Oral Surgery 101: What Is It and Who Needs It?

Thursday October 19, 2017 by
Melissa Brown, DDS

There are a lot of misconceptions about the field of dentistry. In fact, a common one is the belief that dental offices can provide any oral-related treatment patients need. However, that actually isn’t the case. Many dentist offices can’t perform oral surgeries.

What Is Oral Surgery?
Oral surgery is surgical treatment—for functional or aesthetic reasons—of the face, mouth, teeth, and/or jaws. Although dentists can treat common dental concerns like cavities, bridges, root canals, crowns, and fillings, they sometimes refer patients to oral surgeons for work outside their usual practice.
Oral surgeons—sometimes referred to as maxillofacial surgeons—are specialists who typically have an additional 4-8 years of dental school.

What Conditions Are Treated by Oral Surgeons?
There are many conditions that can be treated by oral surgeons. These conditions include:

  • Emergency Extractions – While a dentist is similarly capable of extractions, some extractions are so complicated that they require the expertise of an oral surgeon, especially in the case of emergencies
  • Placing Dental Implants – Oral surgeons can reconstruct bone and modify gum tissue for dental implant placement.
  • Diagnosing and Treating TMJ Problems – Many patients don’t require surgery for TMJ problems. However, for those who do, an oral surgeon can help.
  • Evaluating Cysts, Tumors, and Infections – Oral surgeons treat cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, as well as severe infections of the oral cavity.
    Performing Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery – These surgeries sometimes involve using skin, bone, nerves, and tissues from other areas of the body to reconstruct the jaw and face. An oral surgeon is gifted at handling these types of complex surgical procedures.
  • Treating Facial Trauma – Oral surgeons are experienced at treating fractured facial bones and severed nerves.
  • Providing Surgical Treatment for Sleep Apnea – If behavioral modifications or oral appliances don’t work, sleep apnea can be surgically treated by an oral surgeon.

Does Murray Hill Have an Oral Surgeon on Staff?
Oral Surgeon
We’re so glad you asked! Yes, we do. We’re pleased to announce that oral surgeon Dr. Julie Park has joined our staff. With over a decade of experience, she’s skilled at handling complex surgical cases.

Not only are we thrilled to add her to the team, but we know our patients will be too—because our office will be even better equipped to handle dental emergencies. Unfortunately, many people who need emergency extractions opt to go to an ER. Yet, it’s a rare hospital that has someone on staff who’s qualified to treat the problem. Dr. Park is qualified to treat complicated emergency extractions.

Speaking of dental care, are you due for an appointment? If so, we encourage you to schedule one. It’s easy to do so! To set one up online or give us a call today at either our West Columbus or Westerville offices.