If you recently found out that you will be having dental surgery done, you are bound to have questions. Below, our Prince George dentists at Family Dental Care - College Heights discuss questions such as 'What is dental surgery?' and 'Does dental surgery hurt?'.
What is dental surgery?
Dental surgery is used as a broad term to describe any and all medical procedures that involve 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 Family Dental Care - College Heights, our dental team prefers to focus on ongoing preventive care and will always strive to recommend the least invasive procedure possible while still effectively resolving dental issues for our patients.
While we do try to avoid surgery, there will be times when it is the only option. A few of the most common dental surgery procedures for these cases can include:
What are Wisdom Tooth Extractions?
Occasionally, wisdom teeth may begin to do more harm than good through misalignment or overcrowding, and in these circumstances, an extraction may be necessary. 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.
What are Dental Implants?
Implants and bridges are commonly used as 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 may take between 3 and 6 months following surgery. The patient will then return to the office to complete the procedure.
During the second appointment, your dentist will attach the tooth replacement (a bridge, crown or denture) to the implant.
What are Root Canals?
Root canals are used to remove the root of a damaged tooth, which in turn will save the tooth from 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.
All root canals must be completed with a crown of a filling to protect the tooth. 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.
Is it painful to have dental surgery done?
While each procedure will be different, you may feel some pain after a dental surgery but it should be manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication.
How can I ensure a successful recovery?
Recovery from dental surgery is typically only a few days at the most. In order to ensure a quick and successful recovery, keep these general tips in mind:
- 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 any questions or concerns about an upcoming dental surgery? Our Family Dental Care - College Heights location dentists in Prince George are here to answer any inquiries or concerns you may have.