DENTAL SURGERY

Dental Surgery in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, & Hampton, VA

Dental surgery refers to all procedures that are involved in the alteration of teeth and related structures, for maintenance and restoration of oral health. Over the years, the field of dental surgery has progressed, and today, patients have access to dental procedures that can treat nearly all dental problems that people might face. With rapid advancement in science and technology, dental surgical procedures have also come a long way. Most dentists would advise you to deal with your dental issues as soon as possible as delaying treatment could result in infections and other serious oral health issues.

Depending on the part of the tooth that is being treated, dental surgery procedures have been subclassified into various subspecialties. These subspecialties are based on the area that is being treated and the type of treatment that is being used.


Endodontics

This is the first major subspecialty of dental surgery. Endo means inner and odont refers to teeth. Endodontics includes procedures performed on the core or pulp of the tooth. The pulp lies beneath the hard white enamel that we see on the outside. One of the most common and better-known procedures in endodontics is RCT or root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is usually done by a dental surgeon.

 

Root Canal Therapy RCT

Root canal therapy is a commonly performed procedure in oral surgery. It is used when the pulp of the tooth gets infected or inflamed. This can cause extreme pain, swelling, sensitivity to hot and cold foods. It is important to note that in some patients, an infected or inflamed tooth may not cause any symptoms at all. But the damage to the tooth may be happening on the inside. It is thus important to visit your dentist regularly so that any dental issues can be diagnosed in time and treatment can be initiated right away.

While the pulp has an important role in nourishing the tooth during development stages, it can be safely removed in a mature tooth if infected. Depending on the extent of the infection and the overall health of the tooth, a dental surgeon can use various procedures to treat the problem through oral surgery.

The dental surgeon will assess the affected teeth using an x-ray. They will then access the pulp by making an opening in the crown using very tiny instruments. The affected part of the pulp is then drained/removed and cleaned up to be filled with a rubber-like biocompatible material. This is usually followed by placing a crown on the top of the tooth to finish the job off.

Root canal treatment is typically done in one or two visits to your oral surgeon depending on the treatment planned. Discuss the specifics of oral surgery and root canal therapy with your oral surgeon.

 

Prosthodontics

Prostho means replacement and odont refers to teeth in Greek. Prosthodontists, therefore, are your experts when it comes to replacing teeth and/or gums.

Prosthodontics basically refers to that branch of dental surgery which relates more to diagnosis, restoration, and maintenance of oral function, comfort, health, and appearance. This is usually done through the restoration of natural teeth or by the replacement of teeth that may be missing and/or damaged.

Common prosthodontic oral surgery procedures include the following:

 

Dentures 

Dentures are false teeth, single or more, used to replace broken or diseased teeth. A dental surgeon will use oral surgery to affix the false teeth through the support of a neighboring tooth by using plastic or metallic attachments. Other options include the use of adhesive materials to attach teeth to the gum surface. An oral surgeon is the best judge of which option would work best depending on the patient’s oral health status.

 

Implant-supported prosthesis

Prosthesis supported by implants refers to an oral surgery treatment plan where an oral surgeon uses a combination of dentures or false teeth and implants.  Depending upon the health and strength of the remaining teeth, your dental surgeon may use existing strong teeth to anchor a denture or use a metallic implant drilled and screwed into the jaw bone to hold a denture above. Implants are made up of titanium and when surgically placed in the jaw bones, take about four to six months to allow sufficient time for the tissue to heal and be ready to receive the implant and hold it successfully.

 

Bridge

Bridges are normally used after two or more tooth extractions. The purpose of the bridge is to connect and hold two or more crowns together.

Crown 

Crowns are also referred to as caps. Crowns are artificial covers that are worn over the crown.  Crowns are used to cover a broken, misshaped or decayed tooth to restore the look of a tooth. The material used in the construction of these caps include ceramic meta composite or CMC, porcelain metal composites or PMC and other metals such as gold or a mixture of tin and aluminum. These are all materials that are biocompatible.

Your oral surgeon will use different techniques to get the exact impression of the tooth to be crowned, test it for comfort and bite before cementing it in permanently. Your dental surgeon will have to file down the tooth to make space for the crown to fit in. Crowning may require more than one visit to your dentist’s office.

 

Veneers

Veneers are thin shells similar to crown or caps in function and construction except they only cover the front part of the tooth to restore its look. Veneers are attached to the teeth by removing the tooth enamel and are hence irreversible. They have to be looked after just like natural teeth by regular brushing and flossing. After your dental surgery, it is generally recommended that you avoid biting into hard foods such as ice cubes or nut shells as it can chip the veneer.

