Dentoalveolar Surgery

A smiling manMost procedures that an oral and maxillofacial surgeon performs are in fact dentoalveolar surgeries.  The alveolar is the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth, so ‘dentoalveolar’ refers to the tooth and neighboring bone. Dentoalveolar surgery usually involves problems with teeth, gums, jawbone, and other bony or soft tissues.

What are some examples of dentoalveolar surgery?

There are many different procedures that are considered dentoalveolar, including:

  • Tooth Extraction – the removal of a tooth with extreme decay, cracks or other issues that problems for the entire mouth (e.g. an impacted wisdom tooth).
  • Biopsy – the surgical removal of a tissue sample for analysis.
  • Apicoectomy – the removal of infected tooth pulp at the tip of the tooth’s root.
  • Alveoplasty – the reshaping of the alveolar bone so that a comfortable dental prosthesis can easily fit the jaw.
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What is a dentoalveolar infection and will it go away on its own?

A dentoalveolar infection is an infection in or around your tooth or teeth, and it will NOT go away on its own. In the case of an infection, we attempt to save the tooth by performing a root canal, draining the infection or prescribing antibiotics.  Only as a last resort, we will remove the tooth if saving it is not possible. 

What causes a dentoalveolar infection?

Infection occurs when food gets trapped in the soft tissue surrounding a tooth or when bacteria enters a tooth through an untreated cavity or a chip in the enamel. 

What happens if a dentoalveolar infection is not treated?

If left untreated, a dentoalveolar infection can spread to other parts of your mouth or even your blood, causing a potentially life-threatening condition called Sepsis. This is why we strongly urge you to call us and schedule an evaluation if you have any symptoms.

What are the symptoms of a dentoalveolar infection or tooth abscess?

Some symptoms include:

  • A severe, persistent and throbbing toothache, which is also felt in the jawbone, neck or ear.
  • Sensitivity to temperature and the pressure of chewing or biting.
  • Swelling in the face or cheek.

Please call us immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. It could mean the difference between saving your natural tooth or not! Cooper and Thomas Oral Surgery Phone Number 713-592-9336