Oral Surgery FAQs

7 Day Dental Oral Surgery FAQs | Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery FAQs

Below are our most Oral Surgery faqs or frequently answered questions for Oral Surgery…

Why do patients see an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon?

Some of the cases which require consultation with or treatment by an oral surgeon are:

  • Impacted or non-restorable teeth
  • Tooth replacements using dental implants
  • Facial pain relating to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
  • Cysts or tumors in the facial, oral or jaw region
  • Oral cancers
  • Realignment or repair of jaw following a facial trauma

Will I feel pain after an Oral and Maxillofacial surgery?

You will feel pain once the anesthesia wears off. To manage the pain as well as the swelling, your surgeon will prescribe medications which you must take as instructed. What is the process involved in having a maxillofacial surgery?

Here at 7 Day Dental, we observe this process:

Setting up an initial appointment: You may call our office to set an appointment. We are open for 365 days; hence, we can provide you with the care you need immediately. You do not have to wait long, especially if it’s an emergency situation. The Initial Appointment: Some of things you need to bring for this initial consult are a slip from the referring doctor, most recent x-rays and list of medications you are currently taking. During the initial appointment, you will undergo a thorough examination for your surgeon to assess your condition and determine the best course of treatment. On this visit, our specialist will discuss with you your condition and your treatment options.

In some cases, treatment is done on the same day. Often times, however, treatment is scheduled on the second visit. We require patients who are under 18 to have a parent or a guardian with them during their visit. The Day of The Procedure: We recommend that, on the day of your surgery, you ask someone to accompany you to the clinic as you may not be allowed to drive home.

What is Oral and Maxillofacial surgery?

Maxillofacial refers to the area of the facial skeleton and includes the bones of the face, forehead, cheek and jaw. So, oral and maxillofacial surgery is a surgical specialty focused on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, defects, disorders and injuries involving the maxillofacial region and the hard and soft tissues of the oral or mouth region.

What is an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon or Oral surgeon?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a specialist who spent four years or more in a hospital-based residency program after dental school. During their residency, they train alongside residents of different medical specialties such as anesthesiology, general surgery and internal medicine among others.

What does an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon treat?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon treats esthetic and functional conditions involving the oral and maxillofacial area. Some of the different surgical procedures they perform are simple tooth extractions, wisdom teeth removal, reconstructive oral and maxillofacial surgery, dental implant surgery, treatment of oral infections and temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMJ).

What Oral and Maxillofacial surgical procedures do you offer?

7 Day Dental offers a full scope of treatment in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Our experts perform the following procedures: extractions, wisdom teeth removal, tooth replacement using dental implants, orthognathic surgery, facial and jaw reconstruction, repair of the jaw with TMJ surgery and diagnosis and treatment of tumors or cysts in the jaw, oral or facial region among others.

Will I feel pain during an Oral and Maxillofacial surgery?

Oral and maxillofacial procedures are performed with anesthesia. Hence, you don’t have to worry about pain during your surgery.

Do I need a separate consultation or can I be treated on the same day?

For cases such as extractions and other simple problems, consultation and treatment may be done on the same day. However, for complicated problems, the treatment or procedure is usually scheduled on another day.

Will I need additional x-rays?

In most cases, to properly evaluate your case, we take our own digital panoramic x-ray to obtain a comprehensive view of the entire upper and lower jaw. However, if you recently had an x-ray and the images are clear enough, you may not need to get a new one.

Should I be worried about radiation exposure from x-rays?

Here at 7 Day Dental, we use digital x-rays known for reducing patient’s radiation exposure by as much as 90%. Also, our dental staff members observe the mandated protocols to ensure that your exposure is minimized.

Can I drive after my surgery?

We do not allow patients to drive after a surgical procedure, especially if the procedure was performed under general anesthesia. As they alter your awareness, IV anesthesia and sedation medications can impair your ability to drive. This is why we recommend that you have a companion with you who can drive you home after your procedure.

Why must my companion stay in the office during the procedure?

We require that someone stays with you at the recovery room after the procedure. Also, as you won’t be able to absorb or remember instructions well after your procedure, your companion will be the one taking note of these important details.

Can I eat something before my Oral surgery?

Eating or drinking at least six hours before the procedure is not allowed if you are going to be sedated during the surgery. Meanwhile, if local anesthesia will be used, you may eat normally prior to your treatment.

What is Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction is done for a variety of reasons. It can be performed because of infection, overcrowding in the mouth or the tooth suffered a traumatic injury.

Why is my dentist referring me to an Oral surgeon for my tooth extraction?

