Monthly Archives: October 2018

TMJ oral surgery

TMJ Treatment — Is Oral Surgery the Answer?

When it comes to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment, oral surgery is usually the last resort.

For many people who suffer from TMJ disorder, self-care strategies and conservative measures — such as trigger-point injections or wearing a stabilization splint to prevent nighttime tooth grinding — help to alleviate jaw pain, restore proper joint movement and put an end to other troublesome symptoms.

 TMJ oral surgery

However, for some patients, these TMJ treatments fail to provide relief. In those cases, one of the oral surgery procedures listed below may be an effective solution.

TMJ Arthrocentesis

Among the surgical TMJ treatment options, arthrocentesis is the least invasive option. As such, it also offers the quickest recovery — most patients are fully healed within a day or two.

This oral surgery involves irrigating the affected jaw joint with a sterile solution. This flushes the space, removing inflammatory chemicals and scar tissue. After the irrigation is complete, the oral surgeon may inject a lubricant or corticosteroid to allow for easier, pain-free joint movement.

TMJ Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy, or arthroscopic oral surgery, is the next least invasive surgical treatment for TMJ disorder. Healing from this procedure generally takes at least a week.

To perform an arthroscopy, the oral surgeon makes a small incision close to the ear and inserts a tiny camera into the affected joint, using a specialized surgical tool called an arthroscope. The images, which are projected to a video monitor, are used to guide the removal of any loose and inflamed joint tissues, and if necessary, to suture or properly realign the cushioning discs within the joint space.

TMJ Arthroplasty

Arthroplasty is the most complex type of surgical TMJ treatment. Unlike arthrocentesis and arthroscopy, this oral surgery is performed at a local hospital instead of in-office, as it usually requires general anesthesia. Healing from arthroplasty also takes longer than the less invasive options — patients typically need between two and six weeks to fully recover.

During an arthroplasty, the oral surgeon makes an incision along the ear to expose the joint space. This allows for the removal of bone spurs, adhesions and jaw growths that cause pain and range-of-motion problems.

Do you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder? If conservative TMJ treatments just aren’t working to alleviate your symptoms and the condition is affecting your quality of life, oral surgery may be the answer. 

To learn if surgical TMJ treatment is in your best interest, you’ll need to consult with a local oral surgeon with expertise in managing jaw-related facial conditions. If you live in east central Indiana, the professional team at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can evaluate your jaw joint and determine your best approach to symptomatic relief.

As specialists in treating temporomandibular joint disorder, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Alderman have years of experience successfully helping patients throughout Wayne Township and Wayne County. For sound advice on whether oral surgery is the right TMJ treatment for you, contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Pregnancy

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal During Pregnancy Safe?

Can you safely undergo wisdom teeth removal if you’re pregnant?

Many moms-to-be suffer pain, swelling and sensitivity in the wisdom tooth area, thanks to all the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Yet pregnant women are understandably cautious about getting oral surgery due to the potential effect it could have on the baby.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Pregnancy

Here, we explore some of the most common safety concerns expecting moms have about wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy.

Are Wisdom Teeth X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

Oral surgeons need diagnostic x-rays to safely perform wisdom tooth extraction procedures – but aren’t expecting moms supposed to avoid getting x-rays?

Yes and no. While routine x-rays should wait until after the baby arrives, experts agree that the benefits of diagnostic imaging tests outweigh the risks. X-rays of the wisdom teeth don’t directly expose the abdominal area to radiation, so there’s very little chance of harm to a developing fetus.

Plus, the amount of radiation delivered by dental x-rays is extremely low, not enough to cause adverse effects. And, to further minimize the risks, oral surgeons take as few images as possible, using leaded aprons and collars to shield the mom-to-be and her unborn baby.

Is Oral Surgery Anesthesia Safe During Pregnancy?

For most wisdom tooth extraction procedures, oral surgeons administer anesthesia to keep patients comfortable – and pregnant women are no exception.

Stronger forms of oral surgery anesthesia, including laughing gas and IV sedation, are not recommended during pregnancy, as their use can increase the risk of miscarriage. However, studies show that local anesthetics, like lidocaine, are safe for moms-to-be.

In addition, when administering local anesthesia to expecting moms, oral surgeons take care to keep the dosage low and use as little medication as possible – just enough to provide a comfortable experience.

What is the Safest Time to Schedule Wisdom Teeth Removal?

When moms-to-be need wisdom tooth extraction, oral surgeons aim to schedule the procedure during the second trimester.

During the first three months of pregnancy, oral surgery could hamper the growth and development of the unborn baby. Tooth extraction can be safe during the third trimester, but at that stage, expecting moms may not be able to sit comfortably for the amount of time required to complete the procedure.

However, every pregnant patient has unique health concerns. For some high-risk pregnancies, wisdom teeth removal may need to be postponed until after delivery.

Is your pregnancy causing wisdom tooth problems? For expert advice in the greater east central Indiana area, turn to the professionals at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dr. Partridge and Dr. Alderman, our board-certified oral surgeons, specialize in wisdom teeth removal and have extensive experience working with moms-to-be. We understand the challenges of oral surgery during pregnancy, and we can address all of your concerns and questions.

If you’re pregnant and think you might need tooth extraction, contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and schedule a wisdom teeth removal consultation today.