What exactly do people mean when they talk about dental surgery? How does it work? Is it painful? Today, we'll answer these and other questions as our Kamloops dentists provide information and answer patient questions.
What is dental surgery?
Dental surgery is a broad term that refers to a variety of medical procedures that involve the teeth and gums. If you require dental implants, a wisdom tooth extraction, a root canal, or another procedure to preserve or improve your oral health, we may refer to you as requiring dental surgery. We take a preventive approach to dental care at Pure Dental 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:
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth must be extracted when they are misaligned or cause crowding or other dental problems. Wisdom tooth extractions are sometimes required in a surgeon's office and may or may not require anesthesia. The dentist will open the gum tissue, clean any debris or bone that may be covering the tooth, and then decide whether to extract the entire tooth or cut it into more easily removable parts.
After the procedure, your oral surgeon may use dissolving stitches or removable stitches (which will be removed at a follow-up appointment). It usually takes a few days to recover, and you'll need to eat soft foods until the area heals.
Bridges and implants are tooth replacements. Bridges are false teeth that fill a gap between healthy teeth and dental implants on both sides to help restore the function and appearance of your smile. Dental implants are artificial roots used to support replacement teeth, whereas bridges are false teeth that fill a gap between healthy teeth and dental implants on both sides to help restore the function and appearance of your smile.
Implants are surgically implanted beneath the gum tissue in the jaw bone. Following surgery, recovery and healing typically take 3 to 6 months. After that, the patient will 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.
A root canal procedure involves the removal of a damaged tooth root, which saves the tooth from extraction. The pulp in the tooth will be removed, and the space will be cleaned. Following that, your dentist will place a filling or crown on the tooth to help restore its function.
A crown or filling will be used to cover the root canal. Though the tooth may be sensitive for a few days and you will need to eat soft foods, the procedure is usually very successful and recovery should be uneventful.
Is dental surgery painful?
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.
What can I do to encourage recovery?
Recovery typically takes a few days. To ensure a speedy, smooth 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 be simple or complex, with varying timelines and recovery times. Consult your dentist if you have any questions about your procedure, its benefits, or aftercare.