What is a dental cyst?
A dental cyst is a fluid-filled sac of tissue in your gums and/or jawbone. Most of the time, a cyst is painless. There are many different types of dental cysts.
Dental cysts can be found around the roots of dead/infected teeth, within the gums, around impacted wisdom teeth, in your maxillary sinuses or within the jawbone.
What problems can dental cysts cause?
Dental cysts may cause these problems:
- Pain and/or swelling due to infection
- Weakening of the jawbone from expansion of the cyst
- Migration of teeth that are being pushed aside by the growing cyst
- Breathing and sleep problems related to sinus issues.
Symptomless dental cysts can remain undetected for months or years.
How do I know if I have a dental cyst?
A small dental cyst developing inside the jawbone may be visible on an X-ray. Larger cysts may cause a firm facial swelling to appear. Your teeth may also start migrating rapidly in the area affected by the cyst.
Confirmation of the cyst diagnosis is done from a tissue sample (biopsy) taken during surgical removal of the lesion. There are other tumours that may resemble cysts, but are treated very differently.
Periodic dental x-rays are essential for identification of dental cysts and other bony abnormalities.
How are dental cysts treated?
There are two ways to treat a dental cyst:
- Surgery – for the removal of all types of cysts or tumours.
- Endodontic Therapy – This is done in conjunction with surgical removal if the cyst is associated with an infected root canal.
Surgical Removal of Dental Cyst at Elite Dental
Step 1: Detection
Your dentist may order a 3D CBCT scan that will provide more information about the cyst and its relationship with surrounding teeth and other structures (nerves, sinuses) within the bone.
Step 2: Pre-surgical preparation
A few days before, a thorough scaling and polishing is done. An oral probiotic is also given to boost the numbers of beneficial bacteria in the saliva so that healing is smooth.
If you require root canal treatment, this will be completed prior to the surgery.
Step 3: Removing the cyst
The cyst is removed by our in-house oral surgeon through a window in the bone under a local anaesthetic. You may also choose to be sedated for the entire procedure to ensure an anxiety free experience.
If there is a tooth embedded within the cyst, it might also be removed. Bone grafting material may also be placed to fill the void left behind after the cyst is removed. Stitches will be placed in the gums afterward. These will be removed after a few days.
The excised tissue can be sent to a pathology lab to be identified under microscope. This is important for identifying other types of tumours that may resemble cysts .