Your dentist may throw around the term dental surgery, but what are they referring to? How is it performed? Will it hurt? Today, our Smithers dentists talk about some frequently asked questions about dental surgery.
What is dental surgery?
Dental surgery refers to a large number of surgical procedures involving the teeth and gums. 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 Driftwood Dental, 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.
However, in some cases, surgery is necessary. A few of the most common dental surgery procedures include:
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth require extraction if they become misaligned, or if they lead to crowing in your mouth and 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 the procedure is complete, your oral surgeon may use either dissolving stitches or removable stitches (which you’ll have a follow-up appointment to have removed). Recovery usually takes a few days and you’ll need to eat soft foods until the area heals.
Implants and bridges are tooth replacements. While dental implants serve as artificial roots used to support replacement teeth, bridges are false teeth that fill in any gaps between healthy teeth and dental implants on both sides to help restore your smile’s function and overall appearance.
Implants are surgically placed in the jaw bone, underneath the gum tissue. Recovery and healing typically takes 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 crown, bridge, or denture) to the implant.
A root canal involves the removal of a damaged tooth root, saving the tooth from extraction. 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.
The root canal will be finished with a crown or filling. 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.
Is dental surgery painful?
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 do to encourage recovery?
Recovery typically takes 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
- Avoid using straws. Sucking on a straw may loosen a blood clot, encouraging bleeding and delaying healing
- Apply an ice pack to the area intermittently during the first 24 hours (as directed by your dentist)
- Eat soft foods. You may gradually add solid foods back to your menu as recovery happens
- Restrict strenuous physical activity, as it may increase bleeding
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
If you have any questions about your imminent dental surgery at Driftwood Dental contact us today to address any concerns you might have.