When you consult a dentist with different dental problems, the dentist will assess your condition and recommend suitable treatment options. Oral surgery could be ideal for multiple conditions affecting teeth, gums, and other structures. Your dentist can recommend oral surgery for oral health conditions like impacted wisdom teeth, tooth loss, jaw joint issues, and breathing problems.
Oral surgeries are invasive procedures performed by experienced oral surgeons. Your procedure could be aimed at placing dental implants, tooth extraction, correcting a defective jawbone, and bone grafts, among others. Undergoing oral surgery is a nerve-wracking experience. This is because the outcome of the surgery could have lasting effects on your health.
The procedures will involve incisions, excisions, and other procedures, expert skills, and specialization. For this reason, you should seek expert dental services to assess your condition and treat it with oral surgery. At Beach Dental Care Anaheim, we offer safe and reliable dental services for our patients requiring oral surgery in Anaheim, CA.
What is Oral Surgery?
Oral surgery encompasses different surgical procedures aimed at diagnosing and treating various oral and dental health conditions. Oral surgery treats injuries, malformations, and diseases affecting the mouth, gums, tissues, and bones. When you consult your dentist with a persistent oral health issue, they recommend different treatment approaches.
If the noninvasive treatments are ineffective in correcting your condition, oral surgery may be a last resort for you. You may be a good candidate for oral surgery if you have any of the following oral health conditions:
- Impacted wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third molars, which develop after other teeth have settled in the mouth. Due to the lack of space for these teeth, they could grow abnormally or fail to erupt, causing severe pain, discomfort, and damage to surrounding teeth.
- Missing teeth. You may have missing teeth due to medical extractions, trauma, or tooth loss from gum diseases and other oral health complications. While there are multiple options for tooth replacement, your dentist can recommend surgical replacement, like the placement of dental implants.
- Gum disease. Gum disease periodontitis is a severe infection of the gums. This condition can cause the gums to detach from the c-teeth and create pockets that will need surgery to close.
- Overbite and underbite. If your jaws are not aligned correctly, you could have an overbite or an underbite. This could not only distort your smile but also cause severe oral health complications. Your dentist may recommend surgery to correct jaw alignment.
- Jaw joint disorders. Problems with the temporomandibular joint disorder can cause toothache, stiffness, and severe headaches. While most temporomandibular jaw disorders can be corrected with medication and therapy, severe cases will need surgery to correct them.
- Sleep and breathing issues Sleep disorders like sleep apnea and snoring can have devastating effects on your oral health. If the non-surgical treatment options for the condition are ineffective, surgery may be necessary.
Types of Oral Surgery
Common types of oral surgery that your dentist could recommend include:
A tooth extraction procedure involves completely removing the tooth from its socket, and it is recommended when your tooth cannot be saved with procedures like fillings and a root canal. Your dentist can recommend tooth extraction if you have:
- Severe tooth decay or cavities.
- Fractured tooth.
- Crowded teeth.
- Severe gum disease.
Tooth extraction is a simple procedure performed in the dentist’s office. Before an extraction, the dentist will use X-rays and other diagnostic measures to determine tooth and bone damage levels. Since tooth extraction is an invasive procedure, you will need anesthesia to numb the area and prevent pain.
Dental implant surgery is a tooth replacement procedure for individuals with one or multiple missing teeth. Unlike other restorations, dental implants are attached directly to your jawbone using titanium screws. This ensures that the implants look and function like natural teeth. Dental implants are a good alternative to crowns, dentures, and bridges.
A dental implant has two main parts: a titanium screw that functions like a tooth root and an artificial tooth attached to the root. Since the implants are attached to the bone, you must have healthy bones and gums before the procedure. If your jawbone is damaged by severe gum disease or other dental issues, you may need to undergo a bone graft before the placement of dental implants.
Dental implant surgery is performed through the following steps:
- Extraction. This is the removal of remnant parts of the damned tooth. The extraction procedure is necessary for individuals with teeth damaged by decay or trauma.
- Preparation. The oral surgeon will prepare your jaw for the surgery by determining the strength of your jawbone. You may need one augmentation through a graft if you lack enough bone to support the implants.
- Surgical insertion. The dental implant is surgically inserted into the tooth through an opening created by the surgeon. This could involve cutting through the gums and drilling the jawbone. After integrating the artificial root into the bone, you will need time for the jaw to heal.
