Oral Surgery – What Every Patient Needs to Know

When a dentist suggests oral surgery, a patient may be concerned. This person must understand “what is oral surgery?” Why would someone require such a procedure?

Dentist tools and professional dentistry chair waiting

What is Oral Surgery?

Oral surgery is defined as any surgical operation performed on the oral structures of the patient. Procedures such as extractions, gum grafts, and dental implants are included in this category, and oral surgeons are often responsible for performing the procedures rather than conventional dentists. So, what exactly do oral surgeons perform, and how do they differ from other dental experts, are some of the questions.

When is Oral Surgery Needed?

Oral surgery is frequently required when there is extensive tooth decay or a badly fractured tooth. Despite this, a dentist may prescribe this surgery in a variety of different circumstances. For example, impacted or missing teeth may necessitate surgical intervention. An additional treatment option for gum disease and temporomandibular joint issues is surgery, which a dentist may prescribe. Surgery is frequently used in the treatment of sleep apnea and oral cancer, as well as in the treatment of noncancerous tumors.

What Do Oral Surgeons Do?

modle jaw with dental implant

When a patient requires an oral surgery operation of this nature, general dentists will often refer them to an oral surgeon. “What do oral surgeons perform?” you might wonder after receiving this recommendation. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon performs surgical treatments on oral structures, such as the mouth, face, and jaw, as well as on the teeth. Following graduation from dental school, this individual will have an additional three to four years of training to learn how to do the operations listed above.

Before Oral Surgery

Before performing oral surgery, the expert does a thorough examination of the patient's mouth, teeth, gums, and jawbones. Then they use X-rays and scans to gain a more detailed look at the structures in question. The X-rays and scans enable the surgeon to develop a customized treatment plan that is tailored to the patient's specific requirements.

The Oral Surgical Procedure

Depending on the nature of the operation, oral surgical treatments might be performed as an outpatient procedure or in a hospital setting. Before the treatment begins, the patient is given a sedative to help him or her relax. The length of time required for surgery varies depending on the technique and the tissues involved.

Recovery Following Oral Surgery

Patients are provided with thorough post-operative instructions. Follow these directions to the letter, since doing so reduces the chance of infection, bleeding, and other issues in the long run. Healing time varies depending on the individual and the technique. The majority of patients, on the other hand, report complete recovery in a few days.

The length of recovery time is determined by the nature of the operation; hence, more extensive treatments result in longer healing durations. Oral surgeons provide drugs to patients when they are necessary to assure their comfort. Unless they have a more significant operation, such as corrective jaw surgery, most people find that they may return to work or school within three days following their procedure.

Following the operation, avoid eating anything that is hard or crunchy. While the mouth is healing, soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, and eggs are healthier alternatives to eat. Many patients also find that ice cream, milkshakes, and popsicles help to calm the surgical site, so keep them available after the operation as a soothing option.

Will Insurance Cover the Procedure?

female cosmetic dentistry patient smiling in mirror in dental chairPatients frequently inquire as to whether their insurance will pay all or a portion of the procedure's costs. The majority of oral procedures are covered by dental insurance, although this is not always the case. Provided a surgical operation is necessary as a result of an accident, the procedure may be covered by a medical insurance policy if it is performed in a hospital environment. Always check with your insurance providers before scheduling surgery to find out how much each insurance company will pay and how much will be the patient's obligation until the procedure is completed.

Benefits of Oral Surgery

Dental structures must collaborate in order to provide the best possible oral health and function. Occasionally, though, a situation occurs that makes it difficult for them to act as a group effectively. Oral surgery is the treatment of problems that arise in these structures, with the goal of improving the patient's oral health and general quality of life.

Risks of Oral Surgery

Oral surgery, like any other surgical operation, carries some dangers with it. Patients may get an infection or experience a dry socket as a result of their treatment. This syndrome occurs when a patient, in some way, interferes with the blood clotting process following a surgical extraction procedure. Numbness and damage to neighboring teeth, as well as dental root issues, continue to be a source of worry. In addition, some people develop sinus difficulties after having an oral surgical operation performed on their teeth. Following all post-operative instructions provided by the oral surgeon and taking medicines as indicated can help to prevent the likelihood of these issues occurring in the future.

When to Call the Oral Surgeon

Whenever a patient experiences discomfort following surgery and finds that medicine is not helping to minimize or eliminate the pain, they should contact their oral surgeon immediately. In addition, any temperature of 100.4 or above necessitates a call to the surgeon immediately, and the same is true if the surgical site is draining or otherwise leaking. These indications indicate that there is an infection at the surgery site, which needs rapid treatment.

The use of current surgical technologies is advantageous to oral surgeons. They are now able to give patients high-quality care through the use of less intrusive technologies. Patients report that oral surgical operations help to restore the health and function of their oral tissues, reduce or eliminate discomfort, and give them a better overall quality of life, among other benefits. If your dentist has advised one or more surgical treatments, you should seek assistance from an oral surgeon as soon as possible. Then, when you finally feel better, you'll be grateful that you took this action.

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