What Is Considered Oral Surgery

When it comes to dental procedures, there are a variety of treatments that can fall under the category of oral surgery. As a team of healthcare professionals, we understand the importance of educating our patients on the different procedures and their potential benefits.

Oral surgery involves the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the gums, teeth, and jaw. In this article, we will explore the different types of oral surgery and what they entail.

From corrective jaw surgery to the removal of impacted wisdom teeth, oral surgery can be a daunting prospect for many patients. However, understanding the scope of these procedures can help alleviate any concerns or fears.

Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive guide to what is considered oral surgery, so you can make informed decisions about your oral health. So, let’s dive into the world of oral surgery and explore the different procedures that fall under this umbrella term.

Key Takeaways

  • Oral surgery involves diagnosing and treating conditions affecting gums, teeth, and jaw with a range of procedures from simple tooth extractions to complex facial reconstructive surgeries.
  • Anesthesia options range from local anesthesia to general anesthesia, depending on the procedure and the patient’s preference.
  • Common procedures include wisdom teeth removal, dental implant placement, and corrective jaw surgeries, which may require bone grafting.
  • Oral surgeons require extensive training, specific credentials, state license, and certification from the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Referral letters from general dentists and recommendations from healthcare providers are important, and insurance coverage for oral surgery can be complex.

Definition and Scope of Oral Surgery

If you’re wondering what oral surgery entails, let’s break it down for you. Oral surgery is a specialty of dentistry that involves diagnosing and treating conditions, injuries, and defects of the mouth, teeth, jaws, and face.

The scope of oral surgery is vast and covers a range of procedures, from simple tooth extractions to complex facial reconstructive surgeries. Common procedures in oral surgery include wisdom teeth removal, dental implant placement, orthognathic surgery, and corrective jaw surgeries.

Anesthesia options for oral surgery can range from local anesthesia to general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure and the patient’s medical history. Oral surgeons are trained to provide safe and effective anesthesia, ensuring that patients are comfortable and free from pain during the procedure.

Now, let’s move on to the section about tooth extraction and impacted wisdom teeth removal.

Tooth Extraction and Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removal

You may need to have your wisdom teeth removed if they’re causing pain or becoming impacted. Tooth extraction is a common oral surgery procedure, and it’s often necessary when a tooth can’t be saved due to decay, infection, or trauma.

However, wisdom teeth removal is a specific type of tooth extraction that involves the removal of one or more of the third molars located at the back of the mouth.

To help you better understand the process of wisdom teeth removal, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means they’re partially or fully trapped beneath the gum line and unable to emerge properly. This can cause pain, swelling, and infection.

  • The removal of wisdom teeth is typically done under local anesthesia, and the procedure can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

  • After the procedure, you may experience some pain and swelling, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs.

  • It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-operative care, which may include avoiding certain foods and activities for a period of time.

  • In most cases, wisdom teeth removal is a safe and effective procedure that can prevent future dental problems.

Moving on to the next section, dental implants and bone grafting are other common types of oral surgery that may be necessary for restoring missing teeth or correcting jawbone abnormalities.

Dental Implants and Bone Grafting

When getting dental implants, your dentist will place a metal post into your jawbone to support the replacement tooth. This process requires a surgical procedure that involves cutting into the gum tissue and drilling into the bone to create a space for the implant.

After the post is inserted, the bone needs time to heal and fuse with the implant in a process called osseointegration. This typically takes several months before the final restoration can be placed.

Implant maintenance is crucial for the success and longevity of the implant. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as professional cleanings, are necessary to prevent gum disease and infection.

In some cases, bone grafting techniques may be necessary to provide enough bone support for the implant. Your dentist will determine if bone grafting is needed during your initial consultation.

With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime.

As we move into the next subtopic about corrective jaw surgery, it’s important to note that while dental implants can improve the functionality and appearance of your smile, corrective jaw surgery may be necessary to correct more severe structural issues.

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery can be a necessary solution for individuals experiencing severe structural issues that cannot be addressed with dental implants. Jaw misalignment can cause a range of problems, including difficulty chewing, speaking, and breathing. While orthodontic treatment can correct some jaw issues, there are cases where surgery is the only viable option.

During corrective jaw surgery, the surgeon will make incisions in the jawbone and reposition it to correct the misalignment. This can involve shifting the upper or lower jaw, or both, and may require bone grafts or other procedures to ensure the jaw is stabilized and properly aligned.

Recovery time can vary depending on the extent of the surgery, but most patients can expect some swelling, pain, and discomfort for a few weeks following the procedure.

Oral cancer diagnosis and treatment is a serious topic that requires prompt attention.

Oral Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Oral cancer is a serious disease that affects thousands of people each year. The disease can be difficult to detect in its early stages, and the five-year survival rate is only around 60%. That’s why it’s important to undergo regular oral cancer screening if you’re at risk.

