Tag Archives: Oral Surgery

Do All Wisdom Teeth Need Removing?

Patients often ask their dentist or oral surgeon if all four of their wisdom teeth need removing, even if they aren’t causing problems. 

Even if all four of them are free of infection, or if only one of them is causing trouble, an oral surgeon may recommend removing all of them at once. Continue reading to learn more. 

Why Do All Four Wisdom Teeth Need Removing? 

Because of their discrete location at the back of the mouth, these teeth are difficult to keep free of food and plaque, trapping harmful bacteria that can contribute to decay, infection, and gum disease. If your wisdom teeth are underneath your gums, they can still cause problems. 

Discover the benefits of removing all four molars below. 

The Importance of Removing All Four at Once

  • Most oral surgeons find it easier to remove wisdom teeth in younger patients because their molars’ roots aren’t fully developed, surrounding bone is softer, and there’s a lower risk of damaging nerves and other structures. Unfortunately, surgical complications are more common in adult patients. 
  • Removing wisdom teeth in separate appointments is time-consuming, and a patient will need to request more time off from school or work.
  • Each additional procedure requires more days to heal, meaning you will need to restrict your diet multiple times. It will be as if you underwent four separate surgeries. 
  • If you keep some of your molars, you will need to schedule additional visits so that your oral surgeon can perform routine inspections and X-rays. 
  • It will be more expensive to visit your surgeon multiple times for additional tooth extraction surgeries if your remaining molars become painful. 

Risks of Keeping Wisdom Teeth

On rare occasions, keeping all four wisdom teeth is reasonable; however, this decision is up to your oral surgeon. In most cases, keeping them can result in the following:

  • Damage to neighboring teeth
  • Unrestorable cavities
  • Pathologies, such as cysts, abscesses, and tumors
  • Infections and other periodontal diseases 

What Will Happen During My Initial Consultation?

During your first visit, your oral surgeon will take advanced 3D X-rays to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted and need removal. They will discuss treatment options with you and ask questions about your overall health. If they find that removing all four molars is risky, they will create an appropriate treatment plan for you; however, most people can extract all four teeth at once.

 Many people are scared of oral surgery, so you should address any qualms with your surgeon to accommodate you. For instance, some people have dental phobia and need entertainment options during appointments. Make sure you understand your surgeon’s preoperative and postoperative instructions to minimize complications.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

If you’re wondering if all four of your wisdom teeth need removing, you can schedule an appointment with the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. We will advise you on how to proceed with your surgery. 

We specialize in tooth extraction, corrective jaw surgery, bone grafting, dental implant insertion, and more. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today.

Tips to Recover from Oral Surgery

Oral surgery is any procedure performed on the teeth, gums, or jaw. After surgery, there’s a recovery period that varies in length, depending on the work you had done to your mouth. It’s crucial to stick to your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to have the smoothest recovery possible.

Stay tuned to learn more about oral surgery recovery times. 

Information on Oral Surgery Recovery

If you recently scheduled an oral surgery appointment, you may be feeling anxious about all the unknowns involved, including questions about healing time. Generally, you can get your procedure out of the way in just a few hours, and your surgeon will send you home with a list of post-operative care instructions. Even though there isn’t much you can do to speed up your recovery time, we recommend you prepare for your aftercare in advance.

Here are three tips to make sure your oral surgery recovery goes well. 

1. Ice the Area

You may already know this, but using an icepack on a swollen area helps reduce pain. However, when it comes to applying ice around your mouth, you need to be careful with the amount you use and the length of time you apply it on. For instance, if you apply ice on your jaw for too long, it may become more challenging to open your mouth because it might go numb. 

Fortunately, your oral surgeon will provide you with icing instructions specific to your procedure. They might recommend applying a small icepack to the side of your face where the surgery was performed for 20-minute intervals (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off). 

