Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah

Oral Surgeon or Dentist: Which One Should You Visit?

Is it time to see a dentist, or is an oral surgeon more suited to your needs?

Although routine care generally calls for a dentist appointment, more challenging issues typically require the expertise of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Although both types of practitioners deal with issues relating to the oral cavity, these two professional skillsets are different.

Oral Surgeon or Dentist Which One Should You Visit

The Role of a Dentist

A general dentist is a primary dental health provider, responsible for diagnosing, treating and providing preventive care for issues that affect the teeth and mouth.

Dentist duties include cleaning the mouth and repairing teeth with fillings, crowns, veneers, and bridges. Dentists also perform simple tooth extractions, provide fluoride treatments and educate patients. In the course of treatment, dentists look for abnormalities in the teeth, jaws, gums or facial region. If any are found, the patient is referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

The Role of an Oral Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have years of additional, specialized training in treating problems of the hard and soft tissues in the mouth and face.

When a patient is referred to an oral surgeon, it’s often because a general dentist cannot treat the problem. But in some cases, dentists refer patients out simply because a surgeon is better able to provide the type of specialized care they require.

Reasons to Visit an Oral Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons treat a wide range of dental and facial issues. Reasons patients schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon and not a general dentist include:

  • Impacted canine and wisdom teeth

  • Complex tooth extractions

  • Facial fractures and injuries

  • Jaw misalignment

  • Congenital defects

  • Bone loss in the jawbone

  • Dental implant placement

  • Temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) disorder

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

  • Head, neck and mouth cancer


In addition, patients who suffer from dental anxiety often visit oral and maxillofacial surgeons, even when care from a general dentist would suffice. These patients prefer to be sedated for any procedure, and most dentists aren’t qualified to administer intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia.

Think you might need to visit an oral surgeon? For friendly, compassionate care in the greater Salt Lake City area, make an appointment at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. Our board-certified surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, deliver first-rate results through treatment designed to maximize patient comfort.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery employs the latest technological and surgical advances in treating a full range of problems related to the teeth, jaws and facial regions. No matter what type of treatment you require, you’ll be in good hands with our professional team. Rest assured, we’ll do everything we can to give you a positive, comfortable experience.

We’ll help you achieve lasting oral and maxillofacial health. Contact any of our northern Utah offices conveniently located in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele and schedule an oral surgeon consultation today.

What Happens During a Tooth Extraction?

Is tooth extraction in your future? Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for the procedure.

The specifics will depend upon the location of the tooth and whether any issues could complicate the procedure. Tooth extractions can be either simple or complex, and your oral surgeon will let you know which type you need. However, the tooth removal process generally follows a standard routine.

What Happens During a Tooth Extraction

Simple Tooth Extractions

When a tooth has fully erupted and mostly intact, extraction is usually simple and quick. From start to finish, most procedures take under 40 minutes.

After administering a local anesthetic to numb the area, and if requested, dental sedation to calm the nerves, the oral surgeon gently wiggles the tooth free. Patients feel pressure, but not any pain. Afterward, discomfort and swelling are easily managed with ice packs and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil.

Complex Tooth Extractions

When a tooth has extensive damage or is impacted in the gums — as is often the case with wisdom teeth — extraction is considered complex as it requires oral surgery.

As with simple procedures, oral surgeons start complex extractions by administering a local anesthetic and dental sedation. Surgical removal generally involves pulling back the gum tissue to expose the tooth, and sutures may be placed to close the socket after removal. The recovery period is a bit longer than with a simple extraction, but most patients don’t find the discomfort or swelling any more difficult to manage — ice packs and NSAIDs are usually all that’s needed for a comfortable recovery.

Planning Your Tooth Extraction

When you head to a local oral surgeon for a tooth removal consultation, you can expect a thorough assessment, starting with an oral examination and diagnostic X-rays. This gives a clear picture of what is needed to extract the tooth safely, without damage to the surrounding tissues.

