Over the course of a lifetime, most people undergo some type of dental surgery. It is important not to ignore any dental problems that you might be suffering from. Tooth alignment issues, tooth decay, bleeding gums are all the starting symptoms of more complicated dental problems. Dental surgery has changed a great deal over the past decade and advances in the field have meant that most of the procedures are less invasive and the recovery period faster.
The routine procedures such as veneers, teeth whitening and dentures are carried out painlessly and quickly. If your dentist has recommended that you undergo surgery, ensure that you are well-informed about the procedure before you decide to undergo it. With some research you will find that most dental surgery procedures are simple and eventually give you that smile you always wanted.
What Are These Procedures?
There are times when oral health issues progress to a point where you suffer from problematic and painful symptoms. This is when the dentist might recommend dental surgery. Removing teeth, removing damaged gum tissue and realigning the jaws are some of the surgery procedures.
Some of these procedures are carried out for purely cosmetic reasons while others are carried out to rectify an oral problem and maintain dental hygiene. There are different kinds of dental surgery. Here are the most common ones:
Teeth Removal – Wisdom teeth tend to be problematic. Most
people experience that they come in crooked. In some cases, they are impacted
just below the gum line. This can result in infections and it might damage the
adjacent teeth as well. If they are the cause of some dental problems, surgery
will be required to have them extracted.
• Dental Extractions – Apart from wisdom teeth removal, dental surgeons might have to extract decaying teeth. This is because the tooth itself might be damaged too much. Sometimes, patients prefer extraction to repair.
• Dentures – Older patients or those who have too many damaged teeth might opt for dentures. These could be partial or full dentures.
• Root Canals – If a tooth is infected; the dentist removes the tooth pulp and the root canal. The tooth is then filled and a crowned. Only local anaesthesia is required, and most dentists perform this procedure.
Jaw surgery is another kind of dental surgery which is not all that common. If there is a misalignment in the jaw, the surgeon will have to cut it and then realign it. Some people have this surgery done to rectify chewing and dental problems while others do this for cosmetic reasons.
How to Prepare for Your Dental Surgery
Have you successfully booked and scheduled your dental surgery? Wondering about what to expect? Well, assuming you have chosen an experienced dentist associated with a reliable dental centre, you should have nothing to worry about. However, whether you are having your jaw realigned or tooth restoration with dental implants, there are some things you could do for better results and to better take care of yourself. Remember that dental surgery also has risks just like other surgeries. How can you prepare well for a dental surgery?
1. Make sure you talk everything out with your dental surgeon. By this time, you should already have a comprehensive idea about what procedure is going to be done on you. You should know how the surgery is going to affect your life and your routines afterwards so you can make the necessary preparations. For example, if you will require medications, make sure you have them ready immediately after your surgery, just in case you are unable to get it yourself. Also, make sure you have consulted with your dentist regarding any concerns or fears that you have. Your dentist should already have presented options such as sedation to help you get through your dental surgery.
2. Make the necessary arrangements for transportation and post-treatment care. If you are going through some major dental procedure, make sure you arrange for someone to accompany you to your dentist. If you live far away, make sure you arrange transportation for your convenience. If anaesthetics are used, you might not be physically capable of driving after your dental surgery. Also consider how it might be difficult for you to go back to your normal routines right after a dental surgery. Get someone to help you with your small children and doing chores, at least until you fully recover.
3. Make sure you strictly follow all pre-operative instructions. If anaesthetic sedation or general anaesthesia has to be performed on you, your dental surgeon will most likely provide pre-operative instructions. This usually includes not eating or drinking anything (even water) for 8 hours before your dental surgery, or taking a light meal an hour or two before the surgery if the procedure needs a local anaesthetic. You also will need to brush your teeth and floss before the scheduled procedure. You might also need to skip smoking at least 12 hours before the procedure, with smoking prohibited for at least another 24 hours post-surgery.
4. Anticipate your post-surgical diet. Many dental procedures require that you skip on hard solid foods for a few days, and eat soft foods which require little chewing. Make sure you stock up on yogurt, and have enough in your fridge for soup and porridge, and fruits to make shakes. You can also opt for beverages that have higher nutritional value. Avoid foods that are too spicy or too acidic, as they can irritate your gum tissues. Don’t forget to take those vitamins and minerals.
5. Lastly, make sure you prepare an ideal recovery space that will allow you to rest after your dental surgery. Have some books, magazines, or some DVDs ready to help you relax and pass time by as you recover.
What to Expect When You Need to Undergo Dental Surgery
Some of the most common types of dental surgery include the removal of wisdom teeth, which are the last set of teeth to develop. Dentists will often require patients with impacted teeth to undergo dental surgery to prevent permanent damage, as well as the growth of cysts and tumours that can destroy sections of the jaw. Another dental problem that can require dental surgery is tooth loss. People lose teeth for a lot of reasons, but more commonly due to neglect or injuries. Surgery by way of dental implants are often the best solution to fill in the gaps and as a better alternative to dentures. This is often preferred because the implants are able to fuse with the bone, making it a permanent solution as well.
And of course, there’s jaw-related problems like unequal jaw growth and temporomandibular joint disorder that can only be mostly resolved by dental surgery. Patients who have difficulty eating, swallowing, speaking and breathing are often diagnosed to have unequal jaw growth and as such, need to have their jaw moved into a new position to be able to function normally. Patients with temporomandibular joint or TMJ disorders on the other hand, experience more than their fair share of headaches and facial pain around the joint area where the skull and lower jaw meet. To relieve this, they are often required to undergo a combination of oral medications, physical therapy or splints. Unless they are diagnosed with a specific problem in the joint, it is only then that dental surgery will become an option.
To lessen your fears and worries about undergoing dental surgery, the best way to prepare for it is to talk to your dentist so he can help you understand how everything is going to go down, how much it will cost and how soon should you have it. You also need to ask questions about recovery and how long before you can get back on your feet again.
It is perhaps better to expect the procedure to be quite expensive. Initial visits for example, can cost between $50-$100 and the surgery itself can cost anywhere between $200 up to $2,000 depending on what type of dental surgery you are going to have. The great news is, there are some dental offices these days that offer payment plans that allow you to pay for the procedure in manageable increments within a suitable time frame. The recovery period is thankfully only for a few days, after which you can expect to see a newer, better you – the ultimate result to look forward to.