Even if you’ve been making regular visits to the dentist all your life, you may someday develop a condition that requires you to have a procedure performed by an oral surgeon like Dr George Hatzigiannis. If you’ve never had an oral surgical procedure before, you may feel apprehensive. Oral surgeries are very common, and knowing what to expect may help you feel calmer.
What Are The Types Of Oral Surgical Procedures?
Perhaps the most common type of oral surgical procedure performed is tooth extraction. If the tooth has already erupted above the gumline, a surgical procedure may not be necessary. Your dentist may be able to perform a simple extraction using forceps in his or her office.
However, sometimes teeth become impacted, that is, trapped below the gumline because there is not enough room in the mouth for them to emerge. Any sort of tooth can become impacted, but impaction of the wisdom teeth is perhaps the most common.
It may not be necessary to remove an impacted tooth that is asymptomatic. However, once it starts causing you problems, such as infection, pain, and swelling, your dentist may recommend that you see an oral surgeon to have it removed.
Another common type of oral surgical procedure is a dental implant. This procedure is performed to replace a permanent tooth that has been lost. Dental implants look and feel natural and prevent bone loss in the jaw. However, replacing a tooth with an implant actually requires multiple procedures over a span of several months to a year.
The term “oral surgery” is a little misleading. It is often more accurate to refer to the practice as oral and maxillofacial surgery because the procedures performed are not necessarily confined to the mouth. Procedures considered oral surgery can also include removing soft tissues in the throat to correct sleep apnea, correcting a cleft palate, removing and biopsying abnormal growths in the mouth, reconstructing facial bones fractured by trauma, or correcting disorder of the temporomandibular joint.
What Can You Expect From An Oral Surgical Procedure?
The expectations for an oral surgical procedure vary somewhat depending on what type of surgery you are having. Regardless of the type of procedure, however, your surgeon will inform you in advance of what is going to happen during the operation, any precautions you need to take, and any preparation you need to perform beforehand.
With any dental procedure, you can expect to receive one of two types of anaesthesia:
- Local Anesthesia: Numbs only the area of the body where the procedure is to be performed
- General Anesthesia: Renders you completely unconscious
Your surgery preparation depends largely upon what type of anaesthesia the surgeon plans to use. If you are to receive general anaesthesia, you will often need to refrain from eating or drinking for at least 8 hours before your procedure is scheduled.
If you have a compromised immune system or a history of joint replacement, you may also need to take prophylactic antibiotics before your oral surgery to prevent infection.
Following the procedure, your surgeon may also place restrictions on you in regard to what you may eat and drink thereafter. If you receive general anaesthesia, you will need time for it to wear off and should make arrangements beforehand for someone to pick you up from the facility.