Oral Surgeon in North Spokane & Spokane Valley
The word “surgery” often brings to mind a stay in the hospital, general anesthesia, and perhaps a lengthy recovery period. However, the experience of having oral surgery is usually very different from that. Oral surgery is often performed in a dental office setting, under local anesthesia, with minimal recovery time. Oral Surgery can range from routine procedures such as tooth extractions and implant placement to more complex jaw realignment surgeries and emergency care for facial trauma.
Oral Surgery Procedures
Oral surgery procedures may be performed to relieve pain, treat an infection or trauma, restore function or improve a person’s appearance. Procedures and conditions that we treat can include:
- Tooth Extractions – There are might be a variety of reasons that a tooth being pulled makes sense. You may be dealing with a decayed/dead tooth, an impacted wisdom tooth, or even teeth that are becoming overcrowded that might also need orthodontic treatment.
- Dental Implants – The preferred method of tooth replacement is a titanium dental implant. This piece of equipment is placed beneath the gum line and into the jawbone during a surgical dental procedure. The implant is then attached to a natural looking dental crown that is visible above the gum line and looks just like a normal tooth.
- Oral Diagnosis & Biopsies – When a suspicious oral lesion is found, a biopsy is performed to detect or rule out oral cancer. This disease is treatable and reversible is detected early. A biopsy involves removing a very small tissue sample for laboratory analysis.
- Corrective Jaw Surgery – Sometimes a person’s jaws don’t fit together properly and this can cause pain and an irregular bite. A jaw that is misaligned can negatively affect appearance and function.
- Snoring & Sleep Apnea – Excess tissue in the back of the throat may need to be removed in certain individuals with sleep apnea.
- TMD – When home remedies fail to relieve chronic jaw pain caused by temporomandibular joint issues, surgery should be considered and might be necessary.
- Reconstructive Surgery – Facial injuries can negatively affect a person’s ability to eat, drink, and act regularly in social settings. Teeth that have been knocked out can be replaced with dental implants.
- Cleft Lip/Palate – These birth defects are very common and are estimated to affect about one in 500-700 babies worldwide. With proper surgical treatment, the child has an great chance of leading a healthy, confident, and normal life.
What you should expect during the procedure
Before your oral surgery is performed, x-rays will be taken to aid in figuring out a treatment plan. We will be able to give a you detailed explanation about your procedure and anesthetic options. When we go over the details of what your procedure entails, please feel free to voice any questions or concerns. Recovery will depend on what treatment you receive as well as your oral and overall health. Please let us know at this point what types of medications you might be taking whether over the counter or prescription. Also let our office know of any chronic health conditions you might have and if you are a smoker. This will ensure your health and safety!
About Tooth Extractions
In certain instances, a tooth may be so damaged or failing beyond repair that the tooth must be extracted. The tooth could be causing extreme pain, discomfort, or infection. If any of these situations arise, an exam from the dentist will determine if a tooth extraction is the best option and that the entire tooth will be removed from the jawbones. A general dentist can perform one of two types of extractions: simple or surgical. Simple extraction is a quick process to remove a tooth that’s visible in the mouth and surgical is for teeth that aren’t visible yet, such as the wisdom teeth.
What To Expect from an Extraction
Depending on whether the dentist performs a simple or surgical tooth extraction, the technique and experience will differ. In either case, there will be a thorough examination prior to extraction when X-rays will be taken to determine the type of extraction needed. In addition, the patient is usually offered a form of sedation to help them feel comfortable and at ease during the procedure. It’s advised to not eat or drink at least 6-8 hours before the surgery. If a patient experiences nausea or has to vomit before the procedure, they will need to possibly reschedule to avoid health complications. Smoking on the day of surgery is to be completely avoided because of the risks and complications it can cause during healing.
Treatment & Care After the Procedure
Typically after any extraction, a blood clot will form in the socket of the tooth that has been removed. After a simple tooth extraction, the dentist will pack the area with gauze where the tooth was to prevent further bleeding. After surgical extractions, the dentist will stitch the area closed and then place the gauze pads on the affected area. After the tooth has been removed and the patient is recovering, they should refrain from eating, drinking, or talking excessively for at least 2 hours unless it is absolutely necessary. After the bleeding has subsided, the patient should drink plenty of cold or lukewarm fluids.
On the first day after the extraction, they should only be eating soft foods or having something like smoothies. Brushing should be avoided for at least the first 12 hours after the procedure. When you resume brushing, be sure to avoid the area where the tooth was extracted. The are should be rinsed gently with saltwater to make sure it stays clean. They need to be sure to avoid forceful spitting or doing anything that might dislodge the blood clot. Roughly 1 – 2 weeks following the tooth extraction is when the healing process will fully begin. New gum tissue and bone will begin to fill in the where the tooth or teeth were removed. After about a month of healing, the gums should be fully healed. 100% healing of the area that the extraction happened could take around months, but varies between each person.