Also Serving Evanston & Skokie
Oral surgery is a specialty in dentistry, but it is also a set of skills that most general dentists routinely draw upon in their practices.
Serious cases of facial trauma, severe infections, tumors and conditions affecting jaw function will require referral to an oral surgeon. In other instances, such as placing dental implants, extracting teeth and performing elements of full mouth reconstruction, your experienced Contos Smile Center dentist will use specialized surgical techniques to restore optimal health to your teeth and gums. Some of these areas include:
Root Canals and Extractions
Although root canal is often not considered to be a surgical procedure, it requires many of the skills of an oral surgeon. During a root canal, your dentist saves an infected or inflamed tooth by drilling deep into ith; removing the interior nerve, lymph tissue and blood vessels; eliminating the infection; disinfecting the chamber; and securing the tooth with a strong, flexible filling. When infection or trauma has caused extreme damage to a tooth, an extraction may be the only option.
In many ways, this procedure is the mirror image of a tooth extraction. Your experienced Contos Smile Center dentist surgically implants a titanium “root” in the jaw as a first step in creating an enduring, natural-looking tooth replacement. Once the titanium post fuses with the bone in your jaw and fully heals, this sturdy anchor is topped with the artificial tooth. In some complex cases, bone grafting or jaw surgery may be required to prepare the mouth for implants.
These grafts are used not only in some dental implant cases, but also when periodontal disease has seriously damaged the integrity of the bone in your jaw.
Excess plaque buildup under the gum line causes gingivitis. With this condition, gum pockets increase in volume, eventually separating the gum from the bone and creating a haven for bacteria. The bacteria, in turn, eat away at the root and the bone which secures it. Scaling and planing can stop or reverse this process by cleaning out the pockets and inserting a time-release antibiotic under the gum line. But severe cases of gum disease may also need grafts of bone or soft tissue to restore the bone and fortify the root.
Patients who experience TMJ may require a realignment of joints that control jaw movement, and sometimes even more invasive surgical treatments, such as arthrotomy or condylotomy. The latter procedure is performed to repair damage to the mandible, and is typically considered in cases where patients report locking of the jaw.
Generally non-surgical solutions are tried first in TMJ cases, however. Such treatment options include muscle relaxants, occlusal appliances such as mouth guards or oral splints, physical therapy focused on exercising the jaw muscles, stress management, corticosteroid injections and arthrocentesis, which involves insertion of needles into the joint to remove debris or substances that may be interfering with jaw function.
For more information on oral surgical procedures or to schedule an appointment in our Chicago office, call (773) 973-0531 or email Contos Smile Center today.
We are dedicated to providing the highest level of service and quality to our patient community by cultivating strong relationships, communicating thoughtful treatment solutions, and providing an enjoyable atmosphere, we can empower our patients to take ownership of their oral health.
We are committed to researching and offering state-of-the-art dental solutions in order to deliver the most advanced treatment options to our patients.