Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery | Dentists Tacoma
Here at Light Dental Studios, we have Puget Sound’s premier oral and maxillofacial surgeons who practice a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from corrective jaw surgery to wisdom tooth removal.
Our experienced oral surgeons also diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries, and perform a full range of dental implant and bone grafting procedures.
We take pride ourselves on making each patient’s experience as easy and effective as possible while providing the highest quality treatment.
Meet Our Experienced Oral Surgeon
Dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. It is important to replace missing teeth for many reasons:
- Teeth adjacent to the missing tooth will tip (rotate) into the missing space. Given enough time (many years) the teeth adjacent to the missing space could rotate completely sideways (falling into the space where the missing tooth is).
- The combination of rotation and super eruption could lead to a collapse of the bite.
- Missing teeth decreases your ability to chew and can affect speaking.
- Missing teeth can negatively affect your smile.
Over time the jaw bone may become atrophied. In order for dental implants to be placed, adequate bone volume must be present in an area. Bone grafting, also known as ridge augmentation, is a surgical procedure that grows bone in an area of the jaw where it is deficient. The graft not only replaces missing bone, but also helps your body to regenerate its own bone.
This new bone growth strengthens the grafted area by forming a bridge between your existing bone and the graft material. This bone loss can be reversed. Over time your own newly formed bone will replace much of the grafted material.
Prior to recommending a bone graft, you will be seen for an exam, radiographs and possibly a 3D scanned image of your jaw. Our oral surgeons will discuss the procedure with you and outline the expected results.
Orthognathic Surgery (Corrective Jaw Surgery)Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Light Dental Studios to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth, which, in turn, can improve chewing, speaking and breathing. While the patient’s appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.
Following are some of the conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery:
- Difficulty chewing, or biting food
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
- Open bite
- Unbalanced facial appearance from the front, or side
- Facial injury or birth defects
- Receding chin
- Inability to make the lips meet without straining
- Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)
Wisdom Teeth ExtractionsWisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, the "third" molar at both ends of the top and bottom row of teeth. As the wisdom teeth begin to grow, they can become impacted, or trapped in the jawbone and/or gums. As they continue to grow beneath the gum line in an angled or horizontal direction, displacement of the original line of teeth and wearing into the back molars can occur. Wisdom teeth that are unable to "erupt" above the gum line can lead to inflammation and infection. In the case of a partial eruption, a pocket often forms under the gumline, which can lead to the formation of a cyst or tumor. If left untreated, wisdom teeth cause permanent damage, including cavities, nerve damage, gum infection, bone infection, and a weakening of the jaw. Unfortunately, wisdom teeth often grow unnoticed until they cause problems in the mouth or outlying areas, such as the face. These problems can cause headaches, pain in the ears, neck, upper or lower jaw.
Wisdom teeth should be extracted when our oral surgeons first conclude that the teeth are impacted and pose a risk to the patient. In certain cases, surgery may require an incision into the gums, partial bone removal, and/or sectioning of the tooth before removal. The procedure is almost always performed in the dentist's office, on an outpatient basis. The surgery is usually performed in less than an hour, depending on the depth of the impacted teeth and their angle of growth. The surgeon will recommend using a local anesthesia, a mild sedative, or a general anesthesia.
If you are in need of oral surgery, Please contact our Tacoma dental office today!
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