Your dentist may have mentioned that you need oral surgery, but do you know what that means? Here, our Napanee dentists explain what dental surgery is, the common types and what to expect from surgery and recovery.
What is dental surgery and what can it be used for?
If you undergo any invasive procedure affecting your oral structures that is referred to as dental surgery. If you need dental implants, a wisdom tooth extraction, a root canal or something else, we might say you need dental surgery to preserve or improve your oral health. At Got Smile Dental Centre, we take a preventive approach to dental care and always strive to recommend the least invasive procedure possible while still effectively resolving dental issues for our patients.
Unfortunately, sometimes we are unable to easily treat the issue at hand and need to consider dental surgery. Some of the commonly performed types of oral surgery include:
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth need to be extracted in cases where they come in misaligned, or if they cause crowding or other dental issues. Wisdom teeth extractions sometimes need to be performed in a surgeon’s office, and may or may not involve anesthesia. The dentist will open the gum tissue, clean any debris or bone covering the tooth, then choose to extract the entire tooth or cut it into more easily removable parts.
Once your tooth is out your dentist will need to stitch up the incision. This can be done using stitches that are either dissolvable or removable. If you have the removable ones your dentist will take them out at your checkup appointment. Recovery usually takes a few days and you’ll need to eat soft foods until the area heals.
If you need tooth replacement treatment your dentist may have recommended an invasive procedure called a dental implant. These implants work together with bridges, crowns or dentures to replace any missing teeth that you have. While dental implants serve as artificial roots used to support replacement teeth, bridges are false teeth that fill a gap between healthy teeth and dental implants on both sides to help restore your smile’s function and appearance.
Implants are surgically placed in the jaw bone, underneath the gum tissue. Recovery and healing typically take between 3 and 6 months following surgery. The patient will then return to the office to complete the procedure.
At this second appointment, your dentist will attach the tooth replacement (a bridge, crown or denture) to the implant.
Root Canal (Endodontics Surgery)
When you have a tooth infection you may be able to avoid needing the entire tooth removed. Your dentist may be able to perform a root canal procedure. The pulp will be removed from the tooth and the space cleaned. Next, your dentist will add a filling or crown to help restore the tooth’s function.
Your dentist will need to finish the procedure by placing a crown of filling in order to help protect the tooth from future decay. Though the tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days, and you’ll need to stick to soft foods, the procedure is usually highly successful and recovery should be uneventful.
Will dental surgery hurt?
Depending on your procedure, you may feel some pain after a dental surgery but it should be manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication.
What can I expect during recovery after dental surgery?
Your recovery from dental surgery will likely take a few days. In order to ensure a speedy, smooth recovery, keep these general tips in mind:
- Do not lie flat – try to lie on your side to give blood a chance to clot.
- Apply an ice pack to the area intermittently during the first 24 hours (as directed by your dentist).
- Restrict strenuous physical activity, as it may increase bleeding.
- Eat soft foods. You may gradually add solid foods back to your menu as recovery happens.
- Avoid using straws. Sucking on a straw may loosen a blood clot, encouraging bleeding and delaying healing.
Dental surgeries can range from simple to complex and have varying timelines and recovery times. If you have any questions about your procedure, its benefits or after-care, consult your dentist.
Are you worried about going for dental surgery? Our Napanee dentists are here to answer your questions and help ease your concerns.