In planning the procedure, your oral surgeon will take every step to ensure you have a comfortable, pain-free experience. Extractions are always performed as simply and conservatively as possible, and dental sedation is available to keep you relaxed and at ease during the procedure.

Do you need to have a tooth extracted? If you’re looking for a compassionate and highly skilled oral surgeon in the Salt Lake City area, schedule a consultation with the board-certified professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.

With over 10 years of experience in both simple and complex tooth extractions, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield plan every procedure with both safety and patient comfort in mind. The entire Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team is committed to giving every patient a positive experience.

For expert, compassionate care, contact one of our three convenient northern Utah offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele and schedule a tooth extraction consultation today.

How to Prevent Dental Implant Failure

Dental implant failure is a rare occurrence. In fact, most patients never experience any complications.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), 95 percent of the millions of implants placed each year are successful. That number jumps higher — up to 98 percent — for artificial teeth that are implanted by a tooth restoration specialist.

If you want to be part of the 98 percent, take just a few simple steps to prevent dental implant failure and boost your chance of a successful recovery.

How to Prevent Dental Implant Failure

Choose an Experienced Tooth Restoration Specialist

Choosing an oral surgeon with years of expertise in tooth restoration — such as the professionals here at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah — is key to minimizing the likelihood of dental implant failure. Going with a general dentist might cost a bit less, but you’ll risk a less-than-optimal outcome.

Avoid Smoking and Drinking After Implant Surgery

Smoking and drinking slow the healing process, which increases the probability of infection and implant failure. If you’re a smoker, try to quit before tooth restoration, or at the very least, don’t use tobacco in the week before implant surgery. After your artificial teeth have been implanted, aim to avoid smoking and drinking for as long as possible.

Don’t Put Pressure on a New Dental Implant

To help prevent implant failure, avoid putting pressure on your artificial teeth during the recovery period. This will help the implants fuse to the jawbone and heal properly. So don’t eat anything crunchy until your tooth restoration specialist gives you the go-ahead. And don’t chew on pencils or other nonfood items, or otherwise use your teeth as tools.

Care for Your Smile Following Dental Implant Surgery

Keeping up with your oral health care is crucial after tooth restoration — slack off on the daily routine of brushing and flossing, and implant failure is more likely. Your oral surgeon may also recommend using a therapeutic mouth rinse or an interdental brush.

Also, schedule regular examinations and cleanings to catch any implant problems in the early stages, when they’re easier to treat.

If you want your dental implants to last a lifetime — and who doesn’t? — having them placed by a local tooth restoration specialist is your best bet. In the greater Salt Lake City area, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are the go-to implant surgery experts.

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, our professional team takes every possible step to ensure our patients achieve a successful, complication-free recovery from tooth restoration. To learn more about our commitment to helping prevent dental implant failure, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office to schedule a consultation today.

Oral Surgeons Explain How to Manage a Facial Injury

If you suffer a facial injury, an oral surgeon is often the medical professional of choice to provide emergency treatment.

In the meantime, you or someone nearby may need to provide first aid. By taking the proper steps to address injuries to the mouth and face, you can potentially help improve the outcome of your medical treatment.

Oral Surgeons Explain How to Manage a Facial Injury

Cut Inside the Mouth

A facial injury to the cheeks, lips, gums or tongue can cause excessive bleeding in the mouth. To help stop the bleeding, rinse with salt water and apply some gauze. Don’t have gauze? Use a dampened tea bag or clean cloth. Keep pressure on the wound, apply ice and contact your oral surgeon immediately — even if the injury seems minor.

Soft tissue facial injuries may require stitches or further treatment to speed up healing and prevent infection.

Chipped Tooth

For a chipped tooth, first aid involves gently cleaning the injured area and applying ice to keep the swelling down. Schedule an oral surgeon facial injury consultation right away, and make sure to bring the broken tooth piece along, if you have it, as reattachment may be possible.

