Any surgical procedures done on the gums, teeth, jaws, and any other oral tissues are known as oral surgery. Oral surgeries include jaw surgeries, gum grafts, implants, and tooth extractions. In most cases, periodontists, maxillofacial surgeons, or oral surgeons perform oral surgeries. These are dental professionals with specialized training in the various techniques involved in these surgical procedures.

If you are experiencing any issues with your oral cavity and looking for experienced dental professionals in Lomita, California, you can contact us at Washington Dental. Our proficiency in a wide range of oral surgical procedures equips us with the necessary tools to ensure you receive the dental care you deserve.

What is Oral Surgery?

In medical terms, oral surgery describes a field within medicine that focuses only on the diagnosis and care of all issues of the oral cavity that calls for surgical treatment. This branch of medicine only covers medical problems involving the mouth and jaw structures that warrant surgery.

According to the American Dental Association, the term "Oral Surgery" encompasses both maxillofacial and oral procedures. It's a specialty field that primarily centers on the detection and management of diseases, injuries, and any problems that have to do with how the mouth, teeth, jaws, and face function and look in general. This part of a person's body is known as the maxillofacial region.

Many elements make up oral surgery. It is the best course of action if someone wants their teeth extracted, suffers from bone loss, or has any other oral illness that requires corrective surgery. Oral surgery can be straightforward or complicated based on the case at hand.

Different Types of Oral Surgery

Each year, many people have oral surgery for a variety of reasons. The most typical procedures include oral bone grafts, tooth extraction, periodontal surgery, dental implants, sleep apnea, corrective jaw surgery, palate repair, and cleft lip.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extractions are performed more frequently than any other kind of oral surgery. If you're suffering from serious gum disease, dental trauma, tooth decay, or issues with your wisdom teeth, your dentist could recommend tooth extraction. Tooth removals are sometimes necessary to prepare a patient for dental dentures or different kinds of prosthetic devices.

Although it is always preferable to avoid having teeth extracted, there are situations when it is imperative to do so for the sake of a patient's dental health. The extraction of teeth is also often recommended as a preventative approach to lower the risks of having cavities, losing density, and encountering other dental issues.

Dental Bone Grafting

Dental bone grafts are required when loss of bone occurs in the jaw region. This could happen due to several different reasons. Your roots act as a stimulant to the nerves. This tells the brain to provide your jaw with nutrients to help it stay strong.

Tooth loss may lead to degradation in that region since there aren't any roots capable of stimulating the nerves. To later place implants into your teeth, your jawbone should be corrected in both density and volume with a bone graft.

At times, dental professionals insert bone grafts during periodontal surgery. The bone supporting your teeth could deteriorate as a result of severe gum disease. Bone grafts give your teeth a stable basis and less mobility, maintaining the strength and health of your teeth.

Dental Implants

The majority of people who need teeth replaced opt for dental implants since they are reliable and durable. Implants are miniature threaded posts constructed from zirconia/titanium that are implanted inside the jawbone to replace lost tooth roots. When the implants have healed, they could be restored using dental crowns, dentures, or dental bridges.

Periodontal Surgery

A periodontal specialist could advise you to get treatment for gum disease if your periodontitis is moderate to severe. The tissues are momentarily pulled aside from the tooth enamel during this operation, by making incisions along the gum line. After that, your oral surgeon will remove any bacteria and plaque that has built up. The gum tissues are finally put back and fastened in place with sutures.

Periodontitis sometimes leads to a recession of the gums. In such cases, gum grafting could be essential. The specialist will utilize donor tissues to help replace the lost tissues. This tissue can either be obtained from the mouth's roof or bought from authorized tissue banks.

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery, sometimes referred to as orthognathic surgery, addresses skeletal problems with the jaw bones. It could be suggested to treat facial imbalances, enhance chewing, or repair misaligned jaws. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction-related pain can also be treated with orthognathic surgery.

Sleep Apnea Surgery

When tissues at the rear part of the throat retract and obstruct your airway while you sleep, it results in a condition known as sleep apnea. Conservative treatments for sleep apnea can sometimes be effective, including using a continuous positive airway pressure machine or oral appliance treatments. But in severe cases, surgery can be necessary.

Correction of Cleft Lip and Palate

A cleft lip occurs when a child is born with a gap in the upper lip, whereas a cleft palate occurs when a baby is born with a gap in the mouth's roof. In certain cases, both abnormalities are present at birth. Cleft palates and lips arise when the baby's facial structures fail to develop normally during pregnancy.

Cleft palate and lip repair are usually performed by maxillofacial and oral surgeons to assist children in regaining normal feeding function and support the development of healthy speech patterns in the future.

The Benefits of Undergoing Oral Surgery

The jaw bone is a crucial component of human face anatomy, and its prominence contributes greatly to a person's appearance. The jaw's alignment, whether it's projecting outwards or receding inwards, can have an impact on a person's general health in addition to their appearance.

