Oral surgery is the dental specialty concerned with diseases, injuries, and defects of the mouth and surrounding structures. Oral surgeons perform procedures that draw on their knowledge of the fields of medicine and dentistry. Oral and maxillofacial conditions can vary widely, ranging from temporomandibular joint disorders, congenital defects, salivary gland disease, tumors, and missing teeth. Penn Dental Family Practice offers a full range of treatments for these types of complex conditions, ensuring you have access to the quality care in Philadelphia for oral surgery.
Oral Surgery in Philadelphia
While the prospect of oral surgery might sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Every day, our oral surgeons perform routine procedures including tooth extraction and dental implant surgery. They also have the expertise required to treat more serious oral conditions, such as orofacial cancer.
Oral surgery may also be used for diagnostic purposes. When a patient’s history, symptoms, and imaging studies do not yield a definitive diagnosis, a biopsy will be performed. This procedure involves removing a piece of tissue from the area, which is analyzed microscopically. Biopsies are normally carried out under local anesthesia. The most common tissues examined for oral conditions include the oral and sinus mucosa, skin and lymph nodes, bone, and soft tissue.
Below, we discuss several other types of oral surgeries performed at Penn Dental Family Practice.
Tooth extraction is necessary when a tooth cannot be restored with a crown or filling. Excessive tooth decay, crowding, infection, fracture, or impacted teeth are the most frequent reasons to seek a tooth extraction. Those who are preparing for braces may need to have one or more teeth removed in order to make room for the others as they shift into place.
Along with tooth extraction, wisdom tooth removal is another common procedure performed by oral surgeons. Most people have between one and four wisdom teeth, which come in during the late teens or early twenties. One or multiple wisdom teeth can become impacted, or submerged below the surface of the gums, and unable to emerge. Impacted teeth can be quite painful, leading to damage in the surrounding teeth and tissues if they become infected. Patients receiving an extraction procedure should carefully follow all pre and post-surgical instructions to avoid complications during recovery.
Do you have frequent jaw pain, clicking, headaches, and/or discomfort while chewing? These symptoms may indicate a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder or a related condition. Most TMJ disorders can be addressed using a combination of conservative treatment methods. Your dentist may prescribe relaxation techniques to relieve jaw tension, exercises to strengthen the muscles, prescription medications, and/or the use of a night guard to prevent unconscious clenching during sleep.
Corrective jaw surgery (also known as orthognathic surgery) may be recommended in cases where the disorder is due to structural abnormalities. Jaw surgery is a corrective option for patients when irregularities cannot be addressed with orthodontics alone. Your orthodontist can work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to determine a treatment plan that realigns the jaws and teeth to improve overall functioning.
A dental implant is a tooth replacement that blends in with the rest of the natural teeth. The prosthetic consists of an artificial tooth root that must be anchored surgically into the jaw. Once the prosthetic has bonded to the jaw bone, a false tooth is screwed into the implant and becomes indistinguishable from the other teeth. Dental implants carry the additional health benefit of stimulating bone growth in the jaw, which protects patients from the negative effects of lost teeth. Though it will take several months to complete the process, dental implant surgery is a highly effective replacement treatment.
Orofacial Cancer Treatment
Cancer of the head or neck can be fatal when left untreated. A cancer formation usually starts as a rough patch, lump, or ulcer that develops in or around the mouth. These lesions tend to spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. Since many cancers remain in a premalignant state before becoming invasive, patients can be treated through surgical excision during the early stages.
Patients with a suspected malignant disease must be treated by a surgeon with expertise in cancerous tumors within two weeks. In some cases, it is possible to treat patients using radiotherapy. However, most patients will require surgical resection of the tumor, reconstructive surgery, and rehabilitation.
Philadelphia Oral Surgery at Penn Dental Family Practice
When you schedule your visit with an expert surgeon at Penn Dental Family Practice, you can expect the highest quality of care available in the field. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are licensed medical doctors with extensive training beyond dental school. By selecting only the very best, we maintain our reputation for excellence as a leading provider in Philadelphia oral surgery.
If you’re interested in learning what makes PDFP different from other oral surgery providers, we encourage you to download this complimentary flyer: “Preparing for Oral Surgery: 7 Questions to Ask Your Oral Surgeon.” We hope that this resource will serve as a helpful guide as you consult with your doctor about your options in oral surgery. To schedule your visit with a Philadelphia oral surgeon at PDF, please call our offices at 215-898-PDFP(7337).