Dislodged Tooth

If you knock out a tooth, pick it up by the crown — not the root — and rinse it gently in salt water. Place the tooth back into its socket, if you can, or tuck it inside your cheek for safekeeping until it can be reimplanted by an oral surgeon. If the nature of your facial injury makes that too uncomfortable, store the dislodged tooth in a container of cold milk. Don’t use water, as that can damage the root tissue.

Facial Fracture

A facial injury involving a fracture of the nose, cheekbone or jaw requires immediate attention from a qualified oral surgeon. Specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgery have the advanced skills and training to repair facial bones with minimal scarring. If you suspect you have a facial fracture, apply direct pressure to control any bleeding, keep your head elevated and apply ice to keep down swelling.

Do you need immediate care for a facial injury? If you’re in the greater Salt Lake City area, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. We have three convenient locations in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Toole, and we’ll make every effort to see you as soon as possible.

Our highly trained, board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, have over 10 years of experience in the treatment of oral soft tissue injuries, damaged teeth, facial fractures and complex facial injuries. For more information on how to handle a facial injury, or to schedule an oral surgeon consultation, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah today.


Consider Oral Surgery for Treating These Common Conditions

Oral surgery may be necessary for routine procedures such as tooth extraction as well as more complex challenges such as facial reconstruction.

You may be surprised by some of the many conditions that can be addressed with comprehensive treatment by a qualified oral surgeon.

oral surgery common conditions

Tooth Impaction

Oral surgery is highly effective for treating any type of tooth impaction. For impacted wisdom teeth, extraction is usually the recommended approach. For impacted canines, treatment may require a team effort involving an orthodontist and dentist, as well as an oral surgeon.

Tooth Loss

An oral surgeon can fill gaps in your smile with dental implant surgery. Dental implants are structurally complete artificial teeth that replicate both the root and the crown structures. Implants are considered the gold standard for replacing missing teeth.

Jawbone Atrophy

Jawbone atrophy, or bone loss in the jaw, can be treated through bone graft surgery. Grafting may be required to prepare for dental implants, or an oral surgeon may recommend this procedure to prevent future tooth loss and facial fractures.

Unequal Jaw Growth

If the upper and lower jaws don’t develop at the same rate or aren’t properly aligned, it affects both function and appearance. A surgeon can correct irregularities by reconstructing and realigning one or both of the jaws. In many cases, patients undergo orthodontic treatment in conjunction with corrective jaw surgery.

Facial Trauma

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon may also be called upon for the treatment of facial injuries. Broken or knocked-out teeth, soft tissue injuries to the face and mouth and fractures involving the nose, cheekbone or jaw may all require oral surgery.

Cleft Lip and Palate

Congenital defects like cleft lip and palate are also commonly treated through oral surgery. A maxillofacial surgeon can connect the muscles and rearrange the soft tissues to eliminate the cleft, restoring mouth function and a more normal facial appearance.

TMJ Disorder

For patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, surgery is typically only considered after other types of treatment have failed. However, if conservative treatment measures do not alleviate TMJ symptoms, oral surgery — including arthrocentesis, arthroscopy or arthroplasty — can be highly effective for providing relief.

Sleep Apnea

People with sleep apnea usually manage the condition by using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, and many wear dental appliances. When those can’t be tolerated, doctors may recommend oral surgery to remove excess soft tissue in the airway, implant rods into the soft palate or reposition the jaw.

In fact, many patients choose a surgical approach because it provides the only permanent resolution for this potentially dangerous condition.

For expert care in the greater Salt Lake City area, schedule a consultation at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, our board-certified oral surgeons, are highly skilled practitioners with over a decade of experience successfully treating northern Utah patients for a variety of conditions.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, with locations in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele, is committed to both compassionate care and state-of-the-art treatment. To meet with our professional team, contact us today and schedule an oral surgery consultation.

5 Fascinating Wisdom Teeth Removal Facts

Wisdom tooth removal is a routine procedure for oral surgeons. Here at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, we perform third-molar extractions most every day.

For our patients, however, visiting us is hardly routine, and for many, the thought of getting a tooth pulled can trigger a serious case of nerves. If you’re anxious about your upcoming procedure, learning some facts about wisdom tooth removal may help you feel more at ease.

