When it comes to dental care in the U.S., the CDC estimates that less than 65% of adults make time for dental visits. It’s often one of those items on the to-do list that doesn’t happen until there’s a problem, but once we have an issue, it’s too late for preventative care. If you’ve let your dental care fall behind, you might end up needing oral surgery to correct the problem. While this may seem scarier than an annual visit to the dental clinic, knowing what to expect from different oral surgeries can help lessen your anxiety, and can help motivate you to make that appointment today to establish preventative routines. Here are three top reasons you should think about investing in a visit to the oral surgeon.
- Sleep Apnea
Oral surgeons are also prepared to help treat severe sleep apnea. This treatment path is typically preceded by overnight sleep studies and attempts by your dentist or care provider to treat your condition with non-surgical treatments, such as behavioral therapy or even non-surgical equipment. If these less invasive treatments do not help, an oral surgeon can make alterations in your jaw placement, soft palate, or even your tongue to make it easier for you to breathe normally. For more information regarding major risk factors for sleep apnea, you can contact an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, such as George Hatzigiannis, for further guidance.
- Impacted Teeth Correction
A common reason for wisdom teeth removal, tooth impaction can cause excruciating pain and crowding. A tooth is considered impacted if it has not yet erupted due to lack of space. Generally, if impacted teeth are not surgically removed or exposed, this can put you at risk for other types of periodontal diseases. Usually your dentist can diagnose impacted teeth using X-rays, and then refer you to an oral surgeon. When it comes to an impacted tooth, early extraction by a skilled oral maxillofacial surgeon can prevent painful jaw and gum issues that would ultimately be more costly and detrimental to the rest of your dental health.
- Dental Implants
An oral maxillofacial surgeon can also provide dental implant services. Dental implants are more permanent solutions to missing teeth, as they are surgically implanted into the space your teeth were before. Implants can have the following benefits:
- Cosmetic – Implants look and feel like natural teeth while supporting your natural jawline and face shape.
- Functional – They also prevent shifting of remaining teeth and keep proper spacing in your mouth, making it easier to eat, talk, and keep your mouth clean.
- Cost-efficient – As an alternative to dentures or bridges that require frequent care and replacement, implants will be more cost-efficient over time.
- Preventative – Protecting your jawbone from deterioration is a major advantage of implants over more temporary solutions such as dentures.
When it comes to your oral care, it’s not enough just to brush and floss your teeth. Consistent preventative care can help to prevent major issues, but whether now or later, you’re likely to find yourself in need of an oral surgeon. By investing in your oral care and being aware of the reasons you might need oral surgery in the future, you can be more prepared to take control of your dental health.