Although regular dentists are capable of doing tooth extractions, there are certain cases which require expert care. Thus, if your regular dentist is referring you to an oral surgeon, he/she, after a thorough evaluation of your case, thinks that you would benefit if your tooth extraction is done by an expert.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

The wisdom teeth are referred to as the third molars. These teeth are the last to erupt, coming out during adulthood between the ages of 17 to 21. As the eruption takes places when there is little room in the mouth for them, the wisdom teeth end up growing sideways or becoming impacted. In these cases, removing the teeth becomes necessary to prevent orthodontic and other dental problems.

Does everyone need their Wisdom Teeth removed?

Luckily, some people do not have to undergo wisdom tooth/teeth removal; others, in fact, do not grow wisdom teeth. To determine if your wisdom tooth needs to be extracted, your dentist will conduct a thorough examination to assess your condition.

My impacted Wisdom Teeth are not bothering me, but my regular dentist is suggesting that I consult with an oral surgeon. Why?

Impacted wisdom teeth, even if they don’t bother you, may be silently causing damages in your mouth. This is why it’s best to see an oral surgeon for you to get a clear assessment of your wisdom teeth and how they are affecting your oral health.

Why should impacted Wisdom Teeth be treated?

Treating impacted wisdom teeth is imperative to prevent the accumulation of bacteria in the opening around the tooth and the development of infection. Impacted teeth may also cause shifting in the position of nearby teeth and other orthodontic problems. At times, tumors or cysts develop; this situation may result in the destruction of the jawbone or teeth. Removing impacted wisdom tooth early on is highly recommended to avoid all these complications and minimize the risks associated with this procedure.

How long is the recovery time following Wisdom Tooth removal?

The pain and swelling are expected to subside in a few days to a week. Meanwhile, full healing of the gums takes a month. Generally, the healing period varies per patient as factors such as compliance to post-surgical instructions affect the healing process.

What can I expect after the removal of my Wisdom Teeth?

You may expect mild discomfort as well as swelling. These are all part of the normal healing process. To minimize the swelling, you apply cold compress on the face on the area above the treated region. You may manage the pain with some medications prescribed by your surgeon.

How long is the surgical removal of the Wisdom Teeth?

It depends on how complicated the case is; however, in simple cases, it takes an hour.

What is the success rate of Dental Implants?

As per studies, the success rate of dental implants is around 95%. Basically, they can last for so long provided that they are well taken care of.

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a natural tooth replacement used to fill the void left by the extracted tooth. They are implanted on the jaw. Dental implants can be used to support a bridge, crown or denture.

Does it hurt to have Dental Implants placed?

Patients report minimal discomfort during the placement of the implant. Fact is, some even say that an extraction is more painful than this procedure.

I had surgery this morning and one of my stitches came out. Is this normal? What should I do?

In most cases, this is normal, especially for wisdom tooth surgery and other tooth extractions. So, do not panic as this is not an emergency situation! Also, when resorbable sutures are used, you can expect them to dissolve in two to three days. However, if what you had was a bone grafting procedure, call us immediately if the stitches are coming out prematurely.

What kinds of food can I eat after my Oral surgery?

Eating cold and soft food is recommended on the day of the surgery. It is best to avoid hot food in the meantime as it can disturb the formation of clot in the extraction site. A day after the surgery and until the treated area is fully healed, refrain from eating crunchy, sticky and hard food. Meanwhile, if you just had dental implants placed; avoid eating hard food for at least six weeks to avoid damages to the implant.

I had my wisdom teeth removed yesterday but the pain medicine isn’t relieving the pain. What should I do?

If the pain lasts longer than expected or becomes severe, contact your surgeon so he/she can assess your situation and provide a proper remedy.

What does pain lasting for three or more weeks mean?

Prolonged or persistent pain is usually an indication of a localized infection. Hence, you need to call our office immediately and schedule an appointment so your surgeon can evaluate your condition and recommend an appropriate treatment.

What is a “Dry Socket”? How do I know if I have one?

A “dry socket” or alveolar osteitis involves the premature breakdown of the blood clot in the extraction area. Typically, it may be brought about by poor oral hygiene, smoking and overexertion during the post-operative period. This condition usually surfaces three to five days after the surgery. It is often characterized by a foul taste in the mouth, pain and bad breath.

Is “Dry Socket” treatable? How?

Yes, this condition is easily treatable. Its treatment basically involves washing out the socket. This is followed by placing a medication dressing which needs to be replaced every two to three days until the condition subsides (usually in a week or two). The medicated dressing also helps relieve pain. You can expect the pain to go away an hour after the placement of the dressing. So, if you are experiencing symptoms of a “dry socket”, call our office immediately and schedule an appointment.

I had my wisdom tooth removed this morning and I’m still bleeding. What should I do?

