Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah

TMJ Disorder & Treatment for TMJ Pain

TMJ disorder, also known as temporomandibular joint syndrome, can present a number of annoying symptoms, but for many patients who suffer from this condition, pain is the worst of them.
TMJ disorder
Some patients experience TMJ pain that is centered in the affected jaw joint, whereas others experience earaches, headaches and migraines. The condition can also cause referred pain in the cheeks, neck and shoulders.

To relieve TMJ pain, oral surgeons may recommend one of several strategies. Often, the most effective method of treating TMJ disorder and relieving pain involves more than one type of treatment.

Lifestyle Changes & Home Remedies

For some TMJ disorder patients, a few simple tricks can help relieve pain. If you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, your oral surgeon may recommend the following:

  • Avoid foods that require you to open your mouth wide
  • Refrain from eating anything chewy, hard or crunchy
  • Stick to soft foods when TMJ pain is severe
  • Massage or gently stretch the jaw and neck muscles
  • Reduce stressful activities and take time to relax
  • Try cutting out alcohol, caffeine and tobacco

Conservative Therapies to Relieve TMJ Pain

Home remedies can help with TMJ disorder, but many patients need additional oral surgeon treatment for pain relief. Conservative therapies that can relieve TMJ pain include:

  • Ice packs and moist heat applied to the side of the face
  • Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Prescription muscle relaxants to help loosen the jaw muscles
  • Stabilization splints or night guards to prevent tooth grinding and clenching
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), using a low-level current
  • Trigger-point injections of pain medicine and/or anesthetic

Surgical Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder

Sometimes, the pain of TMJ disorder doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes and conservative therapies. When all other treatment options have been exhausted, oral surgeons may recommend one of three surgical procedures:

  • Arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive treatment which involves injecting a sterile solution into the affected joint to flush the space. After arthrocentesis, other medication, such as corticosteroids or lubricants, may be injected.
  • Arthroscopy is a more complex procedure in which a tiny fiber optic camera is inserted through a small incision near the ear. The images are projected to a video monitor, allowing the oral surgeon to remove excess tissue and realign or suture the cushioning discs.
  • Arthroplasty is the most complex treatment, an open-joint surgery completed through an incision along the ear. As this procedure is usually done at a hospital under general anesthesia, arthroplasty is typically reserved for patients with structural problems in the joint.

Is TMJ pain affecting your quality of life? The professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, serving the greater Salt Lake City area, can evaluate your symptoms and recommend an effective treatment approach for pain relief.

As specialists in jaw-related facial conditions, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield have successfully treated patients with temporomandibular joint syndrome for over a decade. Don’t keep living with TMJ pain — contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office and schedule a TMJ disorder consultation today.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Sedation Options

If you’re scheduled for oral or maxillofacial surgery, you’re probably feeling at least a little anxious — who wouldn’t be? Understanding your sedation options is one way to help ease your worries.
oral or maxillofacial surgery
Sedation makes use of mild medication to help you stay relaxed, calm and comfortable. At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, every patient who comes in for a surgical procedure is offered sedation to help ensure a positive, pain-free oral surgery experience.

Mild Sedation for Comfort and Relaxation

If you have a slight case of the nerves, a mild sedative — along with local anesthetic, of course — could be enough to help you relax and remain pain-free.

Oral sedation is another option. A prescription pill, taken shortly before your procedure, can bring on feelings of drowsiness while at the same time melting away your anxieties. You’ll be conscious, but relaxed and comfortable.

Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is another mild form of sedation to consider. Inhaling the gas mixture takes away your worries and induces a sense of calmness. You’ll be alert enough to respond, but you won’t feel any pain.

Stronger Sedation to Put You to Sleep

Would you rather be asleep during your oral surgery? If you have serious anxiety issues, a stronger form of sedation may be your best bet.

Intravenous (IV) sedation, also known as “twilight sleep” won’t make you unconscious, but you’ll feel as if you’ve slept through the entire procedure. Once the sedative hits your bloodstream, you’ll be unaware of what’s going on.

General anesthesia can render you unconscious, but this sedation option is usually only considered for complex oral and maxillofacial surgeries. When general anesthesia is used, procedures must be completed at a hospital or surgery center — not the oral surgeon’s office.

Which Type of Sedation Is Right for You?

When you come in for an oral surgery consultation, we will go over your sedation options with you.

