Other Common Procedures

Oral & Maxillofacial surgery covers a broad category of procedures that are performed in the mouth, and head & neck area.  Our surgeons have the expertise and experience to diagnose and treat a variety of problems in these areas.  Here is a list of surgeries that are also seen commonly in our offices.

Extraction of Teeth – Our surgeons are experienced and skilled in taking out teeth that are decayed, broken down, underneath the gum tissue and bone (impacted), or that need to be removed for orthodontics.

Alveoloplasty – The alveolus is the bone surrounding the teeth that offers support to teeth, dental implants, and dentures. Occasionally, this bone may be irregularly shaped or sharp either prior to tooth extraction or after tooth removal.  This may be bothersome to the patient and may cause an improper fit of a denture.  The surgical recontouring of the alveolar bone allows for better support of the prosthesis as well as better comfort for the patient.

Immediate Dentures – These are dentures that are inserted immediately after tooth extractions.  These dentures are made by your restorative dentist prior to your surgical appointment.  It is very important that you have a follow up appointment the day after the surgery to allow your dentist to make adjustments for a comfortable fit.  It is normal to have several denture adjustments made by your dentist during the healing process.

Removal of Mandibular or Palatal Tori – A torus is a benign growth of bone either on the roof of your mouth (palate) or on the tongue side (lingual) of your lower jaw bone (mandible).  Tori are generally not painful and many patients are unaware that they are present.  Typically the only time they are removed is if they are large enough to interfere with the fit of a denture, interfere with speech, or are continuously being traumatized by chewing.

Frenectomy –  A frenum is a piece of tissue that attaches the lips, cheek and tongue to the jaw bones.  A labial frenectomy is the surgical removal of the frenum that attaches the lips to the jaw bone.  These attachments are removed because they may cause spaces between the front teeth (diastema), or cause recession of the gums.  A lingual frenectomy involves the surgical removal of the tissue that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth.  These attachments can cause a condition known as ankyloglossia (Tongue-Tied).  This prevents the tongue from moving freely.  Many patients that are tongue-tied cannot stick their tongues out of their mouths. This typically interferes with patient’s speech, mastication (chewing), and ability to obtain a good denture fit.

Tuberosity Reduction – The tuberosity is the area in the back of the upper jaw behind where the last molars would be.  Occasionally, the tuberosity may be enlarged, making it impossible to fabricate a denture to fit.  So in order to accommodate a denture, the excess tissue (gum tissue and/or bone) in the tuberosity area needs to be surgically removed.

Any of these procedures may be done with local anesthesia (numbing the teeth and gums), local anesthesia & nitrous oxide (laughing gas), I.V. sedation, or general anesthesia.  The type of anesthesia will of course depend on you overall health, apprehension level, and complexity of the procedure.  During your consultation your doctor and surgical assistant will go over your medical history, answer any questions you may have, and discuss anesthetic options that will suit your needs.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact any one of our three offices.