5 Fascinating Wisdom Teeth Removal Facts

Fact 1: Wisdom Tooth Removal Can Prevent Problems

The third molars can become impacted, and they often grow in at an angle, causing damage and overcrowding problems. And because the wisdom tooth area is difficult to keep clean, gum disease can easily take hold.

Removal can prevent these and other oral health problems.

Fact 2: Wisdom Teeth Problems Don’t Always Cause Symptoms

Problematic wisdom teeth often create pain and inflammation, and infection is a common occurrence. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, patients who need third-molar extraction don’t have any symptoms at all.

Fact 3: Wisdom Tooth Removal Is Best Performed Early

Oral surgeons typically recommend removing the third molars early on, before the roots have fully developed. The risk of complications is lower at this time and recovery is faster and easier. For the least troublesome experience, everyone should be evaluated for extraction in their early teens.

Fact 4: Sedation Makes Wisdom Tooth Removal Comfortable

Many patients believe that tooth extraction will be uncomfortable, if not downright painful. The good news is that the procedure itself is painless. A local anesthetic, combined with oral sedation, laughing gas or IV sedation, makes for a comfortable experience.

Fact 5: It Only Takes a Few Days to Recover After Wisdom Tooth Removal

After wisdom tooth removal, soreness and swelling typically only last for three to five days. Ice packs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can provide relief, but patients also need to take it easy, as strenuous activity within the first 48 hours after tooth extraction increases the chance of complications. Oral surgeons advise scheduling your procedure at a time when you can take a few days to rest and recuperate.

Do you have questions or concerns about wisdom tooth removal? The friendly team of professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah is happy to answer your questions. We’re committed to compassionate care, and we’ll do whatever we can to give you a positive tooth extraction experience.

Our board-certified oral surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, specialize in wisdom tooth management and have over 10 years of experience serving patients in the greater Salt Lake City area. For expert care from the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office and schedule a wisdom tooth removal consultation today.


Facial Surgery Recovery: Top Tips to Minimize Scarring

Whether you’re undergoing facial surgery for jaw reconstruction, TMJ disorder treatment or another reason, scarring may be a concern for you.

If your procedure is scheduled here at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, you can rest assured that our highly skilled oral surgeons use the most advanced techniques designed to minimize scarring.

However, you can take some steps yourself to further minimize scarring after facial surgery.

Facial Surgery Recovery Top Tips to Minimize Scarring

Don’t Stress the Incision

To keep scarring at a minimum, avoid putting stress on the surgical site. Any stress could pull the incision apart, making the wound — and the resulting scar — larger.

Rest as Recommended

If your recovery instructions say to rest at home for two weeks, don’t go back to work any sooner. Limit your activity as your oral surgeon advises, or your incision could open and you could be left with a bigger scar.

Practice Proper Wound Care

Your oral surgeon will tell you how to take proper care of your wound after facial surgery. Follow their instructions exactly to minimize scarring.

Keep an Eye Out for Infection

If you see any signs of infection — including prolonged bleeding, increased pain or swelling, discharge and fever — contact your oral surgeon immediately. Infections inhibit healing, and that can contribute to scarring.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking increases the risk for scars and slows the healing process. If you’re serious about minimizing scarring, quit smoking at least two weeks before your procedure.

Avoid Alcohol

Like smoking, alcohol slows down surgical recovery. While your incision is still healing, oral surgeons advise sticking to non-alcoholic beverages.

Stay Hydrated

Speaking of beverages, staying well hydrated is a must during facial surgery recovery. If you get dehydrated, your healing will slow and you may end up with more scarring.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Nutrition can make a difference when you’re trying to heal. If you want to minimize scarring after surgery, aim for a balanced diet with plenty of protein.

Limit Sun Exposure

Too much sun can make scarring more visible. Wear a hat when you go outside, and remember to apply sunscreen. Ask your oral surgeon which brands they recommend.

