, these commonly include canine and bicuspid teeth. Unlike impacted wisdom teeth which are often removed, these teeth are often important to the alignment of the jaws, particularly in a growing individual. After an orthodontic evaluation you may be informed that you or your child's tooth/teeth may require an "uncovery".

This is a procedure where the concerning tooth or teeth are surgically exposed and often a orthodontic bracket is bonded to it. Attached to the bracket is often a small gold chain which is used by your orthodontist to slowly guide the tooth into position. This procedure is done in conjunction with orthodontics (braces) and often the chain is attached to the wires during surgery if the braces are already in place. Sometimes the tooth/teeth are left exposed in the mouth after surgery, but more commonly, the surgical site is closed, and the tooth is then moved under the tissues through gentle traction over time on the gold chain. Just as the movement of teeth during orthodontia is a slow process, the eruption of an uncovered tooth is a slow one too, and may require up to six months or a year of treatment. This procedure is generally well tolerated by most patients and can be performed with a variety of anesthetic options, but most commonly with IV sedation/general anesthesia.

Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth or teeth are ones that are growing or grew in an abnormal position in the jawbone. This can occur in both the upper and lower jaws. Impacted teeth may take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway of eruption. Consequently, they may grow sideways or emerge at odd angles. The most common impacted teeth are wisdom teeth or third molars. Please see the wisdom teeth section for more information.

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