The Oral Surgery Guide: What To Expect

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What is oral surgery?

Oral surgery is any type of surgical procedure that takes place in your mouth or jaw. It’s usually performed by a dentist who has been trained to do certain types of oral surgeries.

What are the different types of oral surgery?

There are many kinds of oral surgery. These include root canals and tooth removals. Oral surgery may involve repositioning the jaw. Oral surgery can also involve the removal or repositioning of a tumor. Any one of several types of dental specialists can perform oral surgery, such as prosthodontists or periodontists.
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What are the most common types of oral surgery performed?

The most common procedures for jaw and teeth are:

  • Wisdom teeth with impact
  • Gum graft
  • Tooth implants
  • Maxillofacial surgery
  • Root canal
  • After an injury, jaw and teeth can be repaired

What are the best times to have oral surgery?

Oral surgery is required for any tooth or jaw procedure that requires more expertise than a general dentist. An oral surgeon may be needed to remove wisdom teeth that are damaged or impacted. A periodontist is a specialist in performing these types of oral surgery if you have gum disease.

Your general dentist can help you find the right provider if you need oral surgery.
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How can I prepare for my oral surgery procedure?

You should prepare for your oral surgery the same way as you would for any other serious medical procedure. It all depends on what type of surgery it is. Follow your dentist’s instructions.

  • Make sure you have a clean, tidy space to return home to.
  • Your bed should be set up so that you can, if necessary, sit on an incline.
  • Follow all instructions given to you by your surgeon before you go under the knife. You will usually be asked to avoid eating and drinking for the next 8-10 hours.
  • If necessary, arrange for transportation home. Discuss with your dentist the type of anesthesia that you will be receiving. Certain types of anesthesia may affect your ability to drive. You may need a local or topical anesthetic depending on what type of surgery you are having. You will need someone to drive you home if you have IV anesthesia.

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What are the most important aspects of recovery from oral surgery?

The outcome of your oral surgery is dependent on how well you heal. After surgery, don’t smoke or drink alcohol. They can slow down your healing process. To reduce swelling and pain, apply an ice pack. Instead of brushing your teeth every day, rinse your mouth with saltwater every few hours to get rid of any bacteria.

Be patient with your self. Recovery can take anywhere from 48 hours up to one month depending on what type of oral surgery was performed. Follow up with your dentist as instructed.
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What are some healthy foods after having an oral surgery?

After oral surgery, soft foods at room temperature are best. Avoid eating anything through a straw. Don’t eat hard, crunchy, or chewy food.

Oral surgery is common and can be simple or complex. It is important to plan and manage your recovery properly. For maximum comfort, set up your recovery area, arrange for someone to drive home, and allow yourself at least 2 days to heal. During this time, you can eat soft foods and rinse your mouth with saltwater.

Breathing and sleep issues. This includes snoring, sleep apnea (a condition that causes your breathing to stop for a short time during sleep) and snoring. A specialist may recommend a CPAP machine, or any other device that can open your airway. You might also be asked by your doctor to undergo surgery. In this case, you would visit an oral surgeon.The nature of your obstruction will determine the type of surgery that you would need. Your breathing problem could be simple: your airway needs to be expanded or your nasal passages or mouth need to be corrected. Surgical procedures involve removing the soft tissues of the oropharynx (an area in the back portion of the mouth) or the lower jaw. Laser surgery is a more recent treatment option.A doctor could perform the procedure and you can go home that same day. You may need to stay in hospital for a few days if the procedure you require is more complicated.

Treatment for cancer. Oral surgeons can also treat cancers of the mouth and throat.

Also, oral surgeons are available to help with:

  • Nerve repair
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate surgery
  • Removing lesions from the inside or face
  • Repare facial injuries
  • Biopsy
  • Infections of the skin

Talk to your dentist if you have any problems with your gums or teeth. You might be able fix it. An oral surgeon may be able to provide the relief you need.
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