Oral Surgeons are trained to identify abnormal growths or changes in the color or texture of the lining inside the mouth (mucosa). There are also abnormalities which result in expansion of the upper or lower jaw due to a pathologic process initiated within the center of the jaw.

Depending upon the size of the abnormality and its location, a biopsy to establish the diagnosis can be done in two different ways:

Excisional Biopsy

The abnormal area is completely removed at the first surgery. This is reasonable to do when the surgeon feels confident that he knows what the abnormal area represents, or the area is so small that it makes no sense to remove only part of it.

Incisional Biopsy

The abnormal area is only partially removed because the surgeon feels that it may represent one of several different entities, some of which would require a specific type of definitive treatment than would some others being considered. The ultimate treatment method would depend upon the microscopic diagnosis rendered by the pathologist, and in some unusual cases by the surgeon as well.

Many biopsies and excisions of soft tissue abnormalities (lesions) in and around the oral cavity are conveniently managed with the use of a CO2 laser. The laser beam seals blood vessels as it precisely incises the soft tissue adjacent to the growth being removed. When Laser Surgery is used in a non-cosmetic area, no sutures are required.