2. Take Your Medicine

If you have minor oral surgery, your surgeon might prescribe you a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine to ease your post-operative pain. Generally, oral surgeons are careful not to prescribe opioids as the first line of pain medications for oral surgery. Many professionals are apprehensive because these drugs carry a risk of dependence and other undesirable effects, such as sedation, respiratory depression, and constipation.

However, if you’re going through a more invasive procedure, such as getting multiple teeth extracted, your oral surgeon may prescribe opioids to treat breakthrough pain. 

For maximum relief and to avoid taking opioids, we recommend an around-the-clock pain regimen rather than treating pain only when it surfaces. Taking your prescribed medication every few hours instead of only when you’re swelling will keep you on track to recover in no time. 

3. Maintain Your Oral Hygiene

Some people make the mistake of neglecting their oral health after surgery because they feel too tired or in pain to upkeep it; however, your oral surgeon will advise you to brush gently with warm water (not toothpaste). You will also need to rinse with a saline or saltwater solution. 

Schedule Your Surgery with Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If your dentist believes you need oral surgery, you can count on the board-certified oral surgeons from Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. Our promise is a transparent and professional experience with your best interests at heart. 

We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

What Foods Should I Eat After Oral Surgery?

After oral surgery, you may experience soreness and weakness in your jaw, making it difficult to chew. Depending on the severity of your surgery, this feeling can last from a few hours to weeks. For instance, if you’re getting multiple teeth extracted, you may be unable to eat solid foods for at least one week. 

So, what foods can you eat after a dental procedure? Find out in today’s blog. 

Why Are Some Foods Off Limits After Oral Surgery?

Although no one likes feeling restricted, you should stick to your oral surgeon’s post-operative care instructions. There are several foods you won’t be able to eat, either because they’re too hard to chew or are sticky. It’s essential to avoid them because you don’t want to injure yourself and spend more time at your oral surgeon’s office. Right now isn’t the time to fret over your diet.

Remember, you’re healing from major surgery, and recoveries are complicated. To help you through this tough time, we have compiled a list of foods you can enjoy.  

1. Smoothies

Most people will tell you to load up on ice cream pints to make milkshakes, but as professionals, we’re here to tell you that may not be the best idea. Even if you have a sweet tooth, your oral surgeon will prescribe a strong dose of antibiotics; if you eat too many sweet foods while on antibiotics, it can damage your gut microbiome. 

We’re not discouraging you from making smoothies, but you should use a blend of probiotic-rich yogurt, frozen fruits, and cocoa powder. Keep in mind; you can’t use a straw until you heal, so add milk or water to your smoothies to ensure they have a thin consistency. 

2. Soups

You probably guessed soup would be on our list—and you’re right. However, not all soups are enjoyable after a dental procedure. If you’re like most people, you associate chicken noodle soup with recovering from illness, but you shouldn’t eat this after surgery. Avoid eating chunky add-ins, such as chicken, until you can move your jaw without feeling pain. 

Use a strainer for the first few days to separate noodles, meat, and vegetables from your soup. Add them back into your broth after you chop them into smaller pieces or blend them. 

3. Eggs

Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to go back to the basics. We recommend you make a plate of soft-scrambled eggs. Stir your eggs until they’re barely firm and add your favorite cheese to give them more flavor. Transfer onto your favorite plate. Your eggs should continue cooking as they cool down. It’s a hearty, easy meal to make while you recover. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

Oral surgery might sound frightening, but an experienced surgeon will listen to your needs and help you with post-operative care. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, you can count on our-board certified oral surgeons to put your needs first. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, corrective jaw surgery, bone grafting, and more. 

We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

Is Oral Surgery Dangerous?

Oral surgery can be an intimidating prospect for most people, particularly when it involves anesthesia. Approximately 30 percent of people have concerns about pain related to dental procedures, and worry anesthesia won’t block it out, according to Healthline. Due to this fear, some people avoid oral surgery, worsening their dental health. 

Although you may not look forward to surgery, you can rest assured anesthesia is safe and can mitigate the pain and anxiety associated with procedures.

Learn more about dental surgery in today’s blog. 

