A common dental surgery is tooth extraction, which is usually necessary to resolve disease, trauma or an overcrowded mouth. Teeth that are visible above the gumline and can be pulled with forceps are removed by a simple extraction. You may undergo a surgical extraction when bone or tissue must be cut to remove the tooth. Surgical extractions typically also require stitches to close the wound. Wisdom teeth can be particularly stubborn to remove, and often by the time they are surgically removed they may be half erupted or they may be impacted. It is very common to have bone grafting done at the same time as a tooth extraction to preserve the site for future work, maintain bone and mouth health, or to support an implant when placed at same time as the tooth removal.
Prosthodontics includes a range of aesthetic procedures, including the reshaping of individual teeth to accept crowns, veneers or bridges, and surgical insertion of dental implants for mounting artificial teeth or dentures.
Preparing for Surgery
If you’re facing any form of oral surgery, there are several measures you can take to ensure you’re ready when the time comes. Your dentist or other staff will review your medical history, and it’s important to mention all medications you take including over-the-counter products, vitamins and supplements. Depending on the procedure planned and your medical history, your oral health professional may administer antibiotic prophylaxis. The American Dental Association explains that those who have prosthetic joints, have certain heart conditions or have a compromised immune system may benefit from premedication.
On Surgery Day
On the day of surgery, if you are to have IV anesthesia, you should avoid food and drink for eight hours before the procedure. Patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, will be monitored during the procedure for any complications relating to the anesthetic. If you are not having iv anesthesia, please eat about 1-2 hours before your appointment. Avoid greasy or highly caffeinated items.
Recovering from the Procedure
Any form of oral surgery requires a recovery period, during which you may be limited to certain types or consistencies of food or methods of taking in nutrition. A surgical extraction will likely only require some over-the-counter pain medication. During the recovery period, it’s important to follow the instructions of your oral surgeon or dentist, and to contact your dentist if you have any questions or concerns. Don’t wait until an oral infection develops or complications occur. Call your dentist as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Remember that your entire medical and dental team will be behind you every step of the way, from preparing for to recovering from your oral surgery. With their help, you’ll return to feeling your best in no time.