There are situations when oral surgery can be the only solution.
While the idea of having surgery may seem scary to you, with our team of professionals you can be sure that treatment will go as smoothly as possible. Whether you are suffering from toothache or want to improve the overall look of your smile, we can offer a customized treatment plan for your situation.
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Even if you want to keep your natural teeth for a lifetime, there can be incidents when tooth removal is the only way out. If your tooth is broken, totally damaged by decay, it should be extracted. Painful wisdom teeth or impacted teeth, extra teeth that block other teeth from coming in, extensively damaged tooth because of trauma – there can be numerous cases when tooth extraction becomes necessary.
Simple extraction is performed when a tooth is not cut into pieces and no gum incision is needed to get access to your tooth. Before the procedure, a local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area. To remove your tooth, the dentist will loosen your tooth with the help of a special instrument called elevator. Simple extraction is often prescribed:
- when a tooth is too damaged because of trauma or decay and cannot be restored
- when you have an infection and cannot be a candidate for root canal treatment
- in case of crowding teeth
Before having your tooth removed, make sure that it is an ultimate solution. At first, your dentist should examine carefully the tooth to be removed and the surrounding bone. X-ray examination is needed to make a definite diagnosis. Checking your drug and medical history is also important to see if you have normal blood clotting and healing process.
In some cases, such as impacted wisdom tooth removal or retrieving root tips, a surgical extraction can be the only option. During the surgical tooth extraction, your dentist removes gum tissue or bone to get access to the tooth. This type of extraction involves stitches to close the wounded area for proper healing. Surgical extraction can be prescribed:
- in case of wisdom teeth removal, as they are usually impacted – not fully erupted into the mouth
- when a multiple broken down teeth need to be removed
- in case of root tips or teeth with long or curved roots
Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Painful?
Most patients experience little to no pain at all after surgery. They do however, experience some discomfort and swelling. Following the post-operative care instructions provided by your dentist will help prevent complications and discomfort as well as ensure that you recover as quickly as possible. During the procedure, your dentist will use a local anesthesia. If needed, the dentist will also prescribe pain medication and anti-inflammatory medications as part of your post-op instructions. If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort after having your wisdom teeth extracted, it’s important to contact your oral surgeon as soon as possible.
What Are Common Complications for Removal of Wisdom Teeth
Like with any type of surgery, there is the risk of complications after having your wisdom teeth extracted. The most common complication is dry socket. This happens when a blood clot does not form after the wisdom teeth are removed. With dry socket, you will experience pain and a foul mouth odor. These symptoms usually start 3 to 4 days after oral surgery. Your dentist can apply medication to the dry socket to remedy the issue. In very rare occasions patients may have paresthesia. This is when wisdom teeth entrapped in the jaw bone cause bruising or damage to the nerves during extraction. This nerve damage can cause numbness to your lip, tongue, or chin.
After surgery, it’s important to follow the post-operative care instructions provided by your dentist. The patient should limit their activity and avoid touching the wound. To help with swelling, apply an ice pack outside of the of the surgery site and take the prescription pain medication as prescribed by the surgeon. Some patients experience some bleeding after surgery. In these cases, you can use a gauze pad and bite firmly for thirty minutes to control the bleeding. After surgery, continue with your normal oral hygiene routine. Make sure to gently rinse your mouth and be careful around the surgery site. If you have any questions about the post-operative surgery instructions provided by your dentist, make sure to get clarification.
Alveoplasty is a surgical procedure aiming to polish the jawbone on those parts of mouth where teeth have been extracted or lost. It is usually performed during the tooth extraction procedure, but may be conducted alone.
Frequently Asked Questions
After your tooth has been extracted or lost, a socket remains in the bone. Even if the gums’ healing is successful, there will remain high and low points in the bone causing a serious problem in denture fitting. Alveoplasty is performed in order to make your jawbone smooth, flat and ready to accept any kind of prosthetic device. Alveoplasty can also speed up the recuperation after multiple teeth removal. During the procedure the gums are stitched over the hole which positively influences the healing process. A quick healing process is especially important for people suffering from cancer, as the radiation therapy cannot be provided until the sockets are fully healed.
Before starting the procedure, you will be carefully examined. Depending on the situation, you may need different levels of anesthesia. For example, in the complicated cases, when multiple teeth are removed and alveoplasty is performed on the single visit, you may be prescribed a general anesthesia. Once your teeth have been extracted, the dentist will make a cast of your gum to see where it needs to be smoothed and flattened for a perfect denture fit. A plastic mold will be made to serve as a guide for checking the fit after alveoplasty. Then, your gums will be cut in corresponding areas to open access to your jawbone. With the help of different instruments, your dentist will re-contour your jawbone until it gets smooth. The last step is checking if the mold fits properly and folding the gums back by stitching them in place.
After the procedure, the affected area will be swollen and sore. Your dentist will suggest appropriate pain-killers for the first 2-3 days. To get relief from swelling, you can apply ice packs on your face. In a few days, the pain will reduce; however, some discomfort may persist. You can rinse the mouth with salt water to lessen painful feelings. Eat only soft foods and avoid hot foods till the stitches are removed. You should also avoid drinking through the straw, as it may cause bleeding. The average healing process after alveoplasty lasts around a week.
Allograft Bone Graft
Teeth roots stimulate the bone growth. When you lose teeth, the bone may change its natural shape and form. Over some time, a significant part of bone may be lost, turning into a thin ridge. In this case, it becomes almost impossible to place dental implants. Bone grafting is a surgical procedure aiming to restore the bone structure after the previous extractions, traumas, gum diseases or injuries.
Allograft is a tissue that is grafted between individuals of the same specie (in our case, humans). The source is usually a donor bone, which is undergone multiple tests and sterilization procedures to become neutral to immune reactions. Allograft bone has been successfully grafted during numerous clinical trials and has a high safety record. Once an allograft bone is placed in the jaw bone, it will gradually convert into the natural bone, encouraging its further growth.
Bone Grafting Procedure
To expose your bone for grafting, your dentist needs to cut your gum, creating a flap of skin. Then, an allograft bone is placed onto your jaw bone and covered with a special membrane to protect from germs and speed up the healing process. Finally, a flap of gum is closed and stitched back. Usually, it takes around 1 month for allograft bone to convert in natural one. You will also be prescribed antibiotics to avoid potential risk of bacteria infections.
Grafted Bone Aftercare
After the bone graft procedure, try to avoid strenuous activities and control your blood pressure. Eat soft foods; avoid chewing during first 2-4 days. Applying an ice packs to the face can be relieving. Smoking should be stopped during the bone grafting procedure and healing process. Healing success can be greatly reduced if you smoke or drink alcohol after the bone is grafted. If you experience severe uncontrolled pain or bleeding, fewer, excessive swelling a few days after, or rash and breathing problems, don’t wait and call your dentist. During the follow-up meeting, the dentist will check the success of bone grafting with X-ray examination. Once everything is healed, the next stage of dental implant process can begin.