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Dento-alveolar surgery is a category of surgical procedures performed by Massachusetts General Hospital’s Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry (OMFS) that treat conditions and diseases of the teeth as well as the soft and hard tissue surrounding the teeth.

Extraction is the most common type of dento-alveolar surgery. It may be recommended as a treatment for teeth that are crowded, diseased beyond restoration, impacted, unerupted, or supernumerary (extra). Often, a patient is referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for extraction as an adjunct to orthodontic treatment. A patient may also be referred by a general dentist or other practitioner for biopsy, removal of cysts or lesions, or placement of implants. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specially trained to diagnose and treat these types of conditions, as well as to administer anesthesia as needed for the comfort and well-being of the patient.

Dento-alveolar procedures include:

  • Biopsy
  • Exposure of delayed or unerupted teeth (and orthodontic bonding)
  • Extraction of diseased or impacted teeth
  • Placement of dental implants
  • Removal of cysts
  • Third molar removal - tissue or bony impaction