Many patients are unaware of what exactly is meant by the term 'oral surgery'. Today, our Winnipeg dentists discuss exactly what dental surgery is, and when it may be necessary for your oral health.
What is dental surgery?
Dental surgery is a broad term that can apply to several procedures involving the teeth and gums. If you need dental implants, a wisdom tooth extraction, a root canal, or something else, we may recommend oral surgery as an ideal treatment option. At Reflections Dental Health Centre, we take a preventive approach to dental care and always strive to recommend the least invasive procedure possible while still effectively resolving dental issues for our patients.
However, in some cases, surgery is necessary. A few of the most common dental surgery procedures include:
Root canals involve the removal of a damaged tooth root, preventing the tooth from needing to be extracted. 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 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.
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 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 tooth replacement (a bridge, crown, or denture) to the implant.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
If your wisdom teeth come in misaligned, or if they cause crowding or other dental issues, Your dentist will recommend extracting them. 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.
Following the procedure, your oral surgeon may use either dissolving stitches or removable stitches (these will require a follow-up appointment for removal). Recovery usually takes a few days and you’ll need to eat soft foods until the area heals. Your dentist will advise you on post-op care to ensure a speedy recovery.
Pain Associated With Oral Surgery
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.
The Recovery Process
Recovery typically takes a few days. To ensure a speedy, smooth recovery, try some of the tips below:
- 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 dentist).
- 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 dentist.
Do you have questions about an upcoming surgical procedure? Contact Winnipeg dentists who can address any inquiries or concerns you may have.