In most cases, patients can choose their preferred method of sedation. However, safety is our primary concern, and if you suffer from any chronic health conditions or have a weakened immune system, you might not be able to have IV sedation or general anesthesia.

Rest assured, our oral surgeons will help you determine the best approach to giving you a comfortable, pain-free experience. But before you decide on the right oral surgery sedation, you may need to consider cost. Your insurance plan may not cover every option, and fees for the different forms of sedation vary.

Don’t let your anxieties stop you from getting the treatment you need. For compassionate, friendly care — and an easy, pain-free experience — visit us here at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.

Our oral surgery team, led by Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, has the training, skill and expertise to provide safe and effective sedation. We understand your anxiety, and we’ll do whatever we can to ensure your comfort. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options for oral and maxillofacial surgery sedation.

Dental Implants vs. Teeth-in-a-Day: Which Is Right for You?

Dental implants are almost always the best option for replacing missing teeth. They look and feel completely natural, and with proper care, implants can last a lifetime.
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Dental implant surgery can be completed in two ways. The standard procedure, involving a series of steps over the course of about six to eight months, is appropriate for many patients. But if you have good jawbone health, you may be a candidate for teeth-in-a-day implant surgery.

Either procedure can restore your beautiful smile. Your oral surgeon can help you determine whether standard or teeth-in-a-day dental implants — or both — may be right for you.

Standard Dental Implants

Oral surgeons often recommend standard dental implant surgery over the teeth-in-a-day procedure for many patients. In most cases, this is due to bone loss.

When you lose a tooth, your jawbone no longer has stimulation from opposing bite forces. As a result, the bone tissue begins to break down. Over time, jawbone health can seriously deteriorate.

Dental implants need a strong foundation of bone in the jaw. Without adequate bone tissue, the jaw can’t support replacement teeth. Bone grafting is a simple in-office procedure that works to restore the health and density of the jawbone. When a bone graft is necessary, the added healing time means standard implant surgery is the only choice.

Teeth-in-a-Day Dental Implants

Patients who get dental implant surgery immediately after losing or extracting a tooth often have little to no bone loss in the jaw. For anyone with a strong, healthy jawbone, teeth-in-a-day is an option.

Same-day tooth implants offer the same benefits as replacement teeth placed through the standard procedure, but the process is much faster. Patients can walk out of the oral surgeon’s office with a beautiful new smile. A month later, the temporary crowns are replaced with permanent crowns. And with that, the tooth restoration is complete.

Deciding on Dental Implants

So are standard dental implants or teeth-in-a-day right for you? That’s a decision you’ll need to make with your oral surgeon.

If you have good jawbone health, same-day tooth implants may be preferable to the standard implant procedure. Ultimately, the process is quicker, and replacing missing teeth involves just a single surgery.

However, if you have significant bone loss, teeth-in-a-day simply isn’t an option. Jawbone health is a must for same-day tooth implants, and if you need a bone graft, you’ll have to go with the standard procedure. Keep in mind, though, that the result from both procedures is the same — a fully restored, beautiful smile that lasts forever.

When you’re ready for dental implant surgery, make an appointment with the oral surgeon team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. With over 10 years of experience placing standard and teeth-in-a-day dental implants, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield are the go-to experts for tooth restoration in the greater Salt Lake City area.

With our three locations — in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele — visiting Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah couldn’t be more convenient. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about standard dental implants and the teeth-in-a-day procedure.

5 Reasons Impacted Wisdom Teeth Should Come Out

Impacted wisdom teeth can be seriously painful, which is reason enough for many patients to have them extracted.

5 reasons

Close-up Of A Doctor’s Hand Holding Teeth X-ray

However, impaction doesn’t always cause pain. Some patients don’t learn that their third molars are stuck in the gums until they see their dental X-rays — and most are puzzled when the oral surgeon recommends tooth extraction.

Why remove impacted wisdom teeth that aren’t causing a problem? Because leaving them in puts you at risk for several serious oral health problems.

No. 1: Tooth Misalignment

Pressure from an impacted wisdom tooth can create problems for the nearby teeth, crowding them and pushing them into growing crooked.

Minor tooth misalignment might not seem like a big deal — particularly if the issue isn’t easily visible or making it difficult to eat — but any misalignment can lead to the need for extensive orthodontic treatment or oral surgery down the line.

No. 2: Tooth Damage

Skip extraction, and an impacted wisdom tooth could end up damaging the nearby teeth or their roots.

