Oral surgery is one of nine recognized dental specialties in Canada. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can complete surgical treatments for issues related to the hard and soft tissues of the mouth and surrounding facial region.
Oral surgeons in Canada need to complete an advanced educational program to practice the dental specialty of oral surgery. This includes a residency program and a passing grade in the National Dental Specialty Examination (NDSE) in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This test is administered by the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC).
Oral and maxillofacial surgery may be performed in hospital settings or outpatient clinics, depending on the type of surgery and where the oral surgeon’s practice is located.
Oral Surgery for Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate
Cleft lip and cleft palates are common congenital disabilities (birth defects) that usually require surgical intervention. Surgeries are typically completed within the first year after the child is born, although it tends to take multiple surgeries to correct cleft lips and cleft palates. Typically, these surgeries are completed in a hospital setting and with the patient under general anesthesia.
Oral Surgery for Wisdom Teeth Removal
In many cases, tooth extractions do not require surgical intervention. However, complex tooth removals may be referred to an oral surgeon, including complicated wisdom teeth removals. This may include when the wisdom teeth are impacted, infected, erupting improperly, or when tumours or cysts have begun to form around the wisdom teeth.
Oral Surgery for TMD
TMD is a set of disorders related to the functioning of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the upper jaw to the lower jaw. TMD can cause pain and discomfort. Although it’s usually treated with less invasive techniques, such as bite splints and night guards, more severe cases may require surgery. There are several types of TMJ surgery available.
Oral Surgery for Dental Implants
The placement of dental implants requires a surgical procedure to be performed by a specialized oral surgeon. In this procedure, the surgeon places small titanium posts into the jawbone as a foundation for implants (permanent false teeth). Dental implants are a permanent solution for tooth loss, but depending on how many implants are needed, several procedures may be required and the entire process can take several months.
Oral Surgery FAQ
Will I need general anesthesia or sedation for my surgical procedure?
Not necessarily. Some of the longer or more complex surgical procedures may require general anesthesia or sedation. Children, people with anxiety, or people with other health issues or disorders may also require general anesthesia or sedation to ensure a successful surgery.
Will my oral surgery be covered?
Oral surgeries vary in the level of coverage available through public health care and dental insurance plans. Your oral surgeon will be able to discuss your treatment options with you, including coverage for various kinds of procedures. You may also need to check with your dental insurance plan provider to see what level of coverage is offered for specific types of procedures. There may also be government programs available to help you pay for your surgery. These tend to vary from province to province.
How can I find out if my surgeon is licensed?
Each province has its own governing body for oral surgeons, where the names and details of licensed oral surgeons are listed. You can visit the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC) to find your provincial governing body.
Are there risks associated with oral surgery?
As in any surgical procedure, there may be risks associated with oral surgery. The specific risks depend on the type of surgery, what type of anesthesia or sedation is required, and your medical history and current health. Be sure to speak directly with your surgeon about potential risks before your procedure.
Find Dental Specialists in Canada
Oral surgeons can provide treatment for correcting jaw misalignments, removing teeth, implanting dental devices, or a number of other oral health issues. The 123Dentist network of dental care professionals includes a number of qualified oral surgeons in Canada.