David A McGowan, MDS, PhD, FDSRCS, FFDRCSI, FDSRCPSG, Professor of Oral Surgery, University of Glasgow, UK
Despite the success of prevention, and the improvement in dental health in many parts of the world, the ability to extract teeth is still a necessary skill for most dentists. Patients do not relish the experience, but control of anxiety, avoidance of pain and reduction of discomfort will earn their gratitude. As in any form of surgery, complications must arise from time to time, and the dentist who undertakes to extract teeth has to be prepared to meet them. The skills, equipment and practice organization required for these purposes can be usefully employed in preplanned dento-alveolar surgery, and this continuing activity in turn ensures efficiency of response when the need arises.
The purpose of this book is to promote a systematic and organized approach to minor oral surgery, while still allowing for variation in
technique to suit personal preference, local circumstances and, most important of all, the needs of the individual patient. General principles are emphasized and illustrated by examples of the commoner procedures. ‘Minor oral surgery’ comprises those surgical operations that can comfortably be completed by a practised nonspecialist dentist in not more than 30 minutes under local anaesthesia. This defines the scope of the book. It is intended as a guide book to all those who wish to learn, or improve their knowledge of this branch of the surgeon’s art, but cannot replace the one-to-one instruction and guidance which the beginner requires. I hope to pass on some of the lessons learnt as a teacher of students and practitioners over a number of years and, in doing so, I dedicate this book to the patients in our dental schools and hospitals in recognition of their contribution to the advance of our profession.
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