Reasons You May Need Oral Surgery

May 22, 2020 | Oral Surgery

Brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentists at Salling & Tate regularly can go a long way toward achieving ideal oral health. Unfortunately, life often has other plans and some people find themselves in the position of needing more serious dental work done.

While some procedures can be completed in a dentist’s office, others require the help of an oral surgeon. The good news is that, even though certain dental procedures require the help of a specialist, most oral surgeries are minor, out-patient procedures that will have you feeling better in no time.

Oral surgery is used in a wide variety of situations, including:

Sleep Apnea

Many cases of sleep apnea can be treated with dental splints, which are similar to night guards, or by using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. However, some more severe cases may require surgery to solve the problem. Oral surgery for fixing sleep apnea is a process where the surgeon removes some of the extra soft tissue in the back of the throat to clear the airway and lessen the symptoms.


When cavities and infections are left alone too long, teeth and roots can reach a point where they can no longer be fixed with fillings and root canals. Cases like these may even become so severe that they require the help of an oral surgeon to fix. In this scenario, either the tooth is surgically removed or an apicoectomy is performed to remove the infected root tip and stabilize the surrounding teeth.

Facial Trauma

Accidents happen, and sometimes they result in facial injuries like knocked-out teeth, broken jaws, or gum damage. Oral surgery is often necessary and is sometimes paired with plastic surgery, to repair issues like these using jaw reconstruction and tooth replacement.

Dental Implants

Many people who had a tooth removed as a result of decay or facial trauma find it a little unsettling to simply have a hole where their tooth used to be. Thankfully, dental implants can help patients achieve the same look and feel they had before they lost their tooth/teeth. During an implant procedure, the oral surgeon mounts a metal post in the jawbone and uses it as a “root” to which they can attach an artificial tooth.

Bone Grafting

Whether through poor hygiene or aging, sometimes patients that want implants may not have sufficient bone volume to support them. Bone grafting provides a way for oral surgeons to restore bone in the jaw area, either by using bone from another part of the patient’s body or by obtaining bone tissue from a donor.

Impacted Teeth

When there isn’t enough room in a patient’s mouth, teeth can sometimes become wedged between the jaw bone and the gums. This is often extremely painful and puts the patient at risk for infection, tooth decay, misaligned teeth, and a myriad of other problems. Though this is most common with wisdom teeth, it can happen with any tooth in children who are teething or haven’t gotten their adult teeth yet. Regardless of which tooth is impacted, oral surgery is often the best solution for removal.

Jaw Problems

There are a number of jaw conditions that can require oral surgery to repair. For example, jawbones can grow unevenly, which can cause the patient to have issues with speaking, eating, and even breathing. Temporomandibular disorder, or TMJ, is another condition in which the patient suffers from improperly aligned jaws, which can cause headaches and a painful clicking or popping sensation to be present when chewing or opening the mouth. Both of these conditions can usually be treated using oral joint surgery.

Remember, if you are experiencing problems with your teeth or jaws, the first step is scheduling an appointment with Salling & Tate to see what’s going on. Our experienced staff will work hard to determine the source of the problem, suggest possible solutions, and provide a referral for an oral surgeon if need be. Contact us today at 910-256-9040 for more information on becoming a patient or to make an appointment.