Dental Surgery

Surgeries of the mouth, teeth, and bones, and gums

Last modified: September 28, 2011

Alejandro Romero DMD
Orthodontist/General Dentist

Romero Orthodontics & General Dentistry
and Contributing Writer

Dental Surgery

Dental Surgery

The term dental surgery can encompass all sorts of medical procedures that are carried out by trained dental surgeons or dentists. The kinds of surgeries that dentist do are limited to all those that are done inside the mouth and can range from a simple extraction of a tooth to a major maxillofacial surgery involving most of the dental structures present.

Most of the time, dental surgeries are carried out at a dentist’s office under local anesthesia, but can also be done at a hospital or private clinic with general anesthesia. Dental surgeries are limited only to patients who truly require them.

A Good Candidate for Dental Surgery

Even though surgeries cover a wide range of treatments, only those patients who truly require surgeries are recommended to have them done. Talking in general about surgeries is a very broad subject but patients who require them will usually have to be in an acceptable general health state.

More than ideal candidates for surgery, most patients will need to be screened to determine if they are NOT candidates for surgery at that time, since patients with compromised health will be limited for surgical approaches. Patients who are not good candidates for any kind of surgery are, for example, uncontrolled diabetic patients, uncontrolled high-blood pressure patients, and immunodeficient patients, among others. Also patients who cannot tend for themselves in the post-operative state will have difficulty depending on the type of surgery involved.

Preparing for Dental Surgery

In preparing for a dental surgery, the most important thing is for the patient to have his/her health thoroughly examined to detect any possible problems during or after the surgery. It is important to also become acquainted with the treating dental surgeon in order to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Knowing that you are in the hands of an experienced professional will ensure that you have a positive surgical experience.In terms of specifics, surgeries are very varied but some of the most common are:

•    dental extractions or ‘’pulling teeth’’ (after local anesthesia, the tooth to be extracted is pushed along the sides, loosening the root and with pressure it is removed)

•    third molar extraction or ‘’wisdom tooth removal’’ (after local anesthesia, depending on the position of said tooth, gum and or bony structure will be removed; the molar might have to be cut in pieces and removed slowly like that, or be taken whole)

•    torus removal surgery (with local anesthesia, the gum in the area will be lifted and the extra protruding bone called ‘’torus’’ needing to be removed will be scraped or drilled off)

•    removal of pathologies (depending on the severity of them and their location, pathologies such as cysts and tumors can be removed with local or general anesthesia)

•    Reconstructive, orthognathic or any type of maxilomandibular advancement ( usually done with general anesthesia, these mayor surgeries should be limited to specialists)

Recovery from Dental Surgery

Just as with the level of difficulty involved in the surgery, the recuperation time on surgeries varies a lot. A simple dental extraction will involve no more than a couple of days of post-op care, while a major dental surgery (such as orthognathic surgery) may require weeks of recovery with limited diets and pain involved.

Risks and Side Effects from Dental Surgery

Any potential side-effects are also completely linked to the type of dental surgery: for a simple extraction some potential
side-effects could be discomfort, fever, nausea, etc. For mayor surgeries there could be pain, swelling, bruising, infections, even Paresthesias.

The bottom line is that all surgeries should be considered a last resource for treatment. Surgeries, and especially dental surgeries, are mainly permanent procedures that will definitely have an impact on the patient’s life. Even a small surgery, such as a dental extraction, should not be taken lightly, so the most important aspect is to follow the dentist’s exact instructions on all things involved in surgeries. By following all those guidelines, dental surgeries should benefit the patient conclusively.

Find a Dental Surgeon in your area.

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