What is Hospital Dentistry?
When it comes to hospital dentistry in Athens, Georgia, patients with medical conditions and disabilities are often treated in operating rooms or emergency departments. Hospital dentists have a background in medicine and collaborative care – having spent a year or more training in a hospital-based setting after dental school. Dr. McRae, for instance, has continued his education while working at his practice located just minutes from Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA, to expand his dental services for his patients.
Even dentists with private practices may also work in a hospital setting for certain dental procedures that can’t be performed at a dental practice although oral surgery and other types of surgery can be performed in a dental office setting.
Call McRae Family Dental at 706-395-2178 to find out what surgical procedures he performs in an Athens area hospital.
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The hospital dental service has four main functions:
- Consultant advice and treatment for cases of special difficulty referred to hospitals by general dental and medical practitioners, or for patients admitted to hospital because of trauma or disease
- Dental care, including comprehensive treatment, of long-stay hospital in-patients
- Dental care of short-stay patients when this is required for pain relief or other emergency, or as part of, or in support of their general treatment
- The treatment of certain out-patients, where there are medical considerations which make it desirable for the treatment to be carried out in a hospital
Most of the approximately 164,000 practicing dentists today are general practitioners and about 20 percent are highly specialized and cover oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and restorative dentistry. Here’s a brief breakdown of each form of surgery typically performed in hospitals.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgery deals with a variety of conditions associated with the mouth, jaws, face and neck. This surgery involves an extensive array of procedures – everything from relatively minor procedures to complex major head and neck surgery. It also entails operating on both hard and soft tissue with a strong emphasis on reconstruction, including microvascular techniques. Recognized internationally as a specialty of dentistry, treatments performed include cosmetic surgery such as rhinoplasty and botox, corrective jaw surgery and surgical treatment of sleep apnea. Laser applications are implemented for these types of surgical procedures.
Oral surgery deals with the treatment and ongoing management of irregularities and pathology of the jaw and mouth that require surgical intervention. Surgically removing teeth is the most common procedure that oral surgeons perform, but oral surgery as a specialty includes managing hard and soft tissue pathology, oral infections, dentialveolar trauma and orofacial pain, as well as performing operations to support orthodontics and insertion of Osseo integrated implants. There, in fact, is a degree of overlap with oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the growth of the face, the development of teeth and jaws and the correction and prevention of abnormalities. This type of surgery focuses on treating malocclusion, which is the abnormal alignment of the teeth and the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. Severe cases of malocclusion often require a combination of orthodontics with headgear or reverse pull facemask, jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines pediatric dentistry as an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs. This type of specialty also aims to improve patients’ oral healthcare through educational and treatment services. Children with facial and dental anomalies, or who have been involved in dentialveolar trauma are likely to be treated.
In restorative dentistry, dentists care for patients with complex problems to restore their dental function. Many patients have congenital or acquired facial defects, medical problems or learning difficulties that have implications for their care. This type of surgery may also include fixing and removing dental prostheses and implants.