We are open - safety is our top priority!
Posted on: April 21, 2022
When Do You Need an Oral Surgeon?
An oral surgeon is a specially trained dentist who has completed four years of dental school plus an additional four years of hospital surgical residency. Oral surgeons are skilled in performing advanced dental procedures like dental implant placements and extraction of impacted wisdom teeth. They also treat facial injuries, broken jaws, knocked-out teeth, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, and cosmetic and restorative surgeries. When you have a dental problem that requires a specialist, your general dentist in College Park may refer you to an oral surgeon.
Oral surgeries and extensive dental procedures often require general anesthesia to prevent pain. Oral surgeons are trained to administer all types of anesthesia, so they can make your experience as comfortable as possible. General anesthesia is usually reserved for extensive work that involves incisions into soft tissues. Local anesthetics such as lidocaine are adequate for smaller repairs. If your surgery requires general anesthesia, you won’t be able to drive yourself home, so be sure to designate a driver to accompany you to your appointment.
Is Oral Surgery Right For You?
There’s no need to suffer from dental discomfort. Oral surgeons can cure or correct many painful problems. Learn if oral surgery is an option for you.
When wisdom teeth can’t come in correctly, they are considered to be impacted and can result in pain, swelling, infection, and permanent damage to the surrounding area. But oral surgeons can remove these teeth to both relieve and prevent painful problems.
Have you lost teeth over the years from an accident or infection? Dental implants are a simple alternative to full bridges or dentures. The tooth replacements are securely placed in the jawbone by oral surgeons. But dental implants are only advised if you have a sufficient bone level and are willing to maintain them with good oral hygiene.
Oral surgery can correct a number of jaw-related problems, such as:
- Poor denture fit: when jaw irregularities prevent dentures from fitting comfortably.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders: when TMJ disjunction requires more than medication and therapy
- Unequal jaw growth: when improper jaw growth makes it difficult to speak, eat, and breathe.
- Facial problems are hard to face, but you can ease the problem with oral surgery. It’s often used to correct these cases:
- Facial Injury: for fixing fractured jaws and broken facial bones.
- Facial Infections: to treat infections that cause swelling and pain in the face.
- Cleft Palate or Lip: to correct this fetal development disorder that results in a gap in the lip or a split in the roof of the mouth.
Oral surgeons can perform advanced procedures to help those who suffer from sleeping problems. If non-surgical methods fail to work, then oral surgery is an option for getting a good night’s sleep.
Before and After Surgery: Tips from Your Oral Surgeon
An upcoming oral surgery can make you feel nervous, but a little preparation makes the process much easier. Before your surgery date, consult your oral surgeon to determine if you’ll need any prescription medications after the procedure is over. If you do, arrange for these to be ready for pickup immediately following the surgery. You probably won’t be able to pick them up yourself, so designate a friend or family member to obtain them. Dental surgeons understand that patients are fearful and worried before a procedure. Don’t be afraid to discuss your concerns. It’s also a perfect opportunity to talk about your sedation options and distraction methods like music or video to help you relax during surgery.
With some types of anesthesia, you may not be able to drive yourself home. Ask a friend or family member to drive you to the clinic on your surgery date. The designated driver will need to stay throughout the procedure, and see that you get home safely. If you have small children at home, you may need assistance during your recovery period.
Diet and Personal Habits: What Oral Surgeons Recommend
Oral surgeons usually give patients specific instructions for eating, drinking, and smoking before and after a scheduled surgery, especially if general anesthesia will be used. Follow all instructions carefully. You should avoid eating and drinking for eight hours before general anesthesia. If your surgery only requires a local anesthetic, you may have a light meal one to two hours before the surgery. You should not smoke for 12 hours before the surgery and at least 24 hours after its completion. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes, and avoid wearing jewelry or contact lenses.
Prepare for Recovery: Diet and Comfort
Dental surgeons generally recommend eating soft foods after oral surgery. If it is difficult to obtain the nutrition you need, consider using meal replacement options like Boost, SlimFast, or Ensure. Plan to take it easy for a few hours or days as you recover. If you experience any unusual pain, swelling, or bleeding during your recovery, contact your oral surgeon for advice.
Finding an oral surgeon is usually not a difficult process. In many cases, your family dentist can recommend someone who is located nearby and accepts your dental plan. Before committing to an appointment, be sure you are comfortable with the surgeon and his or her credentials. It is also advisable to discuss potential costs with your insurance provider before undergoing extensive dental procedures. If you don’t have a family dentist, check your local listings for available providers. If a sudden injury or other crisis situation occurs, go to your local hospital emergency room for treatment.