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Oral Surgery

All about oral surgery

Oral surgery is a specialty in any surgery than involves the mouth. This includes the jaw, wisdom teeth removal and tooth replacement. It involves diagnosing problems, treating them, and patient follow up.

Why Jaw Surgery is Done

Jaw surgery is usually performed as a corrective measure by an oral or maxillofacial surgeon. Such corrective jaw surgery is necessary if a person has trouble or pain while chewing, trouble swallowing, or pain up the jaw and headaches (often caused by TMJ). Jaw surgery can also be done to correct problems such as a protruding or receding jaw, or due to birth defects or facial injuries. Before jaw surgery, orthodontic braces are often used to move the teeth into a position that will be more in line with where the jaw will end up. The jaw surgery may be done in an office, or a hospital, depending on the extent of the work being done, and can take anywhere from one to several hours to complete. Recovery time is usually up to six weeks, with full healing of the jaw taking up to a year.

If a patient requires dental surgery, they can usually get a referral from a dentist. This will probably be done with any dental work that is outside the realm of simple tooth extraction. It can include root canals, bridges, implants or dentures. In a root canal, the nerve of the tooth becomes infected, making it very painful to bite. During a root canal, the endodontist (dental surgeon) cuts through the tooth and removes the infected tissue (called pulp) from your tooth. This allows you to keep the tooth and get rid of the pain.

Oral Surgery Coverage

As advances in dental care have made the cost of oral surgery higher, many of the health insurance payments have remained the same. Dental work remains a low priority on most employers and the United States government insurance plans. Although a root canal can cost $700 to $1100, depending on where you live, and a tooth implant costs anywhere from $1000 to $5000, most health insurance that covers oral surgery puts a yearly cap of $1200 to $1500 on payments. Many people who need such operations put them off because of the cost, a situation that would probably not happen if your doctor told you that you needed to have an operation. Over 40 percent of the people who require dental work have to pay for it completely out of pocket.

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