Minimally Invasive Surgery
Arthroscopic joint surgery was first done in Japan and became popular in the 1980’s. The concept of minimally invasive surgery made it to America and was widespread by the early 1990’s. Orthopedic joint and abdominal procedures, such as gall bladder removal were our first ventures with this. Puncture wounds with minimal invasion of the overlying and surrounding structures is less traumatic and makes for easier recovery. These same concepts can be applied to oral surgery. Teeth are the hardest structures in the body, much harder than bone. It is easier to elevate the gums off the bone and remove the bone from around a tooth to extract. This is how we were taught. This is horribly traumatic. With today’s instrumentation and techniques, the teeth can be disassembled and removed with minimal disruption of the overlying gums and surrounding bone. This also makes for much less trauma and much better recovery. Compared to even ten years ago, patients a week after surgery now look and feel as if 2-3 weeks have passed. Grafting procedures, that are inexpensive now, help tremendously with this too.