Problems with your oral health can have a major impact on your daily life. Tooth, jaw, or mouth pain, diﬃculty eating, trouble speaking; all of these can deeply aﬀect you. Some dental problems even rob you of self-conﬁdence or sleep.
Luckily, we have easy access to dental treatments like regular teeth cleaning, getting our gum tissue checked, ﬁlling cavities, or getting braces.
Sometimes though, these options are not enough, and oral surgery is necessary. This is where oral and maxillofacial surgeons come in.
What is Oral Surgery?
Dental surgical treatments are quite common and address a variety of concerns. Treatments are considered “surgery” when they are more complex, and anesthetics are needed.
Oral surgery can be considered major or minor, and the recovery process is typically quite quick. If surgery is necessary, your dentist will refer you to a qualiﬁed oral surgeon at our Sandy, Oregon clinic for the treatment.
Reasons for Oral Surgery
There are several dental problems that require surgical treatment, however, here are the most common reasons why it may be necessary:
- Tooth extraction (ex. wisdom tooth extraction or removal of third molars)
- Dental implants (to replace missing teeth)
- Root canal
- Need for reconstruction (ex. jawbone reconstruction)
- Cosmetic purposes (ex. chin surgery or facial implants)
- Problems with gum tissue
Dental implants and tooth extraction are common types of minor dental surgery, whereas reconstructive surgery and some cosmetic surgeries would be considered major surgeries.
Who Performs Oral Surgery?
Dentists can oﬀer a wide range of treatments to their patients, however when surgery is necessary, an oral surgeon takes over.
Although oral surgeons perform most dental surgeries, a maxillofacial surgeon usually takes on the more complex procedures.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have a diﬀerent area of expertise than dentists. Both dentists and oral surgeons are considered doctors, and they are both experts in their ﬁeld.
It is important to note that orthodontists are not oral surgeons. Orthodontists specialize in teeth alignment and improving their patient’s bite; they do not perform surgery.
What to Expect if You Need Surgery
On surgery day, it is important to come in with a clean mouth and clean teeth. Also, depending on the type of dental procedure you’re having, you will likely have to avoid food and beverages for the hours leading up to the surgery. If you are a smoker, you can’t smoke in the hours leading up to or following the surgery.
If you require local anesthesia, your dental surgeon will freeze the aﬀected area and it will become numb so you won’t feel any pain for the procedure. If you need general anesthesia, you will receive the medication via an IV (intravenous) and be put to sleep for the surgery.
Many dental surgeries take less than an hour, however some of the more complex surgeries where bone is involved (like jaw reconstruction) can take much longer.
Recovering After the Surgery
First of all, it is imperative that you have someone to drive you home after your dental surgery. As far as how long it will take to recover, that depends on the procedure you had done.
Some oral surgeries, such as tooth extraction or dental implants have a recovery time of only a few days, while others, such as any type of jaw surgery can take several weeks.
Regardless of the type of surgery you had, you can trust that the oral surgeons at our Bluebird Dentistry clinic in Sandy, Oregon will be there to support you every step of the way.