Biopsy procedures are typically used to diagnose oral cancer. Treatment options can include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Supportive care, survivorship services, and palliative care can also be helpful for patients going through treatment.

Clinical trials and research updates are constantly being conducted to find better treatments and improve outcomes for patients with oral cancer. Patient education materials are also available to help patients and their families understand the disease and its treatment.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with oral cancer, it’s important to find a qualified oral surgeon who has experience in treating this disease.

Finding a Qualified Oral Surgeon

When it comes to finding a qualified oral surgeon, there are several key factors to consider. Firstly, it’s important to ensure that the surgeon has the proper credentials and training, such as board certification in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Additionally, the referral process can play a crucial role in finding a good surgeon, as recommendations from trusted healthcare providers can help ensure a positive outcome.

Lastly, it’s important to ask the right questions before the procedure, such as the surgeon’s experience with similar cases and their approach to post-operative care.

Credentials and Training

To become an oral surgeon, a person must undergo extensive training and earn specific credentials. This includes completing a four-year undergraduate degree and then attending dental school for another four years. After this, the aspiring oral surgeon must complete a residency program, which can take anywhere from four to six years. During this time, they receive specialized training in surgical procedures, anesthesia, and other aspects of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

In addition to completing the necessary training, oral surgeons must also earn specific credentials to practice. This includes obtaining a license from the state in which they plan to practice, as well as certification from the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. They must also complete continuing education courses to maintain their credentials and stay up-to-date on the latest advances in oral surgery.

With these credentials and training, oral surgeons are equipped to provide the highest level of care to their patients. Moving forward, let’s talk about the referral process for finding a qualified oral surgeon.

Referral Process

As we mentioned earlier, oral surgeons undergo a rigorous training process before they can practice their craft. This means that not all dentists are qualified to perform oral surgery. In fact, many general dentists will refer their patients to an oral surgeon for more complex procedures.

The referral process is essential for ensuring that patients receive the level of care they need. When a general dentist refers a patient to an oral surgeon, they’ll usually provide a referral letter detailing the patient’s medical history and the reason for the referral. The oral surgeon will then evaluate the patient and determine the best course of action.

It’s worth noting that insurance coverage for oral surgery can be complex, so it’s important to work closely with both the general dentist and the oral surgeon to ensure that the patient’s needs are met.

Moving on to the next section, before any oral surgery procedure, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure that you’re fully informed about the procedure and what to expect.

Questions to Ask Before the Procedure

Before going into any oral surgery procedure, it’s crucial to inquire about what to expect, which will help you feel more confident and relaxed during the process. Here are some questions to ask your oral surgeon before the procedure:

  • What should I do to prepare for the surgery?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used during the procedure?
  • What are the potential risks and complications of the surgery?

Asking these questions will help you understand what you need to do to prepare for the surgery and what to expect during and after the procedure. Pre-surgery preparation may include fasting for a certain amount of time, stopping certain medications, and arranging for transportation to and from the surgery.

Post-surgery care may include taking pain medication, following a soft food diet, and avoiding certain activities for a period of time. By understanding what to expect, you can feel more confident and prepared for the procedure, which can lead to a smoother recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to recover from oral surgery?

We typically recommend taking it easy for the first 24 hours post-surgery. Pain management is crucial during this time and we’ll provide guidance on medication and other options. Post-surgery care will vary based on the type of oral surgery, but we’ll provide detailed instructions for a speedy recovery.

Can I eat or drink anything before oral surgery?

Before oral surgery, we must follow preoperative instructions, including restrictions on food and drink intake. Generally, we should not eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours before surgery to prevent complications. It’s best to follow our surgeon’s specific instructions.

What are the risks or complications associated with oral surgery?

When getting oral surgery, there are risks and complications to be aware of. Nerve damage and infection are possible. Pain management and healing time are also important factors to consider.

Will I be put under anesthesia during oral surgery?

During oral surgery, we may use local anesthesia, conscious sedation, or general anesthesia depending on the procedure and patient’s needs. Recovery time varies but we will provide detailed instructions to ensure a smooth recovery.

How much does oral surgery typically cost?

Let’s talk cost. Insurance coverage varies, but oral surgery can run from $300 to $10,000. Alternative treatments may be cheaper, but consult a professional. Our goal is to serve you with precision and care.


In conclusion, oral surgery is a specialized field that deals with surgical procedures of the mouth and jaw. It encompasses a wide range of procedures, such as tooth extraction, dental implants, corrective jaw surgery, and oral cancer diagnosis and treatment. Finding a qualified oral surgeon is of utmost importance to ensure a safe and successful procedure.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, nearly 70% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth due to an accident, decay, or gum disease. This statistic highlights the prevalence of dental issues that may require oral surgery, and the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent tooth loss.

It also emphasizes the need for skilled oral surgeons to perform these procedures and restore patients’ dental health. Overall, oral surgery plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health and restoring function to the mouth and jaw.


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