Impacted third molars often emerge at an angle, growing directly into their neighbors and leaving them at greater risk of future problems. Wisdom teeth can also erupt horizontally, causing damage to the adjacent second molars in the form of root resorption.

No. 3: Tooth Decay

While any tooth can get a cavity, extensive decay is more likely in impacted third molars.

Cleaning the rear of the mouth properly is already a challenge — and wisdom tooth impaction amps up the difficulty. The gums surrounding partially erupted teeth are traps for food and bacteria, and any accumulation can create tooth decay. Left untreated, the decay can easily spread throughout the mouth.

No. 4: Oral Infection

Without extraction, an impacted wisdom tooth boosts the risk for pericoronitis, a painful oral infection.

The gum pockets around impacted third molars are like open doors for infection-causing bacteria. When bacteria isn’t brushed or flossed completely away — which, again, is quite difficult with tooth impaction — it can easily make its home under a flap of gum tissue.

Pericoronitis is the result, and the infection can spread beyond the wisdom tooth region.

No. 5: Cyst Development

Leaving an impacted wisdom tooth in place can lead to the development of an oral cyst — a fluid-filled pouch in the jawbone.

Cysts can become infected and inflamed, a painful condition known as a tooth abscess. And even if infection doesn’t set in, a cyst can keep growing to the point where it causes structural damage to the nearby teeth, jawbone and nerves.

Do you have impacted wisdom teeth? Find out for sure — and learn more about your potential for future oral health problems — from the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.

Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, our board-certified oral surgeons, have more than 10 years of experience in wisdom tooth management. We’re committed to compassionate care, and the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team will do everything possible to make sure you have a comfortable, pain-free tooth extraction experience.

Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule a consultation to discuss impacted wisdom teeth.

Oral Pathology & the Warning Signs for Oral Cancer

Scheduling an oral pathology exam is a priority if you notice a change inside your mouth. Try not to jump to any conclusions, as oral cancer is not likely to be the cause.  However, if oral pathology is present, the sooner you can get treatment, the better your chances of recovery.

While irregularities in the mouth may be cancerous, a number of benign conditions can also alter the appearance of the cheeks, lips, tongue, palate and gum tissue. An examination from a qualified professional can tell you if your mouth abnormality is due to a minor health issue or a more serious condition.

oral pathology and oral cancer

Common Oral Cancer Symptoms

Any changes in the mouth could be warning signs of pathology or cancer. Symptoms that may point to the presence of cancerous growth include:

  • White or reddish patches or lesions
  • Sores that don’t heal on their own
  • Lumps, rough spots or thickened mouth tissues
  • Lack of symmetry in the face, neck or mouth
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness

When diagnosed in the early stages, cancer treatment can be highly effective. For that reason, experts recommend inspecting the mouth tissues during the course of daily brushing. Performing monthly self-examinations is also advised.

Other Oral Pathology Conditions

Lesions and unusual spots in the mouth aren’t always cancerous — a number of oral pathology conditions have similar symptoms. A few of the more common pathologies include:

  • Cold sores or fever blisters, caused by the herpes simplex virus
  • Canker sores triggered by injury, stress, nutritional deficiency, allergic response or sensitivity
  • Thrush or candidiasis, a fungal infection often seen in people with compromised immune systems
  • Fibromas resulting from injury or irritation to the mouth tissues
  • Benign bone tumors due to developmental abnormalities

In some cases, a pathological condition isn’t the culprit at all. Certain medications — including aspirin, beta-blockers, sulfa drugs and chemotherapy treatments — can cause mouth sores.

Diagnosing Oral Pathology

Oral pathology screenings involve a visual and physical examination of the mouth, jaw and neck. If any irregularities are detected, a range of cutting-edge diagnostic procedures — including exfoliative cytology, fluorescence visualization, toluidine blue staining and brush biopsy — may be performed to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of oral cancer.

Regular exams performed by a qualified oral surgeon are your best defense against oral cancer. Routine annual or biannual screenings can often spot pathological abnormalities before symptoms appear, and early detection allows for an easier and more successful treatment.

If your last professional screening was over six months ago — or if you notice an unusual change in your mouth — make an appointment with the professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.

Our board-certified surgeons, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, have extensive skill, training and experience in oral pathology diagnosis and treatment. For an expert oral cancer screening in the greater Salt Lake City area, contact us today.

