What is oral surgery?
Oral surgery refers to any surgical procedure performed in or around your teeth, jaw and mouth. Depending on the type of procedure, you may need to be referred to an oral surgeon.
Advanced oral surgery procedures are performed by a qualified dental specialist. Dental specialists complete several additional years of education and participate in an advanced residency program.
What kinds of dental professionals perform oral surgery?
Advanced oral surgery procedures are usually performed by:
- An Oral Surgeon
- An Endodontist
- A Periodontist
Each dental specialist specializes in certain types of oral surgery.
For example, if you have gum disease and require a gum graft, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist.
If your dentist determines that a nonsurgical root canal procedure will not be sufficient to save a tooth, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist.
What are the most common types of oral surgery?
A few of the most common oral surgeries include:
- Gum graft
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Maxillofacial surgery
- Root canal treatment
- Tooth implants
- Repair of teeth and jaw following a traumatic injury
Oral Surgery - What to Expect
Discuss the upcoming surgery with your dental specialist and follow the pre-surgery instructions provided.
Depending on the type of surgery, you may be instructed to not eat or drink eight to ten hours before surgery.
Closely follow the post-surgery instructions your dental specialist provides.
Can I drive after an oral surgery procedure?
Talk to your dental specialist about the kind of anesthesia you will receive during surgery. Some types of anesthesia can interfere with your ability to drive. If your dental specialist recommends IV anesthesia, you will need to arrange for a friend to drive you home.
General Tips for a Comfortable Recovery after Surgery
(Ask your specialist for specific instructions)
- Do not smoke or consume alcohol after surgery as it can delay the healing process. If you have pain, use an ice pack to reduce inflammation.
- Instead of brushing your teeth, rinse your mouth with a solution of one teaspoon of table salt dissolved in warm water. Rinse your mouth with the solution every few hours to help eliminate bacteria.
- Before surgery, set up a reclining chair or a reclining bed so you will be able to rest comfortably.
- Eat only soft foods after surgery. Avoid foods that are hot, chewy, or hard – any food that might affect the wound.
- Avoid consuming hot, carbonated, or caffeinated beverages within the first 24 hours following surgery.
- After 24 hours have passed, drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink with a straw as it may disturb the wound.
- Be patient. Depending on the type of oral surgery, your recovery time can vary from 2 days to 4 weeks.
- Follow up with your dentist as directed.