What exactly do people mean when they discuss dental surgery? How is it done? And does it hurt? Today our dentists in Burnaby will answer these FAQs from patients and provide some facts.
What is dental surgery?
Dental surgery is an umbrella term for numerous medical procedures involving the teeth and gums. If you require a wisdom tooth extraction, dental implants, root canal or something else, we might schedule you for dental surgery to improve or preserve your oral health. At Oakmount 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, oral surgery will be necessary. Here are a few of the most common dental procedures:
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
If they become misaligned or cause crowding or other dental issues, wisdom teeth will need to be extracted. Sometimes, wisdom teeth extractions will need to be done 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 extract the entire tooth or cut it into parts that can be removed more easily.
Once the procedure is complete, your dentist or 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 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 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 bridge, crown or denture) to the implant.
A root canal involves the removal of a damaged tooth root, saving the tooth from an 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.
- 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.