Eating After Oral Surgery: 10 Soft Foods You Can Enjoy

After oral surgery, you’ll need to stick to soft foods for at least a few days, or maybe even a few weeks if your procedure is complex.

So what are you supposed to eat if you can’t chew much? You can enjoy a wide range of nutritious and delicious soft foods after surgery to help you stay full and satisfied while you’re recovering.

Eating After Oral Surgery 10 Soft Foods

No. 1: Smoothies

Drinking smoothies is a great way to get vitamins, minerals and protein after oral surgery. Don’t use a straw, though, or you could disrupt the healing process and develop a painful condition known as dry socket.

No. 2: Scrambled Eggs

Eggs are nutritional powerhouses, and scrambling makes them easy to eat. For a flavor boost, try adding herbs, cheese or salsa.

No. 3: Cooked Cereal

Hot cereals like oatmeal, grits and cream of wheat are soft foods that are easy to doctor to your tastes, and plenty of mix-ins don’t require chewing. Make sure to check with your oral surgeon before you have hot foods, however.

No. 4: Soup

Go down the soup aisle at your local grocery store, and you’ll find plenty of nutritious soft-food options. And who doesn’t like the comfort of a warm, tasty bowl of soup?

No. 5: Mashed Veggies

Potatoes, cauliflower, butternut squash and carrots are among the many veggies that can be mashed — and all are ideal post-surgery foods.

No. 6: Chicken Salad

If you’re craving protein after your oral surgery, toss some precooked chicken breast, mayo or dressing and seasonings into the food processer, and blend up a salad to spread on soft bread.

No. 7: Fish

Moist, tender baked whitefish doesn’t require much chewing, and neither do canned tuna and salmon. Any of these can make for a satisfying meal after oral surgery.

No. 8: Pasta

Well-cooked pasta is easy to eat, and the options for canned, jarred and homemade sauces are nearly endless. Switch up the sauce, and you’ve got a totally different taste!

No. 9: Frozen Desserts

Do you have a sweet tooth? Though you’ll need to limit sugary foods during your oral surgery recovery, you can occasionally enjoy ice cream, frozen yogurt or sherbet.

No. 10: Baked Goods

For a touch of something sweet, you can also enjoy soft baked goods. Tender cakes and moist muffins melt in the mouth, or try a fudge brownie or some baked flan.

Eating soft foods — and avoiding crunchy, chewy and acidic foods that could irritate the gums — is key to an easy oral surgery recovery. However, caring for yourself and your mouth properly is just as essential.

If Dr. Partridge or Dr. Maxfield at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah is performing your procedure, we will provide you with specific aftercare instructions. We will also make sure you understand everything about your oral surgery recovery ahead of time.

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, our professional treatment team is committed to providing every patient with a positive surgical experience. For more information or to schedule your oral surgery consultation, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today.

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Coronectomy as an Alternative to Wisdom Tooth Extraction

For a problematic wisdom tooth, extraction is almost always recommended. And years ago, removal was the only option patients had.

Today, however, a coronectomy can be a safe alternative — but the procedure isn’t right for everyone. Generally speaking, the treatment is only recommended for patients at risk for nerve damage from surgical wisdom tooth extraction.

Coronectomy as an Alternative to Wisdom Tooth Extraction

What Is a Coronectomy?

Extraction of the wisdom teeth involves removing everything from the crown to the roots. With a coronectomy, only the crown is removed — the roots are left in place.

The crown is the source of many wisdom teeth problems, including food impaction, tooth decay and pericoronitis. Because of this, a coronectomy can be an effective way to preserve oral health.

When Is a Coronectomy Considered?

Due to their position, the roots of the lower wisdom teeth grow close to the inferior alveolar nerve, which provides sensation to the chin, gums, lower lip and bottom teeth.

Sometimes, the wisdom teeth roots grow around and press on the alveolar nerve. If the roots are wrapped around or touching the nerve, surgical tooth extraction carries an increased risk of nerve damage. In these cases, a coronectomy may be considered to prevent temporary or permanent loss of feeling.

Are You a Candidate for a Coronectomy?

If an assessment of your dental X-rays reveals that the roots of your wisdom teeth have grown around the alveolar nerve, your oral surgeon might consider a coronectomy. However, not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure. Tooth extraction may be advised if:

  • Your alveolar nerve is already damaged
  • Your tooth has an infected crown or active root tip
  • Your tooth is horizontally impacted along the nerve
  • You have a chronic health condition that causes recurrent infections

Be aware, too, that even if you are a good candidate for a coronectomy, you could come in for the procedure and wake up from oral surgery with your entire wisdom tooth removed. In rare cases, upon removal of the crown, the oral surgeon discovers that the tooth roots also need to be extracted.