Why Do People Need Oral Surgery?

Oral surgery refers to any surgical procedure a surgeon performs in or around your mouth and jaw. There are various types of oral surgeries, such as tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, root canal, corrective jaw procedures, and more. If your dental problems go beyond the expertise of a general dentist, they will refer you to an oral surgeon. 

Sadly, some people fear anesthesia because they don’t like feeling a loss of control. We’ve compiled a list of reasons why anesthesia is safe and necessary to help ease your mind.

Local Dental Anesthesia

If you’re afraid of going unconscious, ask your oral surgeon to use local anesthesia for your procedure. Generally, they will administer it if you only require a simple procedure, such as a cavity filling. One of the main benefits is you will remain awake and able to communicate with your surgeon, giving you a sense of control. 

Moreover, the area will go numb so that you won’t feel pain. If you’re afraid of needles, your oral surgeon may be able to apply the local anesthesia topically. 

Examples of local anesthesia include:

  • Articaine
  • Bupivacaine
  • Lidocaine
  • Mepivacaine
  • Prilocaine

Sedation 

An oral surgeon might administer a sedative to help ease your anxiety and pain. You may remain fully conscious, so you will be able to respond to commands; on the other hand, you might end up semiconscious and less alert. It’s important to note there are different levels of sedation, which include mild, moderate, and deep. The type you will receive depends on your procedure. 

If you undergo deep sedation, also known as monitored anesthesia care (MAC), you may not be aware of your surroundings. You might only be able to respond to repeated stimulation. Additionally, you can receive this medication orally through a tablet or liquid. 

Here are the most common sedatives:

  • Diazepam
  • Midazolam
  • Propofol
  • Nitrous oxide

General Dental Anesthesia

Surgeons administer general dental anesthesia for longer, invasive procedures. Most people who fear surgery don’t like the prospect of general anesthesia because it makes patients go completely unconscious. However, an experienced surgeon can reassure you and help keep you safe. They will administer the anesthesia using a face mask or IV, and the amount will depend on the procedure. 

General anesthesia medications include:

  • Ketamine
  • Etomidate
  • Midazolam
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Desflurane

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here for You

We understand some people have a phobia of surgery because they don’t want to go unconscious, but when a professional administers medication, they do it safely. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, we specialize in impacted canine, bone grafting, pre-prosthetic surgeries, and more. Our patients’ comfort is our main priority. We have offices in South Jordan, Tooele, and Cottonwood Heights. Schedule your free consultation today. 

How Do I Sleep After Oral Surgery?

If you’re about to undergo oral surgery, it’s crucial to maximize your sleep after the procedure. Although you may receive sedation, you should develop a postoperative plan for rest. As with any procedure, trying to sleep can be challenging, and you shouldn’t assume your routine will go back to normal the next day.

Understand why it’s essential to get the best sleep possible after oral surgery.

The Importance of a Good Night’s Rest

After an oral procedure, you’re likely to experience pain and swelling in your face and neck. Additionally, you may experience bruising and a sore throat, leading to disrupted sleep. You must stick to postoperative care if you want to heal quickly, which involves getting proper sleep. 

Here are some tips we urge you to follow so that you can sleep soundly after your surgery.

Head Elevation Will Help You Heal

You should sleep with your head elevated above your heart the first three days after your oral surgery. If your oral surgeons left gauze pads inside your mouth to help reduce bleeding, you might need to set your alarm every two hours at night. Although you probably don’t want your sleep disrupted, waking up to readjust your gauze pad is crucial to prevent choking on it. Alternatively, you can ask someone to check up on you while you rest. 

Take Your Medicine

Managing your pain is as important as getting rest after surgery. Although sleeping will help with your aches, you should also follow your prescribed medication instructions. Additionally, you may want to take over-the-counter medicines to help reduce swelling, but you will have to consult with your oral surgeon first. 

Before you go to sleep, we recommend you press a cold pack against your jaw while you lie down; this will help your mouth relax. Try your best not to fall asleep in this position, as accidentally leaving a cold pack on your jaw for a few hours can do more harm than good. 