Consider Scar Treatments

Additional treatments can minimize scarring in some patients. Ask your oral surgeon about silicone wound dressings and incision massage. Certain creams and ointments can also help make scars less prominent.

If you have an upcoming procedure scheduled with Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, our oral surgeons can explain how the state-of-the-art techniques we use work to minimize scarring.

Rest assured, you’re in good hands if your procedure is performed at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield specialize in facial surgery and have more than 10 years of experience successfully treating patients in the greater Salt Lake City area.

Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today for more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss facial surgery.


7 Ways Dental Implants Beat Dentures

If your dentures are driving you nuts, getting dental implants could put an end to your frustrations and give you a beautiful, trouble-free smile.

Oral surgeons often use dental implants to replace a single tooth, but implants can also support both partial and complete dentures.

What’s so great about dental implants that you don’t get with ordinary dentures?

7 Ways Dental Implants Beat Dentures

No. 1: Comfort

Dentures simply aren’t very comfortable. Often, they just don’t feel right sitting in the mouth, no matter how many times they’re adjusted or relined.

Dental implants, on the other hand, feel completely natural. Go with implant-supported dentures, and you’ll have a gorgeous set of teeth that feels as if they grew there.

No. 2: Security

How many times have your artificial teeth threatened to slip out of your mouth? Quite a few, if you’re anything like the average denture-wearer.

With implant-supported dentures, slippage is never a concern. As the artificial teeth are fused to the jawbone so they can’t fall out, your smile will sit securely in the mouth where it belongs.

No. 3: Confidence

Do your artificial teeth make clicking noises when you talk or eat? These sounds can be embarrassing, eroding your self-confidence and maybe even causing you to miss out on spending time with friends and family.

Implant-supported dentures don’t make any embarrassing sounds. Just as with natural teeth, you’ll only hear a noise if you’re eating crunchy foods.

No. 4: Satisfaction

Speaking of eating, many foods are off-limits if you have dentures. You must avoid sticky foods, tough meats and even popcorn, as they can get stuck in your dentures or cause damage.

Replace your dentures with dental implants, and you won’t have to limit your diet. Once you’ve healed, you can eat anything and everything you like.

No. 5: Bone Preservation

Years of wearing dentures can make your face look sunken. This is because teeth aren’t rooted in the jawbone, so bone loss is inevitable.

Implant-supported dentures have titanium screws that act as replacement tooth roots. The screws stimulate tissue growth, preserving jawbone strength and appearance.

No. 6: Longevity

Dentures need to be adjusted periodically, and most patients need to replace their artificial teeth every dozen years or so. So they aren’t exactly long-lasting.

In contrast, dental implants almost never need to be replaced — very few ever fail. With proper care, they can last a lifetime.

No. 7: Cost

Traditional dentures are cheaper than implant-supported artificial teeth — but you get what you pay for. They require ongoing care, so your costs will add up over time.

When you consider their longevity, implants are a cost-effective option. For many patients, going with implant-supported dentures is less expensive in the long run.

Are you ready to ditch the dentures for dental implants? The expert team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, serving the greater Salt Lake City area, specializes in tooth restoration. Our oral surgeons have extensive experience with implant surgery and related oral surgery procedures.

With three convenient northern Utah office locations in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, getting implant-supported dentures from the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah couldn’t be easier. When you’re ready to learn more about replacing your dentures with dental implants, contact us to schedule a consultation.

Do You Need an Oral Surgeon for Dental Implant Surgery

If you’re considering dental implant surgery, working with an experienced oral surgeon is the best course of action.

Today, many general dentistry practices offer dental implants. However, without the extra training and experience that oral surgeons have, you may not get the same results. If you want to restore your beautiful, natural-looking smile, you have plenty of reasons to trust an oral surgeon to perform the work.


Oral Surgeons Have Advanced Training in Dental Implant Placement

Dentists earn their degrees after four years of full-time study and hands-on training in physiology, anatomy, pathology, dental medicine and preventive dentistry.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists who have completed an additional four to six years of specialized training in complex surgical procedures — including implant placement. General dentists receive basic instruction on tooth restoration, but their level of education is no match for the advanced training of an oral surgeon.

