What is dental surgery? How is it done? And does it hurt? Today our Victoria team provides answers to commonly asked questions.
What is dental surgery?
Dental surgery is a broad term referring to a number of medical procedures involving the teeth and gums. If you need dental implants, a wisdom tooth extraction, a root canal or something else, we might say you need dental surgery to preserve or improve your oral health. At Dr. Todd Jones Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we take a preventive approach to dental care and always seek to recommend the least invasive procedure possible while still effectively resolving dental issues.
However, in some cases, surgery is necessary. A few of the most common dental surgery procedures include:
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 dentist 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 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.
Dental 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 can take 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 dental replacement (a bridge, crown or denture) to the implant, making your smile look more natural.
A root canal involves the removal of a damaged tooth root, saving the tooth from needing 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 completed with a crown or filling. The procedure is usually extremely successful, although your tooth may feel sensitive and you'll need to stick to soft foods for the first few days.
Is dental surgery painful?
Depending on your procedure, you may feel some level of discomfort or pain after dental surgery, but your symptoms should be manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers or medication prescribed by your dentist.
What can I do to promote recovery?
Recovery typically takes a few days. In order to encourage a faster, smoother recovery, keep these general tips in mind:
- Avoid laying flat on your back – try laying on your side to give blood a chance to clot.
- Use an ice pack on the external area intermittently during the first 24 hours (follow your dentist's instructions).
- Try to avoid strenuous physical activity, as it may increase bleeding.
- Stick to soft foods. You may gradually add solid foods back to your diet as you recover.
- Avoid using straws. The suction it creates may loosen a blood clot, encouraging bleeding and delaying healing.
Dental surgeries can vary in complexity, timelines and recovery times. To find out more about your procedure, its effects or after-care, contact your dentist.
Want to learn more about an upcoming dental surgery at Dr. Todd Jones Periodontics and Implant Dentistry? Our Victoria dentists can address inquiries or concerns you may have. Contact us today.