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West Coast Oral Surgery celebrates 30 years

Standing next to the X-Nav 3D guided implant system at West Coast Oral Surgery are (from left) Dr. Joel Berger, Dr. Stone Thayer, Dr. Dentico-Olin, Dr. Andrew Chang and Dr. Mehdi Matin. (courtesy of West Coast Oral Surgery)

West Coast Oral Surgery celebrates 30 years

Mention the words “oral surgery” to most anyone and more than likely you will not see a happy face. Yet, through a combination of patient care, use of advancing technology and a stellar reputation, West Coast Oral Surgery in Scripps Ranch is celebrating 30-years of being in business.

“We work with over 200 dentists in the Scripps Ranch and Poway areas,” said Nicole Rawson, West Coast Oral Surgery external relations and events coordinator. “We have been in the same location the entire time.”

For many, the need for oral surgery conjures up the thought of either a tooth extraction or removing wisdom teeth. While those are the “bread and butter” procedures, according to Rawson, the circumstances requiring oral surgery are much broader and sometimes very complicated.

“The fact is some people basically need their face put back together,” she explained. “Whether it is due to an accident, domestic violence trauma or cancer.”

Often referred to as oral and maxillofacial surgery, the need for this type of specialist can come in many different ways.

“We had a woman who was about to give birth but first, due to a very bad tooth infection, had to have the tooth extracted before delivering her baby,” Rawson said.

One increasingly common example of the need for an oral surgeon are scooter accidents.

“When seatbelts came into law, the number of oral surgeries needed due to auto accidents declined,” she explained. “Now, with the rise in popularity of scooters, more and more people are suffering facial injuries from accidents while using them.”

It is not all accidents and trauma that require an oral surgeon. Cosmetic procedures are also part of the services offered. Dental implants continue to be a popular choice for creating a nice smile.

“There are many people where dentures simply do not work well for them,” Rawson said. “Now, with advanced technology, we have 3D imaging guided implants that allow for a more precise fitting.”

Technology has also helped in reducing complications, nerve damage and infections.

For those who fear or are hesitant about any procedure due to pain, there have been advances in that as well.

“Exparel is a non-opioid treatment for post-surgery pain issues,” Rawson stated. “The pre-surgery options are still used today that most people are familiar with like laughing gas, local and general anesthesia.”

West Coast Oral Surgery was founded and is still owned by Dr. Andrew K Chang. While he does not see patients on a regular basis, three oral surgeons have been added to the team to increase availability and capacity.

A referral is not necessary.

“People can walk in off the street. We have had patients who do not even have a regular dentist,” Rawson explained. “If someone would like to get a second opinion about their situation, which is almost always a good idea anyway, we would be happy to see them.”

To help encourage those who are hesitant about seeking oral health care or who have not been to an oral health care specialist in a while, West Coast Oral Surgery is offering free consultations and X-rays through the end of October.

The office is located in the North County Medical Dental Building, 9855 Erma Road. Visit oralsurgerysandiego.com or call (858) 536-2900.

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