Oral surgery is any medical procedure that is performed on the mouth. Depending on the type of surgery being performed, it can either be carried out by your registered dentist or by our specialist oral surgeon Audrey Kershaw.
We fully understand that the idea of any type of surgery can make people nervous, which is why we do everything we can to make sure that all treatments are explained in length so you are fully aware of each and every step. We also offer IV sedation for nervous patients.
We may need to remove a tooth for a number of reasons. These can include:
Although our chief focus is preventive care, we may occasionally have to remove teeth that are severely damaged or to make more space in your mouth.
Your teeth may have been affected by gum disease or decay, or you may have a painful impacted wisdom tooth that is stuck stubbornly under your gum. We may also have to make more room if you are having a brace fitted or you need dentures.
If you do need an extraction, please try not to worry – we will do everything we can to make the procedure as stress-free and comfortable as possible. We routinely use the strongest local anaesthetic available and always ensure you feel in control. If you need a little break, we’ll always stop treatment until you are ready to continue. And it’s worth remembering that by extracting a painful tooth, we can help to eliminate pain and prevent the spread of infection.
First, we take an x-ray to check your teeth and determine the best method of removal. A ‘simple’ extraction is performed on a tooth that can be seen above the gum line and a ‘surgical’ extraction is carried out on a tooth that has broken off at the gum or not emerged.
A ‘simple’ extraction involves numbing the area, carefully loosening the tooth and removing it with special forceps. A ‘surgical’ extraction involves making a small incision in the gum before the tooth is taken out.
You should encourage healing by eating softer foods and chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. It’s also best not eat very hot foods and to avoid smoking and alcohol.
Keep the extraction site clean by rinsing gently with warm, salty water but only do this 24 hours after the procedure. Also, let us know if you experience severe pain 3-5 days after an extraction, as the clot may have failed to form or become dislodged – a condition known as ‘dry socket’.
In some cases, the frenulum attaching the top or bottom lip to the gum can cause problems for growing teeth in young children. Oral surgery can address this and prevent gaps from appearing later in life.
We can also remove tongue ties. These are folds of skin that, while sometimes be harmless and barely affect day-to-day life, can grow too close to the tip of the tongue. When this happens, tongue ties can impact speech and the ability to eat and swallow.
During any routine check-up, we carry out oral cancer screening and check for abnormal lumps and patches around the cheeks, tongue and gums. If we find something, our oral surgeon can carry out any biopsies and also remove any lumps and bumps that we are worried about.
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