Home Dentistry Articles Dental surgery
Dental Surgery is any number of medical procedures
which involve artificially modifying the dentition. Some of
the more common are:
Endodontic (Surgery involving the pulp
or root of the tooth)
Pulpotomy - The opening of the pulp
chamber of the tooth to allow an infection to drain;
Usually a precursor to a root canal
Pulpectomy - The removal of the pulp
from the pulp chamber to temoprarily relieve pain; Usually
a precursor to a root canal.
Apiectomy - A root-end resection.
Occasionally a root canal alone will not be enough to
relieve pain and the end of the tooth, called the apex,
will be removed by entering through the gingiva and
surgically extracting the diseased material.
Prosthodontic (Dental Prosthetics)
Crowns (Caps) - Artificial coverings
of the tooth made from a variety of materials, including
CMC/PMC (Ceramic/Porcelain Metal Composite), gold or
a tin/aluminium mixture. The underlying tooth must be
reshaped to accommodate these
Veneers - Artificial coverings similar
to above, except that they only cover the forward (labial
or buccal) surface of the tooth. Usually for aesthetic
Bridges - A set of three or more
fused crowns which bridge a missing tooth (teeth). Typically
used after an extraction.
Implants - A procedure in which a
base is set into the bone (Mandible or Maxilla), allowed
to heal, and months later a artificial tooth is screwed
Dentures (False Teeth) - A partial
or complete set of dentition which either attach to
neighboring teeth by use of metal or plastic grasps
or to the gingival or palatial surface by use of adhesive.
Implant-Supported Prosthesis - A
combonation of dentures and implants, bases are placed
into the bone, allowed to heal, and metal appliances
are fixed to the gingival surface, following which dentures
are placed atop and fixed into place.
Implants and Implant-Supported Prosthesis
- also an Orthodontic treatment as it involves bones
Apiectomy - Also an orthodontic treatment
as part of the underlying bone structure must be removed.
Extraction - A procedure in which
a diseased, redundant or problematic tooth is removed,
either by pulling or cutting out. This procedure can
be done under local or general anesthesia and is very
common - many people have their Wisdom teeth removed
before they become problematic.
Forms of dental anesthesia are similar to general
medical anesthesia except for the use of Nitrous Oxide, relatively
uncommon outside of the dental field in the U.S.
Nitrous Oxide (N2O) AKA "Laughing
Gas" binds to the hemoglobin in the lungs, where it
travels to the brain, leaving a disassociated and euphoric
feeling for most patients. N2O is typically used in conjunction
Local anesthetics used are Lidocaine
or Xylocaine (a modern replacement for Novocaine, Procaine),
Septicaine (a numbing medication which can overpower infection,
which can make it difficult to get numb), and Marcaine (a
long-acting anesthetic). A combonation of these may be used
depending on the situation. Also, most agents come in two
forms: with and without epinephrine.
Eugenol - Made from clove oil, this is
a topical anesthetic also used in the common dental material
ZOE (Zinc Oxide Eugenol).
Topical anesthetics - Benzocaine, Eugenol,
and forms of Xylocaine are used topically to numb various
areas before injections or other minor procedures
General anesthesia - Drugs such as Versed,
Ketamine and Fentynyl are used to put the patient in a twilight
sleep or render them completely unconscious and unaware
Electrical Nerve Blocks - A technology
that involves using electrical current to block the reception
or generation of pain signals.
Branch Block - A common form of local
dental anesthesia, blocks the reception of pain for one
quadrant of the mouth at a time.Typically given in the buccal
surface (cheek). (IAB, MNB are types of this block)
Dental block - Given below the tooth
in question. Used usually for minor procedures such as fillings.
Palatial Block - Given into the hard
palate, useful in numbing the upper teeth.
Intraosseous - An injection of local
anesthetic given directly into the osseous (bone) structure
of the tooth.
Intrapulpal - An injection of local anesthetic
given directly into the pulp of the tooth to completely
desensitize the tooth.
An alternative to chemical or electrical
blocks, acupuncture or acupressure is rarely used.