- Crown placement. The crowns over the dental implants are custom-made to look and function like natural teeth. Therefore, your dentist will guide you through choosing the material and shade that suit your needs. The crown is then attached to the artificial root to complete the procedure.
Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is a dental procedure that helps relieve pain from an infected tooth. Sometimes, bacteria from tooth decay can enter the tooth's pulp, causing a severe infection. An infected tooth is characterized by pain, discomfort, and sensitivity to extreme temperatures. During a root canal procedure, the dentist removes the inflamed root pulp containing blood vessels and nerves. The inner tooth is then cleaned and sealed using dental filling material.
Some of the signs indicating your need for root canal treatment include the following:
- Pain that radiates to the jaw.
- Swollen gums.
- Boil or pimple on the gums.
- Tooth discoloration.
- Pain when pressure is applied to the tooth.
- Tooth Sensitivity.
A root canal procedure is performed through these steps:
- Administration of anesthesia.
- Placement of a dental dam to protect your gums and keep the area dry.
- Drilling of an access hole in the tooth pulp.
- Pulp removal.
- Cleaning and shaping of the tooth canals.
- Sealing of the tooth.
A root canal prevents a tooth infection from spreading and eases the symptoms associated with tooth infection.
Removal of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If you have impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist will recommend surgical removal of these teeth to prevent further pain and discomfort that they cause. Removal of the impacted wisdom teeth is necessary for:
- Gum disease and infection involving wisdom teeth.
- Tumors and cysts on the gums above the wisdom teeth.
- Wisdom teeth that damage the surrounding teeth.
- Dental crowding caused by wisdom teeth.
The process of wisdom teeth extraction includes the following:
- The extraction of impacted wisdom teeth is an invasive procedure that could cause severe pain. Therefore, sedation is necessary before the procedure.
- Tooth removal. The dentist will make an incision on the gums to remove the bone that blocks access to an impacted wisdom tooth. They will then remove the tooth and empty the socket before closing the incision.
After the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth, you could experience bleeding, pain, and swelling. Following the care instructions given by your dentist will help with a fast recovery.
Periodontal gum disease is a severe infection of the gums characterized by swollen gums, bad breath, receding gums, deep pockets between the gums, and loose teeth. For individuals with advanced gum disease, a dentist can recommend periodontal surgery. The procedure is done to:
- Remove bacteria from under the gums.
- Reshape the bones supporting your teeth.
- Prevent future gum disease.
- Reattach the loose gums.
There are different types of periodontal surgery that your dentist can recommend, including:
- Flap surgery. This procedure involves lifting sections of the gum and reattaching them to reduce gum pockets and prevent the accumulation of tartar and plaque.
- Bone grafting. If you have suffered bone loss from gum disease, the bone could be replaced through a graft procedure. A bone graft is made from tiny fragments of your bone or a synthetic bone.
- Soft tissue graft. When periodontitis causes your gums to recede, a gum graft can restore the lost tissue.
Jaw surgery, also known as orthographic surgery, is used to correct the irregularities of the jawbone and realign the teeth to improve their appearance. Jaw surgery is a standard procedure for individuals with temporomandibular joint disorders. Before recommending surgery, your dentist could attempt treatment of the condition with medication or therapy.
Jaw surgery is necessary to:
- Ease the pain when chewing or biting.
- Minimize excessive breakdown of the teeth.
- Correct facial imbalance.
- Provide relief from sleep apnea.
Complications Associated with Oral Surgery
When performed by a competent oral surgeon or dentist, oral surgeries are effective and safe. However, like other surgical procedures, you may be at risk of developing the following complications after oral surgery:
- Infection. Oral surgery involves making incisions in your gums or tissues around the face. Although the oral surgeon or dentist will sterilize the surgical site to prevent the transfer of bacteria, individuals with compromised immunity could develop an infection. Signs of infection include fever, prolonged swelling, and a foul taste in the mouth.
- Dry socket. A dry socket is a painful complication arising from tooth extraction. Typically, a clot develops after tooth extraction to protect the bone and nerves exposed after the extraction. If the clot dislodges prematurely, the healing process is slowed, and the chances of infection increase.
- Excessive bleeding. Bleeding is an expected outcome of oral surgery. However, bleeding should stop within a few hours of the surgery. Excessive or persistent bleeding is a concern that should be addressed immediately.
- Injury. Although oral surgeons are careful when performing these invasive procedures, you can suffer injuries to surrounding teeth and tissues.