Ready to find out if you’ll need a coronectomy or wisdom tooth extraction? If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, make an appointment with the professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.

With more than 10 years of experience in wisdom tooth management, Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield have the skill, knowledge and qualifications to recommend the best treatment approach to protect your oral health. To learn whether you’re a candidate for a coronectomy, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office and schedule a wisdom tooth extraction consultation today.

Bone Grafting 101: What You Need to Know

Has your oral surgeon recommended bone grafting? The procedure is incredibly common — and much less scary than you may think.

Knowledge is power, as the proverb goes. Here at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, we’ve found that when patients learn more about bone grafting, it helps put them at ease. Our goal is to ensure that our patients have all the information they need to make informed choices about their treatment plans, and we’re always here to answer your questions.

Bone Grafting 101

As for bone grafting, oral surgeons routinely perform this quick, simple procedure in advance of placing dental implants. In fact, with our many options for oral sedatives, the procedure is over before you know it.

What Is Bone Grafting

Bone graft surgery is a routine, in-office procedure that improves jawbone health through the use of transplanted tissue. Grafting guides the body’s healing mechanisms and stimulates growth in the jawbone.

During surgery — which is typically completed under oral sedation, IV sedation or laughing gas — the oral surgeon places bone tissue to augment the jawbone. In most cases, the procedure takes just an hour or two.

Types of Bone Grafts

Oral surgeons use four types of grafting material in patients with jawbone degeneration. These include:

  • Autografts — Tissue harvested from the patient’s own body
  • Allografts — Human bone sourced from a tissue bank
  • Xenografts — Biocompatible cow or pig tissue
  • Alloplasts — Synthetic tissue created with biocompatible resins

In choosing a bone grafting material to use, oral surgeons consider the individual needs and preferences of the patient. While certain types of grafts are generally recommended over others, patients are given significant input into the decision.

When Is Bone Grafting Necessary?

Bone graft surgery is considered for patients with jawbone atrophy, or degeneration in the jaw. This naturally occurs as a result of aging, and certain inflammatory and degenerative diseases can diminish the jawbone. Often, however, tooth loss is the cause of atrophy. When teeth are missing, the jaw lacks the root stimulation it needs to stay healthy and strong.

Jawbone health may not seem like a crucial concern, but oral surgeons have several good reasons to recommend bone graft surgery.

Grafting is often advised to prevent future tooth loss and jawbone degeneration, and the procedure is often a must to prepare for dental implant surgery. Grafts are also performed to maintain a youthful facial appearance.

What Is Bone Grafting Recovery Like?

Recovering from bone graft surgery is, in most cases, quite similar to healing from a tooth extraction.

The amount of time it takes to fully recover varies, depending upon the specifics of the oral surgery. However, most grafts only result in a day or two of mild swelling and redness along with minor aches and discomfort. Ice packs, pain medication and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are typically enough to manage these symptoms, and patients who follow our detailed aftercare instructions rarely experience complications.

Are you still feeling uneasy about your upcoming bone graft surgery? Schedule your procedure with Dr. Partridge or Dr. Maxfield at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah — our board-certified oral surgeons perform bone grafts every day, so you can trust that you’ll be in good hands.

In addition, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah offers a range of sedation and anesthesia options to keep you relaxed, comfortable and pain-free during bone graft surgery. We’re known throughout the greater Salt Lake City area for our compassionate care and our commitment to giving every patient a positive oral surgery experience.

For more information, or to schedule a bone grafting consultation, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today.

Do You Need Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Wisdom tooth removal isn’t always necessary. You may not have to have your third molars extracted if they’re healthy, positioned correctly and have enough room to fully erupt.

Do-You-Need-Wisdom-Tooth-Removal-Procedure

In most cases, however, wisdom teeth grow to become problematic. For this reason, oral surgeons often recommend extraction. Removal is typically the best approach to preventing future oral health problems.

To determine whether you should consider third molar extraction, you’ll need to schedule an evaluation with an experienced local oral surgeon. During the consultation, your oral surgeon will discuss your oral and overall health, perform an examination of your teeth and discuss the best option for you.