Jaw misalignment may not seem like a dangerous condition, but those who have these conditions experience emotional and psychological distress. Oral surgery is all that is required to enhance the physical makeup of a person's face and alleviate some issues. Ultimately, it can restore your appearance so you can live a happier, healthier life.

The following are some more benefits of having oral surgery:

Better Speech

Oral surgery can fix jaw and tooth misalignment, which can have a significant impact on a person's ability to speak. Oral surgery can be necessary for young people, particularly when the issue is discovered as they develop their ability to pronounce words and speak. Delays in therapy can lead to missed developmental milestones and have an impact on a child's entire life.

Improved Chewing

Misaligned jaws and teeth can also make it difficult for you to properly chew or swallow your food. Eating becomes significantly less difficult after the jaw condition is surgically corrected. Even while your chewing may not always be significantly impaired, you could feel pain while you're eating. Your surgeon can solve this issue as well.

Headaches Cured

The majority of dental and jaw problems result in discomfort and headaches, which disappear as soon as the root cause is fixed. For example, a corrected jaw procedure can alleviate pain, allowing you to take either fewer or no painkillers.

Cured Joint Pain

If you're having problems with your jaw or teeth, you may experience chronic pain in your jaw that makes it difficult to go about your daily life. Misaligned jaws could also force you to open your mouth constantly, which puts stress on your joints and teeth. If you are experiencing discomfort in the jawbone, facial joints, or teeth, oral surgery could provide relief.

Better Sleep

Many individuals with outwardly or inwardly retracted jaws breathe through the mouth. These individuals suffer from a lot of breathing problems while they are asleep. Maxillofacial surgery could be used to correct this issue.

One of these issues is sleep apnea; with surgery, you can get the proper rest and sleep you need to feel refreshed and have more energy to live a productive life.

Misaligned jaws aren't problems you would wish to spend your life with, regardless of if you have it naturally or developed it from an accident. Oral surgery can provide remedial measures that will restore your jaw's normal appearance and function.

Getting Ready for Your Oral Surgery

There are certain preparations you must make if you're scheduled for oral surgery. When getting ready for the big day, make sure you're following these simple tips.

Read Your Pre-Op Instructions Thoroughly

Make careful you read whatever instructions the dental professional gives you before the procedure. You will learn more about your anesthesia as well as how to get ready for it from here. Additionally, it will include any additional guidelines that are specifically relevant to your unique treatment.

Pick Up Your Prescriptions Beforehand

You'll need to go into recovery mode once the surgery is complete. As a result, you will not be allowed to go outside to get medication. Before your treatment, make sure to stop by the drugstore and pick up every prescription that you'll require for your recovery.

Find a Friend or Member of the Family to Give You a Ride to the Hospital

You won't be able to operate a vehicle or make your way home alone after being under anesthesia. Ask a close friend or relative to pick you up from your surgery and drive you home. When you've found no one to take you, you will have to wait until it feels safe to request a taxi.

Go Shopping For the Appropriate Foods

After your dental surgery, your food will be fairly restricted. So make sure you choose the correct foods to support your recovery. Only purchase healthy liquids like tea, water, milk, and protein drinks when you are out shopping. Additionally, you must limit yourself to softer meals for a couple of days. Avoid spicy or acidic foods, along with drinks that require straws.

Fast

Your oral surgeon will advise you to refrain from eating or drinking anything for no less than eight hours before your procedure if you're scheduled to be under anesthesia. Only drink a tiny sip of drinking water when taking medication, if necessary. By doing this, you can lessen your likelihood of aspiration happening during surgery.

Wear the Appropriate Clothes

Wearing comfy clothing is recommended for your operation. Avoid wearing long sleeves at all since nurses are going to have to use your arms to take your vitals, administer an intravenous drip, or check your blood pressure levels.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking should be avoided for a minimum of 12 hours before surgery and 24 hours after the surgery has been completed.

Show Up Early

Be sure to allow yourself enough time to get to your appointment, ideally around 20 minutes earlier. This allows you enough time to complete any last-minute documentation that is required and ask whatever questions you may still have.

Get Enough Sleep

You must get enough sleep before any kind of medical operation. Ask your dental professional (if it applies to your specific procedure) whether there are any recommended sleeping positions to avoid putting pressure on the area that was operated on.

Ask About Any Unanswered Questions

Make sure that you ask whatever inquiries you may have regarding your treatment, recovery process, as well as the dangers and benefits. Before having any dental procedures, you will want to feel knowledgeable and confident.

Choosing Your Oral Surgeon For Your Procedure

Oral surgery is crucial for anyone who wishes to improve their health, happiness, and productivity. Finding the ideal oral surgeon ensures that you will receive the care and comfort you require following the procedure. Finding the ideal surgeon could only require a bit of research, but you must first think about your needs because they will help you choose the surgeon who is perfect for you.

Many people have affiliations with their dental surgeons thanks to their dentists, while others have ties from their insurance providers. What's crucial is the surgeon who has been recommended must specialize in the field in which you have an interest. Perform a background check to determine the surgeon's level of expertise and look for patient testimonials.