Try to apply firm and consistent pressure on the extraction site for at least 45 minutes. Do this by biting down firmly on the gauze in your mouth. Replace the gauze as needed; however, refrain from taking out the gauze every few minutes as this may result in more bleeding. Should you run out of gauze, you can purchase them in most pharmacies. It is also normal to experience slight bleeding days after the surgery. If this happens, just place gauze on the treated area and firmly bite on it. Meanwhile, if you experience profuse and persistent bleeding, call our office immediately.

My lips and other parts of my mouth (tongue, gum, teeth, etc.) feel numb. What does this mean?

This is a normal occurrence following a lower jaw surgery. The numbness is typically due to some type of irritation to the nerves involved. In most cases, it usually goes away in a few days or weeks. The good news is that this feeling or sensation doesn’t result in muscle weakness. However, it is still best to report this to your surgeon so that he/she can properly evaluate your case.

How long do the holes in my jaw stay after extractions?

The extraction sockets or “holes” generally close within six weeks. Meanwhile, it takes several months for bone to fill the sockets. Just ensure that you thoroughly clean the socket area, especially if you noticed food trapped in it. To clean it, you may use the water syringe provided during the surgery.

Does bad breath after surgery indicate an infection?

Infection is not necessarily the reason for the bad breath. In most cases, it is due to food getting trapped in the socket area. This is why it is important to keep the area clean all the time and to observe good oral hygiene following your surgery.

What should I do if I cut my wires or the wires/rubber bands break after having my jaws wired?

It is important to note that the jaws can only heal if they do not move. This is the purpose of the wires and rubber bands – to prevent movement. In this case, the wires/rubber bands need to be replaced. Schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately.

I am experiencing pain in my ear. Is this normal?

Yes, this is normal. The pain in the ear is usually referred pain from the lower jaw. You can expect the pain to go away as the extraction site heals.

What should I know about general anesthesia?

  • You should not eat or drink (including water) anything six hours before your surgery.
  • You must not drive or operate any machinery for 24 hours following your general anesthesia.
  • You must have someone who can be in the clinic during the procedure and can drive you home after the surgery.
  • Wear something comfortable, preferably loose-fitting clothes.
  • Before your surgery, remove your jewelry, contact lenses and dentures.
  • Avoid wearing makeup or nail polish on the day of your surgery.
  • Inform our office immediately if you are suffering from illness like cold or sore throat.
  • Let your surgeon know if you are taking other medications.

Why does my child need sedation or general anesthesia prior to the procedure?

Sedation or general anesthesia is administered to make the procedure or treatment safer and more comfortable for your child.

Should I be worried about my child getting sedation medication or anesthesia?

You should not be. Here at 7 Day Dental, we strictly adhere to the standards and procedures set by governing bodies such as the American Dental Association. Also, we have experts trained in these areas.

How long does an oral surgical procedure take?

The treatment time varies per patient and per procedure. Naturally, more complicated conditions take more time. However, with the advent of state-of-the-art technology, a lot of procedures are accomplished faster nowadays.

How do I prepare my child for the appointment?

During the consultation, pre-operative instructions will be provided. Also, we will do our part in ensuring that your child is relaxed before the procedure.

Why can’t my child eat or drink before surgery?

It is a necessary condition to ensure the safety of your child. Anesthesia makes normal reflexes relax. Hence, stomach contents easily go backwards into the esophagus and mouth and even into the lungs. This can be dangerous as stomach contents that get into the lungs may cause aspiration pneumonitis. So, if your child eats or drinks beyond the restricted time given, the surgery will be cancelled.

What if my child has a cold or has been exposed to other diseases before the surgery?

Inform our office immediately so our experts can better assess the situation and recommend a proper course of action.

Where do I go after my child’s treatment is completed?

Your surgeon will ask you to bring your child in for follow-up checkups. If the healing process goes on smoothly and the surgeon finds no problem, you will be referred back to your child’s regular dentist.

Can I stay with my child during surgery?

You are required to be in the clinic during the entire procedure. Before the surgery begins, you will be given a chance to ask the surgeon some questions. You may also be allowed to sit with your child to help him/her relax before the surgery. When the surgery begins, you will be asked to proceed to the waiting area. You can be with your child again after the procedure.

My child is experiencing nausea following a Wisdom Tooth extraction performed under IV sedation. What should I do?

Post-operative nausea and vomiting are typically due to dehydration. Hence, what you can do to alleviate this problem is to ensure good hydration. You can achieve this by giving him/her clear liquids only for several hours after the procedure. Once the nausea is gone, you may start feeding him/her soft food. As they contribute to nausea and vomiting, dairy products should be avoided until your child feels better. In some cases, these problems are brought about by narcotic pain medications. Thus, avoiding the use of these medications is the best way to prevent nausea and vomiting. If the aforementioned solutions do not work and the nausea or vomiting worsens, call our office.

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