When people discuss dental surgery, what exactly do they mean? How is it done? And will it hurt? In this post, we'll cover these questions and more as our orthodontic specialists in Etobicoke share facts and answer FAQs from patients.
What is dental surgery?
The broad term 'dental surgery' or 'oral surgery' refers to numerous medical procedures involving the teeth and gums. If you need a wisdom tooth extraction, root canal, dental implants or something else, we might say you need dental surgery to preserve or improve your oral health. At Etobicoke Orthodontics & Oral Surgery, we take a preventive approach to dental care and always strive to recommend the least invasive procedure possible while still correcting dental issues effectively for our patients.
That said, in some cases, surgery will be needed. Here are a few of the most common dental surgery procedures:
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 orthodontic sspecialist 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 specialist may use either dissolving stitches or removable stitches (which you’ll have a followup 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 orthodontic specialist 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 orthodontic specialist 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 orthodontic specialist).
- 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 orthodontic specialist.
Do you have questions about an upcoming dental surgery at Etobicoke Orthodontics & Oral Surgery? Our Etobicoke orthodontic specialists can address inquiries or concerns you may have. Contact us today.