There is an average of 25 to 30 oral and maxillofacial surgeries conducted per dental practice every month in the United States. That’s probably because oral surgery is a very common procedure involving the mouth and jaw.
Many people fear a routine dental visit and are even more terrified at the prospect of surgery. But dental specialists perform these surgeries successfully every day.
One way to alleviate your fear is to know what to expect before and after you have oral surgery. Read on to get the facts.
What Is Oral Surgery?
Oral maxillofacial surgery is a dental surgical specialty. Oral surgery involves procedures performed on the tissues of the mouth. This can include your gums and teeth.
Maxillofacial surgical procedures involve your head, face, and jaw. A dentist can perform more common procedures such as tooth extractions, including the removal of wisdom teeth. However, if the surgery is complicated due to impacted teeth, an oral surgeon will perform the procedure.
Types of Oral Surgery
There are different types of oral surgery. They include:
- Installation of dental implants
- Treatment of sleep apnea
- Tooth extractions
- Corrective jaw surgery
- Bone grafting
These may sound ominous but knowing what they entail can ensure you’re fine pre and post-surgery. Finding a surgeon you’re comfortable with also helps. You might be asking – how do I find an oral maxillofacial surgeon near me? The best way is to get recommendations from family and friends or check out reviews of the specialists in your area.
What to Expect Before Oral Surgery
Before your oral surgery, the specialist will take x-rays of your mouth to pinpoint the exact location of your issue. Preparing for oral surgery includes informing your dentist of any medications you take whether over-the-counter, prescriptions, herbal supplements, or vitamins. They will also need to know about any major health issues such as diabetes or if you have a compromised immune system.
On the day of your procedure don’t eat or drink for at least six hours before your scheduled appointment. You should arrive early and wear loose clothing. This will facilitate the easy administration of intravenous anesthesia if it is part of the procedure.
Let the specialist know if you’re not feeling well on the day of your procedure so that it can be rescheduled. The time the procedure will take will depend on the type of procedure and how complex it is.
What to Expect After Oral Surgery
Recovering from oral surgery may take a while. The length of time will also vary depending on your procedure. However, it mainly involves managing any pain and allowing yourself to heal.
Pain management will include applying ice, which will also help to reduce any swelling. The recommended medication is usually acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or a combination of both.
This will involve a scheduled pain regimen as opposed to taking the medication only when the pain occurs.
Easing Into and Out of Oral Surgery
The thought of having oral surgery can be scary for some. But knowledge is power. So knowing what to expect can help to ease your fears.
Preparing for oral surgery is straightforward and can assist in having the procedure go as smoothly as possible. Recovering from oral surgery involves managing your pain to help accelerate the healing process.
Once you follow the specialist’s pre and post-surgery instructions, you should make a full and speedy recovery. For more advice regarding your oral health, check out the Dental section of our site.