Commonly used materials for making veneers include porcelain and composite resin that. Like crowns, veneers are customized to the color and shape of your teeth by getting impressions. A veneer well done can look natural and significantly improve the look of the tooth. However, if not glued and sealed properly, stains or cavities can form behind the veneers. It is thus important to find an oral surgeon who is skilled in dental surgery.

 

Bonding

Bonding is similar to veneer but is used to make small repairs on teeth such as fixing a chipped tooth or painting over a stained tooth. Composite resin is customized to match the color of the teeth and used in layers to fix the chipped part and then hardened with a special light. Bonding has to be taken care of, or it can easily chip off.

 

Orthodontics

Ortho means bones and odont refers to teeth in Greek. Orthodontics is, therefore, that branch of dental surgery that is related to the treatment of the looks and function of teeth. Besides the aesthetic appeal, the way your teeth are positioned in your mouth can affect the way you bite and cause some teeth to wear down or chip off more easily and/or cause muscle pain. Malalignment can lead to brushing and cleaning difficulties predisposing teeth to decay and cavities.

Common problems tackled in orthodontics include situations when the teeth are not aligned properly. This can be when

  • the upper jaw protrudes over or covers the lower jaw causing a deep bite
  • the upper jaw fits in the arch of the lower teeth causing an underbite
  • the back teeth are together, but the front teeth do not meet causing an open bite
  • there are gaps between teeth, or the teeth are overlapped and crowded
  • the upper and lower teeth do not align with each other causing a cross bite

Commonly used procedures in orthodontics include braces, retainers, extractions, surgery, removable appliances, and headgears.

 

Braces

Braces are very common dental surgery treatments and include the use of brackets and archwires applied to teeth to exert gentle pressure over months or years to move the teeth to its desired position. The procedure is commonly performed in teenaged patients but is increasingly performed in older adults. Patients with braces will experience some pain and discomfort, especially during eating.

Braces are now easily available in a variety of materials and colors. Please discuss all available options with your dental surgeon.

Patients are advised to be extra vigilant about their teeth with braces as irregular or insufficient brushing and flossing have the potential to cause build up of plaque and permanent brown stains. Your oral surgeon will usually advise on how to take care of your teeth and braces. Also avoid biting into hard foods such as hard candy, nuts or ice cubes after dental surgery. If the wires or brackets come off, please contact your dental surgeon.

Retainers

Retainers, as the name suggests, are used to retain the teeth in their position. They are usually used after braces are removed and are worn for varying lengths of time which usually depends on the age of the patient and the condition of the teeth. Retainers can be made of plastic or metallic wires that hold the teeth in place. They are either fixed or detachable.

Extractions

Extraction refers to the removal or cutting of a tooth that is either diseased, crowding the jaw or is causing pain or discomfort for any other reason. Depending on the number and location of the tooth to be extracted, local or general anesthesia may be used by the oral surgeon. Wisdom teeth can cause severe pain in some people and are often extracted before they cause pain and discomfort. Extractions are also a very important part of dental surgery.

 

Periodontics

Peri means around, and odont refers to teeth in Greek. Periodontal disease, therefore, refers primarily to diseases of the gum. This includes common gum diseases such as inflammation and bleeding to diseases that can lead to serious consequences such as bone loss and soft tissue damage. Some of the commonly performed procedures in periodontics oral surgery include:

 

Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a procedure done to remove excess gum tissue to expose more of the natural teeth crown. This is often done for people whose teeth appear too short and the gum tissue too prominent on smiling. This procedure can also fix uneven gum lines by contouring the gums and enhancing the smile of a person. Apart from its use in smile makeovers, crown lengthening often becomes necessary when a tooth gets broken or decayed and is the only way to access the area beneath the gum line.

Soft Tissue Graft

 

Soft tissue grafting is, in essence, the opposite of crown lengthening. In this procedure, soft tissue grafts are used to cover teeth that have become overexposed due to gum recession. Receding gums beside looking unappealing also cause discomfort and sensitivity to both hot and cold food.

Dental Care at The Foleck Center

 

At the Foleck Center, we have a team of dental surgeons that excel in dental surgery. We offer oral surgery services in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Hampton. The Foleck Center has built a strong reputation in dentistry because of its commitment to provide patients with the best quality services in dental care. Our dental surgeons use the latest advances in science and technology to provide our patients with the most effective treatment options and the best results. If you are looking for reliable and effective dental care, look no further. Call one of our three locations and schedule a free consultation today.

Keep in mind that delaying treatment of dental issues can result in infections and other complications that are preventable if treatment is initiated on time. Talk to our team of dentists to find out the best possible treatment options for you, how the procedures work and what precautions you need to take once treatment is complete. We will be happy to answer any queries and/or concerns you might have regarding any dental treatment or procedure. Call us today, and our dental staff will be happy to assist you.