The idea of oral surgery can cause anxiety in most people. Because there is a serious issue with their teeth and mouth, they believe that they must undergo a painful, dangerous, and costly procedure. However, talking to your trusted dentist may help you understand how oral surgery can effectively resolve all kinds of dental issues and improve your overall oral health, and also ease any worries you may have.
You must know that oral surgery in Fort Lauderdale and across the world tackles procedures that address certain conditions that most people experience, including tooth loss, wisdom teeth, and sleep apnea. Though each case is unique, most of these dental procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can get back to your normal activities or work within several days.
Read on to learn more about the common types of oral surgical procedures and what you should expect before, during, and after surgery.
7 Common Oral Surgical Procedures
1. Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is a common dental surgery necessary to treat trauma, disease, or an overcrowded mouth. If the affected tooth has fully erupted, a simple extraction is performed, which entails pulling the tooth with forceps. Otherwise, a surgical extraction that requires the cutting of the tissue or bone will be performed. Your dentist may even need to close the wound with stitches.
Tooth extraction is necessary when:
- There is extensive tooth damage that no longer can be repaired or saved
- The tooth has become loose because of periodontal gum disease
- The teeth are overcrowded
- There is severe tooth infection that can’t be treated with either a root canal therapy or antibiotics
2. Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Your third molars or wisdom teeth are the last teeth that will erupt on every side of your lower and upper jaws. They often come out during the late teenage years or early 20s. If your jaw can sufficiently accommodate an erupting wisdom tooth, the latter will erupt normally and won’t cause any problems. However, one or more of these teeth don’t erupt properly – and this is called an impacted wisdom tooth.
Impaction happens between the gum tissue and the jawbone. The only solution to this dental problem is to extract the third molar through a surgical procedure known as wisdom teeth removal. Your dentist will recommend this procedure to prevent problems later on, which can include pain, infection, and swelling. Moreover, the impacted wisdom tooth can cause permanent damage to the adjacent tooth, bone, and gums. In some cases, the impaction can result in the formation of tumors or cysts that will destroy a section of your jaw.
3. Dental Implants
Dental implants are tooth replacement solutions that you can choose to get if you don’t want to use a dental bridge or dentures. Implants function, appear, and feel like natural teeth. They can significantly improve your life by allowing you to eat and smile with confidence.
Getting implants requires the surgical placement of an artificial tooth post or root into the jaw. Eventually, the bone will grow and attach itself to the implant. Once it has fully integrated into the bone, an abutment is installed to hold the replacement tooth known as a dental crown. For multiple missing teeth, implants are used to hold dentures and implant-supported bridges.
4. Gum Graft
Gum graft surgery refers to covering the exposed tooth roots caused by excessive gum recession using gum tissues to prevent further recession and bone loss. It involves taking out soft tissue graft from your palate or other areas in your mouth. This can be done to multiple teeth simultaneously. This surgical procedure also protects the root from further decay, reduces tooth sensitivity, and enhances your smile.
5. Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder requiring treatment. Though there are other options for treating this illness, such as using a special machine or mouth guard to open the airway at night, surgery is the best solution for some patients. Excess tissue will be removed from the back of the throat to reduce symptoms and clear the airway.
If you have noticed a lesion growing in your mouth, an oral cancer screening in Fort Lauderdale may be required. A biopsy can be performed, wherein a small piece of tissue is removed and then sent to the lab for further analysis.
7. Reconstructive Surgery
Facial injuries and knocked-out teeth can make daily functions like eating a challenge. These surgical procedures will replace damaged or missing teeth, correct jaw joint issues, and treat gum and jawbone damage.
What to Expect
There are essential things you must do before, during, and after surgery to ensure your dental surgery’s success.
Before the surgery, an overview of the treatment plant will be discussed with you. Anesthetic options will be explained as well. Depending on the surgical procedure you need, your dentist may administer antibiotics and other medications. This is also your opportunity to ask any questions you have in mind so you can be confident about undertaking the required type of surgery.
During the procedure
On the day of your surgery, avoid consuming any food and drink for at least eight hours before the procedure, especially if you are expecting anesthesia. If you have chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes, expect that you will be monitored during the surgery for any possible complication and during your hospital stay, should you need to be hospitalized after the procedure. Procedures like jaw surgery may entail hospital confinement for two to four days, while wisdom tooth extraction doesn’t – you can go home on the same day of the surgery.
Like any other type of surgery, dental surgical procedures will require a recovery period. Ask someone to bring you home after the procedure, especially if you have been given general anesthesia. You may also be prescribed pain medications and antibiotics if necessary. Your dentist will provide you with the dos and don’ts after surgery, so make sure to follow them religiously. Contact your dentist immediately if you feel or notice anything unusual – don’t wait for complications to happen or an infection to develop.
Regular dental visits are crucial in making sure that your teeth and mouth are always healthy. Whenever you feel any discomfort in your teeth and mouth, visit a dentist immediately. You might already be suffering from a serious dental problem that requires surgery. And if a surgical procedure is necessary, equip yourself with the right information and don’t hesitate to share your concerns with your dentist. Being aware of what to expect from your treatment will help guide you in anticipating a positive result, and reassure you that you can get your gorgeous smile back in no time.