Surgery in the oral cavity can involve several procedures. The most common is the removal of teeth. If a tooth sustains trauma or suffers from an abscess, one option for treatment may be to remove the tooth. Removal of wisdom teeth preventatively is a controversial topic. Each case needs to be reviewed individually and risks vs. benefits weighed. Basically, wisdom teeth need to be removed if:
- There is infection present
- There is disease such as cavities or cysts present
- There is potential for the wisdom teeth to damage adjacent teeth or structures in the bone if they were to erupt
Placement of implants includes a certain surgical component. Usually, gum tissue needs to be reflected and the bone needs to be prepared prior to the titanium implant being placed in the bone. Again, gum tissue may need to be altered prior to placement of the crown on the implant.
Surgery to only the gum tissue may be required. One treatment for receding gums is to place a graft of gum tissue over the exposed roots. This gum tissue then adheres to the healthy roots to help decrease the amount of root exposed. Other procedures are done to help minimize deep pockets around teeth. This surgery is done to create a healthier foundation for the teeth and thus prevent the loss of teeth due to gum disease.
Surgical biopsies are also done on suspicious lesions. This will help determine what the lesion is comprised of and how to treat it effectively. It is essential to detect oral cancer early. Pain is not often an early sign of cancer. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over 40 years of age especially if tobacco and alcohol are used. Any prolonged sores or discomfort should be checked by a professional. A visual exam for lesions in the oral cavity along with feeling for any lumps in the neck or facial area is essential. Oral cancer scans are beneficial at least once a year whether natural teeth are present or not.
Signature Smiles offers a VELscope exam to aid in the detection of oral cancer. The VELscope handpiece emits a safe blue light used to scan the soft tissues of the oral cavity. Abnormal tissue, precancerous cells or cancerous lesions, appear as dark, irregular areas against healthy tissue. This technology helps the professional identify potentially dangerous growths undetected by the naked eye.