Roots Canals, Implants, Crowns, Oh My…

There are so many types of dentistry and dental procedures today–cosmetic dentistry, preventative dentistry, general dentistry, restorative dentistry–all offering a myriad of different treatments. Then there is oral pathology and oral surgery. Have you ever wondered what it all means? What is oral surgery? What is oral pathology? Your Cerritos, CA oral surgeon, Dr. Shawn Hofkes, received advanced training in oral surgery, and in today’s blog, he will give a brief overview of both.

What Is Oral Pathology?

Oral pathology, or oral medicine, is the area of dentistry that evaluates, diagnoses, and treats diseases of the oral cavity or mouth, including soft tissues such as gum tissue, the tongue, and lips, as well as the jaw bone, and teeth. It often includes the treatment of patients with chronic medical problems who need specialized care. Oral diseases can include:

  • Swollen, irritated, or infected gums
  • Periodontal disease
  • Halitosis (persistent bad breath)
  • Lichen planus-a chronic inflammatory disease of the mucous membranes
  • Candidiasis-commonly known as thrush, a fungal infection in the mouth
  • Aphthous stomatitis-recurrent oral ulcers or canker sores
  • Lumps, growths, or tumors
  • Cancer

What Is An Oral Surgeon?

Depending on the amount of additional training received, an oral surgeon can perform a variety of procedures on, in, and around the face, mouth, neck, and jaw. Typically they receive four to eight years of additional training beyond their dental training. Procedures they are trained to perform can include dental implant surgery; the removal and biopsy of tumors or cysts anywhere in the mouth including the tongue and jaw; simple tooth extractions; more complex tooth extractions including the removal of impacted wisdom teeth, the removal of soft tissue, overlying bone, and remaining roots; implant positioning; cleft palate; bite discrepancies; fractured cheek or jaw bones; or jaw realignment surgery.

Most oral diseases, particularly cancer, are easier to treat when diagnosed early. Dr. Hofkes suggests you keep a close I on your oral condition while performing daily hygiene. If you notice any changes, contact his office for a consultation.



Shawn Hofkes, DDS, is highly qualified to address complex issues, including the diagnosis of oral disease. To schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.