Reconstructive surgery focuses on rebuilding the form and function of damaged or lost oral structures. Restorative oral surgery aims to repair damaged teeth or replace missing teeth. The two treatments usually go together.

The Need for Restorative and Reconstructive Oral Surgery

Restorative and reconstructive oral surgery is useful since damaged or missing teeth:

  • Make chewing food difficult, and improperly chewed food leads to indigestion and poor nutrition, which are both bad for your health
  • Interferes with dental aesthetics; many people feel self-conscious about damaged or missing teeth
  • Increases the risk of further damage or loss of missing teeth

Some of the damages the surgeries fix include dental cavities, chipped teeth, and cracked teeth.

Examples of Restorative and Reconstructive Oral Surgeries

Below are common forms of restorative and reconstructive oral surgeries.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is an artificial tooth that the dentist uses to replace a missing tooth. The implant replaces the root of the missing or extracted tooth and crowns it with a suitable material. The implant process is surgical because the dentist cuts into your gum tissues and drills into your jawbone to insert the root during the procedure.

Tooth Extraction

Simple tooth extraction does not involve surgery; the dentist uses a pair of forceps to clasp and pulls out the tooth. A surgical extraction is necessary for complicated cases where simple extraction might damage too much tissue, leave bits of the tooth under the gum, or fail to work. For example, you might need surgery to extract an impacted tooth.

TMJ Surgery

The temporomandibular joint connects the skull and the jawbone. Injuries, diseases, and congenital defects sometimes throw the joint out and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). You might need surgery for a complicated TMJD that other treatments cannot alleviate.

Jaw Reconstruction

Jaw reconstruction realigns your jaw and teeth to correct jawbone irregularities. For example, you may need jaw reconstruction if you have speech or swallowing problems that medical professionals have traced back to jawbone problems. You may also need the treatment to correct extreme bite problems, repair facial injuries, or achieve facial symmetry.

Gum Graft Surgery

Gum graft surgery reduces or builds up your gum tissues, depending on their condition. For example, you may need to build up your gum tissues if extreme gum recession has exposed your teeth roots. You may need to trim your gum tissues if they are overgrown (dentists call the condition gingival hyperplasia).

Hopefully, you will get the necessary treatment to restore or reconstruct your dental system. Contact your dentist for a diagnosis so they can determine how to approach your treatment.