Oral Surgery Aftercare Tips
Oral surgery entails invasive procedures that range from tooth extraction to dental implants and bone grafts. Depending on the type of oral surgery you undergo, you may be free to go home when the anesthesia from the procedure wears off. You may need some time to recover from oral surgery. However, following the right instructions could increase the speed of recovery and prevent complications. Before you go home, your oral surgeon could give you the following care tips:
Rest and Recovery
After oral surgery, rest is critical to ensuring proper healing. Your dentist or oral surgeon will recommend avoiding strenuous activities within the first few days after the surgery. Heavy lifting and other strenuous activities can cause swelling and increase bleeding from the surgical site. After oral surgery, sleeping with your head elevated using a pillow is recommended. Every person’s body is different. Therefore, you should be patient for your body to heal naturally.
Before an oral surgery procedure, the surgeon will administer anesthesia. This helps numb the surgical site and prevents the pain and discomfort associated with the procedure. When the anesthesia wears off, you may experience some pain. The surgeon will prescribe over-the-counter medications that you can use to relieve the pain. If the pain persists or is too much, seeking immediate care is critical.
Swelling and Bruising
Bruising and swelling are common after oral surgery. Swelling is your body’s natural reaction to trauma and injury while brushing will occur when the blood vessels are damaged as the surgeon makes incisions in your body. The severity of swelling and bruising you will experience depends on the type of oral surgery.
You can minimize the swelling by applying ice cubes to the surgical site for up to twenty minutes. The application of ice cubes is suitable for the first forty-eight hours post-surgery, after which you can use a heated pad to reduce swelling. If bruising persists for two weeks and is accompanied by fever and pain, you must contact your oral surgeon for an emergency checkup.
Avoid Smoking or Alcohol Use
Oral surgeries like tooth extraction and dental implant placement require time to recover. During recovery, the mouth tissues will need as much oxygen as possible. Smoking interferes with the body’s natural healing process. Therefore, your dentist will recommend that you avoid this habit while you recover from the procedure. Additionally, smoking could burn the delicate tissues of the mouth after the surgery and dislodge the clot on a tooth extraction site, which is necessary for healing.
The risks associated with tobacco use also apply to alcohol. Therefore, you should also avoid alcohol for a few days as your body recovers. Another reason your dentist could discourage alcohol use is the interaction between alcohol and the medications prescribed for treating inflammation and infection after your oral surgery.
Your oral hygiene is critical to post-operative care for your oral surgery. Keeping your mouth clean always helps prevent the accumulation of bacteria that could cause an infection and interfere with the healing process. For the first few days after oral surgery, you can rinse your mouth with salty water, after which you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid plaque accumulation.
Although continuing your routine oral hygiene practices is essential, you may need to avoid mouthwash containing hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.
Although oral surgery solves your underlying dental problems, dental visits do not end after the procedure. Your oral surgeon will recommend that you return for a follow-up appointment. During this appointment, your dentist will check for signs of infection and how well your body has recovered from the surgery. After the follow-up appointment, you must continue with your regular dental visits.
Limit your Diet
It is essential to plan your diet after oral surgery. Depending on the extent of the procedure, your mouth could still be swollen and sensitive even when the anesthesia wears off. While proper nutrition can help with a faster recovery, eating the wrong foods could irritate the surgical site and prolong the recovery period.
After oral surgery, you must avoid hot foods that could burn the surgical site. Additionally, you should take soft foods that do not irritate the swollen surgical site. Common foods that are recommended post-oral surgery include smoothies.
Find a Reliable General Dentist Near Me
You may require oral surgery if you have oral health complications that are unresponsive to medication or other forms of treatment. Typical forms of oral surgery include tooth extraction, root canal therapy, dental implants, and periodontal surgery. These procedures are necessary to replace missing teeth, treat damaged muscles and bones, or relieve the pain associated with tooth infection.
Oral surgeries are invasive procedures whose outcome can impact your overall health. Before undergoing oral surgery, your dentist or oral surgeon will assess your eligibility. After oral surgery, you may be at risk of developing complications like infection, excessive bleeding, or injury.
Therefore, you will receive instructions that you must follow to avoid potential complications from the procedure and speed up healing. If you or your loved one requires oral surgery in Anaheim, CA, you will benefit from our expert services at Beach Dental Care Anaheim. Contact us at 714-995-4000 to book an appointment.