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Posted on: April 21, 2022
Do You Need an Oral Surgeon?
To the patient, a dentist may be a dentist. However, an oral surgeon is a specialized dentist who has completed the required four years of general dentistry training as well as four additional years of surgical residency in a hospital. These dentists are called oral surgeons and they specialize in advanced dentistry procedures that may require surgery, such as:
- Broken or fractured jaws
- Cosmetic and restorative dental surgery
- Dental implants
- Impacted teeth extractions
- Knocked-out teeth
- TMJ problems
- Wisdom tooth extracted
If you have any of these issues, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon.
Since oral surgeons typically are involved in extensive procedures, they’re fully trained to administer all types of anesthesia. Usually, a local is administered for simple procedures, but if you have a more complicated problem that involves incising your soft tissues, you may need a general anesthesia. If you have a general, then you’ll need to arrange for transportation home.
Is There a Better Option for Me Than Oral Surgery?
If you suffer from excruciating dental pain, then an oral surgeon is probably the best option for you. For instance, when wisdom teeth don’t erupt correctly, they can become impacted, which can cause infection, pain, permanent damage, and swelling. An oral surgeon can remove your impacted wisdom teeth, which will immediately ease your pain, and you needn’t worry that the issue will happen again.
If you have missing teeth, whether from infection or trauma, an oral surgeon can install implants that will look and function the same as your natural teeth. Although implants require an adequate amount of jawbone, a bone graft is an option if you’re short on bone mass. However, implants require the same good oral hygiene habits as your natural teeth. Otherwise, you can develop decay and infection and lose your implants.
Which types of jaw-related problems can oral surgery fix?
If you have jaw or facial problems that aren’t specifically related to your teeth, an oral surgeon can help, such as with the following:
Poorly fitting dentures: If your dentures fit poorly due to jaw irregularities, an oral surgeon can remove the irregularities so that your dentures fit well and are comfortable.
- Uneven jaws: If your jaws have grown in unevenly, you may experience difficulty breathing, speaking, and eating. An oral surgeon can correct these problems and restore functionality to your jaws.
- TMJ disjunction: If you have temporomandibular jaw disjunction that doesn’t respond to medication and therapy, then an oral surgeon can correct the issue and restore your comfort and function.
If your dentist has recommended an oral surgeon for you, don’t hesitate. Make the appointment. It may be scary initially, but you’ll be glad you called.
Which types of facial problems can oral surgery fix?
Oral surgeons are masters at correcting facial issues such as the following:
Cleft lip or cleft palate: This fetal developmental disorder results in a gap in the roof of the mouth or the upper lip. Although it can occur on the lower lip, it very rarely does. An oral surgeon can correct the deformity and restore proper function to the area.
- Facial injury: If you have a fractured or broken jaw or any other facial bones that are fractured or broken, an oral surgeon can treat them and ensure that they heal correctly.
- Facial infection: If you have a facial infection, whether from an impacted or abscessed tooth or any other issue, then an oral surgeon can remove the infection and treat it so that it doesn’t recur.
- Sleep problems: If you have sleeping issues such as sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder, then an oral surgeon may be able to help you, particularly if nothing else has worked.
If you need the services of an oral surgeon, make the call today. You can regain the aesthetics as well as the function and comfort of your face and mouth, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment.
Are Before and After Tips for Oral Surgery Provided by Your Oral Surgeon?
If you have oral surgery scheduled, you’re probably apprehensive. However, some upfront planning can alleviate your anxiety and enable you to focus on the finished product, i.e., your pain-free, fully functional face or jaw, and your good night’s sleep. First, start with your oral surgeon and ask if you’ll require any medication after your procedure and can you pick it up beforehand. If not, then arrange for a friend or family member to get it for you. Your oral surgeon understands that most patients are apprehensive about surgery, so this is an excellent time to discuss your sedation options. Also, ask about any distraction methods such as videos or music.
Will I Need Transportation Home?
If you’re having general anesthesia, you’ll need to make transportation arrangements because you won’t be able to drive. If, however, you’re receiving a local, you may be able to drive yourself home. Your driver should bring you to the appointment, wait throughout the procedure, and drive you home. If you have small children, you may need to make arrangements for childcare during your recuperation. You’ll need to avoid strenuous activity until you’re fully healed.
Are There Lifestyle Habits That Oral Surgeons Recommend?
You’ll receive specific aftercare instructions before your procedure, but typically, oral surgeons recommend the following:
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products for at least 12 hours beforehand and at least 24 hours afterward.
- Don’t eat or drink anything for at least eight hours beforehand if you’re having a general. Otherwise, you could aspirate during the procedure. That isn’t good.
- If you’re having a local, don’t eat or drink for two hours prior to your procedure.
- Wear clothes that are loose-fitting and comfortable.
- Don’t wear contact lenses or jewelry to your procedure.
Being prepared for your procedure and following your surgeon’s instructions specifically can make your surgery go more smoothly.
What Type of Diet and Comfort Tips Should I Follow After My Surgery?
Usually, an oral surgeon will recommend a soft-food diet for several days after surgery. If you aren’t getting enough nutrition with soft foods, then you can add meal supplements such as Boost, Ensure, or SlimFast to your diet. If you experience any excessive bleeding, swelling, or pain, immediately contact your surgeon’s office because you may have developed complications.
It’s relatively simple to locate a good oral surgeon, but if you’re having difficulty, ask your family dentist. If they have no suggestions, ask your family doctor or inquire at your local hospital emergency room. Be sure to make an appointment with your prospective oral surgeon to be sure you’re comfortable with them. Also, be sure to check with your insurance company to know the extent of your coverage as well as any limitations and exclusions. As always, if you develop an emergency or have a crisis, go to your local emergency room.