Oral Surgeons Regularly Perform Dental Implant Surgery

How many implant surgeries has your dentist completed? Most general dentists only perform this procedure a handful of times each year.

Oral surgeons, on the other hand, place implants — and complete related pre-prosthetic surgeries like tooth extractions and bone grafts — on a daily basis. Because they regularly perform tooth restorations, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are better-equipped for implant placement.

Oral Surgeons Have Better Implant Surgery Success Rates

The success rate for dental implants performed in a general dentistry setting is approximately 95 percent. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, that number is as much as 98 percent when the implants are placed by a tooth restoration specialist.

Several complicating factors, including diminished bone density and nerve position, must be considered when planning implant surgery. With their additional years of specialized training, oral surgeons are best-suited to address these concerns.

Oral Surgeons Can Provide Emergency Care for Surgical Complications

Implant surgery is highly successful, but occasionally, complications occur.

General dentists are typically unable to provide emergency treatment to save the replacement tooth. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons, on the other hand, have the skills and training to provide prompt, effective care that can prevent the loss of a newly placed implant.

Are you considering dental implant surgery? Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah are tooth restoration specialists with over 10 years of experience. Before you decide to get tooth replacement from your general dentist, schedule a consultation with our professional team. We can restore your smile as well as your oral health, and our surgeons are known for compassionate, expert care.

With three northern Utah locations — in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele — visiting us is both easy and convenient. For more information on tooth restoration, or to make an appointment to discuss dental implant surgery with our expert oral surgeon team, contact us today.

Tooth Extractions in Children: 4 Times Removal Is Recommended

Oral surgeons don’t recommend tooth extractions for children very often, but sometimes it’s necessary.

Why would a child need a tooth removed?

Tooth Extractions in Children

Pulling teeth that aren’t loose is only advised as a last resort, to correct issues with jaw and dental development. If you have children with smiles to protect, this could be a decision you face in the future.

No. 1: When Baby Teeth Don’t Fall Out

It’s exciting to watch your child’s baby teeth fall out, and most eventually come out on their own. Occasionally, however, a baby tooth remains firmly in place long after it should have fallen out. When a stubborn tooth starts to become a problem, removal may be recommended.

Extraction will give the permanent teeth room to erupt properly, potentially eliminating or minimizing the need for orthodontic treatment down the line.

No. 2: When Teeth Are Badly Damaged

Children are always tripping and falling, and sometimes the unfortunate consequence is chipped or loose teeth. In some cases, a dental filling, cap or crown can save the day, though a root canal may be required if the injury involves nerve damage.

However, when there isn’t enough left of a tooth to save, or when the damage extends below the gumline, tooth extraction is often recommended.

No. 3: When Teeth Are Severely Decayed

For most cavities and tooth decay, fluoride treatment and dental fillings are effective. In extreme cases, however, these measures aren’t enough.

When the rear teeth are severely decayed, a root canal and protective sealant is usually the preferred treatment approach. However, when a child has extensive decay in the front baby teeth, an oral surgeon may advise tooth extraction.

No. 4: When Orthodontic Treatment Requires Extraction

Oral surgeons usually try to save baby teeth whenever possible, as they act as placeholders for the adult teeth. Keeping a tooth until it falls out on its own prevents other teeth from moving into that spot. Sometimes, though, the opposite approach is necessary.

If a tooth is crowding the mouth or blocking the way for the adult teeth to erupt properly, tooth extraction may be recommended. This generally occurs as part of an orthodontic treatment plan, to ready the child for braces.

Do you think your child might need tooth removal? You’ll need a compassionate, friendly oral surgeon who has experience working with children. If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, make an appointment with Dr. Partridge or Dr. Maxfield at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.

With over 10 years of experience working with both adults and children, our professional team understands how to give patients of all ages a comfortable, anxiety-free oral surgery experience. For more information on tooth extractions in children, or to schedule an appointment, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today.