Oral Surgery

Oral surgery can address a number of issues with a patient’s oral health and the structure of the smile.

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Oral surgery can be used to address a number of different issues with a patient’s oral health and the structure of the smile. For example, the patient may need to have a surgical extraction to remove an impacted tooth or to augment bone that is insufficient due to congenital issues or bone loss after tooth loss. Our team is experienced in performing a variety of oral surgery procedures, and we work to ensure maximum patient comfort and relaxation throughout the treatment. Additionally, we provide you with thorough instructions to prepare for your procedure and to adequately care for the surgical site afterward.

Types Of Oral Surgery Procedures

Surgical extractions are probably the most commonly performed oral surgery procedure. Typically this procedure targets impacted wisdom teeth, which is a condition experienced by many patients. In order to extract impacted teeth, Dr. Moriarty must first remove a certain amount of bone before the tooth can be accessed and removed. Sedation accompanies surgical extraction for patient comfort.

Supplementing bone, either to correct a congenital defect or to make the conditions more suitable for dental implant placement, is another type of oral surgery treatment that we provide. Bone grafting takes donor bone tissue from elsewhere in the body or from an external source and inserts that tissue at the site of the defect or the proposed implant location. Sinus lifts add bone to the sinus floor at the rear of the jaw in order to give patients sufficient bone to sustain osseointegration of dental implants. Sedation is also used to improve the patient’s experience with these procedures.

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Preparing For Oral Surgery

Prior to your scheduled procedure, we will give you detailed instructions that cover everything you need to do to prepare for the appointment. You will be asked to take steps to prepare for sedation, such as taking an oral medication in advance or fasting for a number of hours prior to the appointment. You will need to arrange for someone to escort you home after the appointment (and someone to bring you to our office if you are using oral sedation).

You also may receive prescriptions for antibiotics or painkillers in advance of your procedure. It can be helpful to get these filled before the surgery so that you don’t have to deal with those logistics afterward. A diet consisting of softer foods will be recommended for a few days following your procedure, so be sure to stock up on those as well.

Self-Care After Your Procedure

It’s important for you to do everything possible to prevent complications following your oral surgery. Keeping the treated site clean is essential. Infection can significantly interfere with your healing process. Please note that the cleaning instructions that you get may differ from your normal oral hygiene practices in order to protect the surgical site. Please follow these instructions closely.

Other possible complications are specific to the type of procedure. For example, dry sockets can occur after a surgical extraction. You will reduce the risk of this issue if you avoid drinking straws and smoking after your procedure. We will also give you a list of symptoms to monitor for that should prompt you to call our office for further evaluation.

Common Oral Surgery Questions

How long do the holes in my jaw stay after extractions?

The holes left behind after a tooth is extracted can take up to six weeks to heal completely. However, the patient usually starts to feel “normal” again much sooner than that. Any discomfort should begin to subside within a matter of days, and we will advise you as to when you can return to a normal diet. Additionally, the risk of dry sockets decreases significantly after about 7-10 days.

How long does it take for a tooth bone graft to heal?

The timeline for bone graft healing will vary from patient to patient and is dependent on the size of the bone graft and other factors specific to the patient’s case. Bone graft patients should plan on at least three months for the graft to “take,” and it could be longer than that. Dr. Moriarty can give you a more concrete idea of the timeline after examining you and planning for the procedure.

How long will my recovery take? When can I return to work or to my normal routine?

Recovery from oral surgery depends on many components, including the type of procedure performed, the patient’s adherence to post-operative instructions and the patient’s overall health, among others. Many patients will be able to resume their normal routines within a few days of having wisdom teeth extracted, while the recovery period is likely to be longer after a bone graft. Ask Dr. Moriarty what is a reasonable expectation for the recovery in your case.

Will I have problems with my sinuses after having a sinus lift?

While sinus problems after a sinus lift are rare, they can occur. Some patients report pain or infection following this procedure. Dr. Moriarty will take all precautions possible during the procedure to prevent such issues from affecting you, and closely following your post-operative instructions should further reduce this risk. If you do develop such symptoms, please inform us immediately so that we can work to address them for you.