Modern technology continues to change every part of our lives. It has a direct influence on how we receive dental treatment. Sometimes you have to go through a medical surgery to fix certain medical conditions. Likewise, sometimes you need to go through dental surgery to fix certain dental issues. As dental surgical procedures become more advanced, dental microsurgery also gains popularity. Dental microsurgery is a specific type of dental surgery. It goes beyond the scope of normal dental surgery. This newer type of surgery offers both patients and dentists greater benefits.
In a nutshell, dental microsurgery is dental surgery that uses a dental microscope. The dental microscope allows the surgeon to see every detail inside a patient’s mouth. This results in more accurate treatment. Dental microscopes magnify even the tiniest details of the mouth. They also have a fiber optic lighting system. The fiber optic lighting system aids in the illuminating of everything inside the mouth. Both of these benefits combine to make it so that dental surgeons offer patients more precise care than ever before. This also makes it so that dental surgeons perform more intricate dental surgeries than they could safely perform previously.
There are two different types of dental microscopes used in dental microsurgery. The type that your dentist chooses to use depends, in part, upon his or her personal preferences. It also depends upon the type of microsurgery being performed. While dentists wear one type of dental microscope on the head (much like goggles), they mount the other one on the wall. The microscope that mounts on the wall points downwards into the patient’s mouth to magnify the desired area. Likewise, the one on the head points downward into the mouth. Unlike some other types of magnifying devices, dental microscopes are lighter and much less cumbersome than their counterparts.
Although dental microsurgery is appropriate for enhancing any dental surgery, dentists more commonly use it for the more complex dental surgeries that require greater precision.
Dental microsurgery is ideal for some dental implant surgeries. This is especially true if you have extremely tiny teeth. In this case, dental microsurgery might be the preferred surgical option. This is because microsurgery makes it easier for the oral surgeon to view the tiny tissues of your gums and mouth.
Likewise, while some root canals are non-surgical ones, others require deeper rooting and scaling. Dentists tend to prefer to use dental microsurgery techniques over traditional ones with these more advanced types of root canals. This is because they allow for greater precision. Consequently, this helps keep dentists from inadvertently damaging healthy tissues and nerves. Dental microscopes help dentists identify the tooth’s root. They also help them find infections in the roots and gums.
An apicoectomy is another type of procedure that generally requires microsurgery. In an apicoectomy, dentists remove the tip of a tooth’s root so they can perform a root canal. Obviously, dentists want to be able to ensure they can see every detail when dealing with the sensitive tip of a tooth’s root.
Other times when dentists use dental microsurgery technology include during periodontal or gum disease treatment and during restoration removals. Dentists use microsurgery to better get to the affected tissues in the mouth when treating infected gums. They also use it to check the teeth for minute cracks or defects when you have pain. Additionally, if you have to have previous dental restorations, such as posts or fillings, removed, then mirosurgery might be necessary.
Because dental microsurgery is a surgery and a form of complex dental treatment, dentists almost always administer a general anesthesia before conducting it. The general anesthesia puts patients into a sleep-like state. Steps taken during the microsurgery process differ depending upon the specific procedure. In general, though, patients must first undergo a thorough dental examination. The examination determines just what their specific dental issue is. Then, the oral surgeon and any other participating dental professionals can come up with an appropriate treatment plan for the patient. The dental examination usually consists of a manual examination and might involve taking X-rays and/or impressions of the teeth.
When the actual microsurgery begins to take place, the dentist will usually place what is known as a “dental dam” over the tooth. This dam is essentially a protective film that isolates the tooth from the rest of the mouth. In doing so, it helps keep saliva from getting on the tooth throughout the dental procedure and making it slippery. Surgeons might have to make openings on the crowns of teeth so they can get inside them. This helps them get into the “root” of the problem, literally.
Once inside the tooth and the area to be treated, then the microsurgeon sets to work administering the previously mapped out treatment. This might involve removing a deadened pulp, filling in an area, shaping the space in general and so on. When done, the surgeon seals up the area and places any restorative dental appliance on the tooth that was treated. An example of the type of dental appliance placed after a microsurgery includes a dental crown.
Although all dental microsurgeries don’t require follow-up treatment, many do. Most dental microsurgeons will at least request that the patient come in for a follow-up appointment a few weeks later. This is so that they can monitor the progress of healing after the surgery. Likewise, the amount of pain or discomfort that you experience following a dental microsurgery varies greatly depending upon the specific type of microsurgical procedure that you underwent. You can usually expect the treated area to feel a bit sensitive after treatment no matter what type of treatment you received. Some dentists also present their patients with certain special care instructions after undergoing certain types of microsurgery. Such instructions provide instruction on reducing irritation and pain in the treated and now sensitive areas while they heal.
It’s no secret that the cost of dental treatment is oftentimes quite expensive. This is especially true of dental surgery, much less dental microsurgery. Just like it can cost thousands of dollars to undergo a complex medical surgery, so can it cost thousands to undergo some types of dental surgeries. Because dental microsurgery is an even more advanced type of dental surgery and utilizes the latest technology available to dentists, it’s even more likely that it’ll be even more expensive than regular dental surgeries.
If you have any type of dental insurance, then you’ll undoubtedly want to know whether or not dental microsurgery is covered by your insurance provider. Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no one. In short, the answer depends upon numerous factors, such as who your particular dental insurance provider is, whether or not you have full or partial dental coverage and the specifics governing your insurance policy.
While some insurance policies will cover the cost of dental microsurgery, others will only cover a certain percentage of the cost. Still, others might only cover up to a certain amount of the cost. In other words, they might place a cap on the amount of money that they will pay towards the overall cost of treatment. Likewise, some providers will only pay out towards the cost of the dental microsurgery that was deemed necessary for preserving your overall dental health. In short, they might not be willing to pay towards the cost of dental microsurgery if you undergo it as an elective measure for a cosmetic dental purpose that isn’t necessarily required to preserve the state of your teeth (e.g. dental implants).
The best way to determine whether or not your insurance provider covers dental microsurgery under your insurance policy is to speak to your insurance provider. Your provider will help you determine just what type of coverage you have. Many dental offices can also help you determine whether or not the cost of their services is covered under your insurance. They are familiar with working with insurance companies on their patients’ behalves.
Penn Dental Medicine. “Microsurgery training.” Retrieved on February 28, 2017, from http://www.dental.upenn.edu/departments_faculty/academic_departments/endodontics/microscope_training_center/microsurgery_training.
The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 S 40th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030
Dental tribune. “Clinical endodontics” Retrieved on February 28, 2017, from http://www.dental-tribune.com/articles/specialities/endodontics/929_predictable_apical_microsurgery_patient_preparation_part_1.html.
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