You can get a vast list of qualified oral surgeons today by conducting an online search. When selecting your oral surgeon, keep the following factors in mind:

Experience

You can find out the length of time a dental professional has been practicing. It is best to pick a practitioner who has established a successful medical practice over a long career. A surgeon's level of experience increases with the number of procedures they have performed.

Competency

How proficient is your oral surgeon? What kind of medical expertise and training does he or she have doing the surgery you need? Higher training will be crucial for this sort of surgery.

The Oral Surgeon's Diagnosis and Proposed Course of Action

Every problem offers several therapy and correction alternatives, each with advantages and disadvantages. Before you agree to the recommended therapy for the condition you have, you must understand it. Make certain that you are given a thorough explanation of every element of the diagnosis and course of therapy.

The Cost

Oral surgery will certainly be a costly procedure, but the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages. However, you must be aware of the cost of the procedure, and any additional expenses, including your surgeon's recommended range of accepted payment options. By doing this, you will be ready to settle the payments once the moment comes and you will find it easier to do so.

Possible Complications or Risks of Oral Surgery

Oral surgery, like any other type of medical procedure, can have unintended risks. These include:

  • Infections.
  • Dry socket. This happens when the process of blood clotting process interrupted after tooth extractions.
  • Damage to nearby teeth.
  • Fractured root tips.
  • Numbness.
  • Sinus issues.

If you take your medications as directed and stick to the post-operative care plan, you can reduce your risk of developing these issues. If you experience any of these unwanted effects, you must contact your healthcare professional immediately so that they can provide you with further advice.

The Recovery Time

The length of time it takes for an individual to feel well will vary, but the majority of people report feeling return to normal after around seven days. The more thorough the oral surgery was, the longer it would take for you to recuperate from it. Your healthcare practitioner will administer drugs to you during this period to ensure that you are recovering well.

Foods To Eat After Oral Surgery

After having oral surgery, you should avoid foods that are chewy or crunchy so that you can hasten your recovery. Instead, stock up on soft foods such as rice, pudding, eggs, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and fish. Try popsicles, milkshakes, and ice cream for cool treats. Cold foods after surgery can help ease the discomfort in the surgical site.

Frequently Asked Questions on Oral Surgery

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions on oral surgery:

Who Performs Oral Surgeries?

Maxillofacial and oral surgeons specialize in procedures involving the mouth, face, and jaw. A periodontist, often known as a gum specialist, operates on your gums and any supporting bones. After completing dental school, both periodontists and oral surgeons need an additional 3 to 4 years of residency training.

What Should I Expect Before Oral Surgery?

Your dentist or other healthcare practitioner will perform a full examination on you to check the condition of your jaw joints, gums, teeth, and the structures in the surrounding area. In addition to this, they will perform dental imaging procedures and scans to obtain a good look at the roots, as well as your nerves, jawbone, and any other significant oral landmarks. They'll create a custom treatment plan based on the data gathered.

What Should I Expect During the Oral Surgery Procedure?

Oral surgery can sometimes be carried out as an outpatient operation in a dentist's office. Your surgeon might provide you with sedative options such as oral prescription drugs, intravenous (IV) deep or moderate sedation, or nitrous oxide to ensure your comfort during surgery. In other situations, general anesthesia can be used when performing oral surgery in a medical facility.

How Long Will the Oral Surgery Take?

The duration of the surgery will be determined by several factors, such as the kind of dental surgery you're undergoing, the number of teeth that need to be taken care of, and if you prefer to be sedated throughout the procedure. Extraction of one tooth often takes approximately 30 minutes, whereas more complicated procedures, for example, corrective jaw surgeries, take about 2 to 3 hours.

What Happens After the Oral Surgery is Completed?

After the oral surgery operation, you'll receive thorough post-operative recommendations. You must adhere to these instructions as precisely as possible to lower the likelihood of experiencing bleeding, infections, or any other potential side effects.

When Can I Resume My Daily Routine?

Most people can return to their jobs or schools in just 1 to 3 days. It can take a little longer for complex treatments, for example, corrective jaw surgeries.

When Should I Schedule a Visit With My Dentist?

You should go see your dentist as soon as possible if you are experiencing discomfort in your teeth, gums, or jaw. If you have just undergone dental surgery and afterward experience pain that does not go away after taking medicine, a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, or discharge at the site of the operation, you should immediately contact your surgeon. These warning indicators could point to an infection that has to be treated right away.

Find an Oral Surgeon Near Me

Oral surgery is an important subspecialty of dentistry that addresses a wide variety of oral problems. Its existence in the field helps ensure patients receive quality care for certain conditions. If you need oral surgery, our Lomita dentists at Washington Dental can offer you unmatched services. We are a diligent team of professionals that help restore oral health through surgical procedures for patients with acute oral conditions. Call us today at 310-326-5183.