Health Status Review

To design a safe and effective oral care treatment plan, your oral surgeon needs to have a solid understanding of your health status.

For that reason, wisdom teeth removal consultations typically start with a thorough review of your medical and dental history. You’ll also be asked to provide details of past surgeries, drug allergies and previous experiences with anesthesia. And to avoid potential risks and complications, your oral surgeon will want to see a list of the over-the-counter and prescription medications you currently take.

Wisdom Tooth Examination

Next comes the oral examination, which shows exactly what’s going on with your third molars.

After a visual check of your teeth, gums and jaw, you’ll be sent for imaging tests. X-rays and CT scans are commonly ordered, as they provide clear images of the bones, teeth and soft tissues. Detailed, three-dimensional pictures that can be used in oral health care planning and treatment are then created from these images.

A dental impression of your jaws can also be helpful in evaluating the wisdom teeth. To create a detailed cast of your mouth, your oral surgeon may ask you to bite down on a special mouth tray for a few minutes.

Treatment Plan Discussion

The final step of your wisdom tooth removal consultation is to discuss your treatment plan.

Your oral surgeon will explain the status of your third molars and let you know whether extraction is necessary. If wisdom teeth removal is considered your best approach to maintaining a healthy smile, you’ll go over the various anesthesia options.

If yours is a complicated extraction, general anesthesia may be required — which means the procedure may need to be completed at a local surgery center or hospital. However, most patients are able to schedule in-office procedures and can choose between oral sedation, nitrous oxide and IV anesthesia.

Recovery from wisdom tooth extraction will also be discussed. Before you leave the office, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from the healing process.

At the end of your consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions. We want you to feel comfortable and confident in your treatment plan, so we provide answers to all your questions and concerns.

For expert care in the greater Salt Lake City area, schedule your consultation with Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, our board-certified oral surgeons, have more than 10 years of experience in wisdom teeth management and can design an effective treatment plan to protect your oral health. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to schedule your wisdom tooth removal consultation.

How to Choose an Oral Surgeon: 6 Factors to Consider

Are you looking for a local oral surgeon? Don’t contact just any oral surgery practice. Finding the right specialist to perform your procedure requires careful research, thought and consideration.

How to Choose an Oral Surgeon: 6 Factors to Consider

Surgery is a life-changing experience, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best care and treatment possible. To that end, in choosing your oral surgeon, keep the factors below in mind.

1. Training and Education

For oral surgeons — as with any specialist — the correct levels of training and education are crucial. Graduation from an accredited dental school is a must, as is an additional four to six years of surgical and anesthesia training. Continuing education courses are also important for staying up to date on the latest techniques.

2. Procedural Experience

Choosing an oral surgeon with extensive experience in the type of procedure you need will give you the best chance at a good outcome.

So whether you need tooth extraction, corrective jaw surgery, dental implants, bone grafting or any other type of oral surgery, seek out a specialist with a solid track record in successfully performing that procedure.

3. Professional Affiliations

Affiliation with professional organizations demonstrates that an oral surgery specialist is committed to the highest standard of care.

Look for a board-certified surgeon with distinctions and memberships in the leading industry associations. These include the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS) and the Utah Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (UAOMS).

4. Practice Reputation

Any top-notch surgeon should have a professional practice with a good reputation.

In selecting a specialist, look for a well-established oral and maxillofacial surgery practice — one that has served the local area for several years. The atmosphere should be professional, comfortable and orderly.

5. Insurance and Payment Plans

If your surgery addresses a medical condition, insurance may provide coverage. If not, you’ll have to pay for the treatment.

Out-of-pocket costs don’t have to be a financial burden, however. As you look for a local oral surgeon, find out about their payment options. For easier budgeting, you may want to choose a practice that offers a monthly payment plan for selected services.

6. Communication and Comfort

For a positive surgical experience, you need to find a specialist with a great bedside manner.

The surgeon you choose should communicate well, taking the time to answer all your questions and explaining your surgical plan in a way you can understand. Look for a specialist who treats you with kindness and makes you feel comfortable.

Are you searching for a board-certified oral surgeon in the greater Salt Lake City area? Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah have extensive experience, and both are trained in a full range of oral surgery procedures.

The Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team is committed to providing the best standard of care to every patient. And with three convenient northern Utah offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele, visiting us couldn’t be easier or more convenient. If you’re looking for a compassionate, friendly and experienced local oral surgeon, contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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