Mr Stefano Stea | London | Dentoalveolar surgery
Dentoalveolar surgery is the surgical treatment of disorders of the teeth and their supporting hard and soft tissues (excluding restoration of the teeth, such as dental fillings, crowns and bridges) and encompasses the following areas:
- Surgical removal of teeth - Some teeth, because of the extent of breakdown of the tooth, caused by tooth decay or tooth fracture, or because of problems with the surrounding bone may require referral to a specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for removal. Patients may also require referral because of their medical problems which can make tooth removal more complicated.
- Removal of impacted or ectopic teeth, including wisdom teeth - Teeth which have developed out of their normal position or lie at an unusual angle in the jaw can be considered impacted or ectopic. Removal of these teeth is not straightforward and again requires referral to a specialist. The teeth most commonly treated are impacted wisdom teeth and impacted canine teeth.
- Removal of benign cysts of the jaw - A cyst is a pathological cavity within the jaws. There are several types of jaws cysts. Treatment of jaws cysts usually requires surgical removal but treatment is dependant on the actual type of cyst. Referral to a specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is required for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
- Removal of benign growths of the jaw - This involves the surgical management of non-cancerous growths of the jaws.
- Removal of developmental abnormalities of the teeth and jaws - There are a number of conditions which occur due to problems with tooth or jaw bone formation. These conditions range from development of extra (supernumerary) teeth to malformation of teeth such as odontomes. Jaw bone abnormalities can include areas of additional bone formation (bony exostoses) to abnormalities in bone development such as fibrous dysplasia.
- Pre-orthodontic surgery - In addition to removal of impacted or ectopic teeth, which can block the alignment of teeth using braces, a number of ectopic or buried teeth can be exposed into the mouth by removing the overlying bone and gum tissue. The tooth can then be brought into a normal position with a brace. This is a common procedure for canine teeth in the upper jaw.
- Tooth transplantation - In some circumstances where a front tooth has been lost due to trauma, a buried or impacted tooth from the same patient can be removed and transplanted into the position of the lost front tooth.
- Pre-prosthetic surgery - This involves surgical procedures enabling the construction and optimum function of dentures. Procedures can involve repositioning of the gum tissue to allow dentures to fit better or the placement of bone grafts to build up deficient areas of jaw bone.
- Dental implants - These are titanium root forms which can be placed into areas of missing teeth in order to support an overlying crown, bridge or denture. Treatment with dental implants may be provided by a team comprised of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and Restorative Dentists. Preparatory surgery may be required in the form of bone grafting to the jaws or sinuses in order to create enough bone within which to place the implants.