Avoid Physical Activity

While exercising is essential for your physical and mental health, your oral surgeon will tell you to take a break from your routine for at least eight weeks. If you resume your workout routine after your procedure, you may experience increased bleeding and pain; this will slow your healing process. 

Furthermore, exerting yourself can result in dry socket; this is when your blood clot dislodges and exposes nerves and bones to food particles and bacteria, leading to infection. For this reason, you should stay in bed and get as much sleep as possible for a week. Afterward, you can begin to do light stretches. However, if you start to feel pain again or involuntarily clench your jaw, you will have to stay in bed. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you continue to experience pain and swelling one week after oral surgery, you will need to visit an oral surgeon to prevent other problems. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help you find relief, and we’re more than happy to answer your questions. Schedule your free consultation today.

How To Relieve Anxiety Before Oral Surgery

Having oral surgery can be a little nerve-wracking. If you’re feeling some pre-surgery anxiety—that is normal! You can work through your stress with a few of these simple tips. 

  1. Educate Yourself—Anxiety is often caused by the unknown. Educating yourself about your procedure and what exactly it entails may help to ease your mind. Do your research on the surgery, the condition, and even the hospital or clinic you’ll be at—all of this information can help you feel more comfortable with the proceedings. Be sure that you don’t go too far down the rabbit hole of what could go wrong during your research; this may end up increasing your anxiety. Be sure that you are getting your information from trusted sources. 
  2. Have a Plan—Another source of concern is a feeling that things are out of your control. Though you will not be able to control everything about your surgery, having a plan, and sticking to it may help to ease some of your anxiety. Plan the day. What will you do before the procedure? And after? Having other aspects of the day to focus on may be helpful. 
  3. Talk to Your DoctorTalking to your doctor or surgeon about your anxiety can be a big help. If they are aware of your feelings and concerns, they may be able to put your mind at ease with some words of wisdom. They may also take your anxiety into account as they work with you. It could mean talking in more soothing tones, talking you through the procedure, or other helpful practices. 
  4. Distract Yourself—Distract yourself in any way possible. When you start feeling anxious, do something that will put your mind at ease. Put on a movie, go for a walk or a run, pick up a book, turn on some music—do what you need to take your mind off of things. It may also be helpful to distract during the procedure if you aren’t going under. Having a playlist with calming music that can help you make it through the surgery as calmly as possible. 
  5. Use Relaxation Techniques—Don’t underestimate the power of relaxation techniques. Doing some breathing exercises and practicing meditation can make a world of difference. Use these relaxation techniques before your surgery, and whenever you feel anxious to help you calm down. Taking control of your breath is usually the first step to calming anxiety. 
  6. Get a Support Group—You are not the only one who feels anxiety about surgery—there are plenty of others out there! Talking to others who have gone through and are currently going through your circumstance will be very helpful. You can quiet your fears as you learn about other’s experiences. Ask your doctor about local support groups. Ask your support group members how they dealt with their anxieties. Learn from others and draw support from them. 
   

Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

Looking to replace a missing tooth or teeth? There are plenty of options out there. When making your decision, be sure to factor in your current health, budget, and situation. Whether you’d like a permanent solution with dental implant surgery or a quick fix like partial dentures—you can repair your smile and have it looking better than ever.

1. Dental Implants

For tooth replacement options, dental implants are about as close to your natural teeth as you can get. An implant is a surgical component made of a titanium rod and crown that is implanted into the jawbone. The rod is integrated into the surrounding jawbone and a crown is then placed on the implant.  Because it requires surgery, dental implants can only be done on healthy patients. Dental implants are extremely stable and comfortable—they look and feel very similar to natural teeth. Implants have a high success rate and don’t require altering of adjacent teeth. Implants act just like normal teeth—they require brushing and flossing like normal. They are permanent and with proper maintenance, they can last a lifetime.

Because they are the closest thing you can get to your natural teeth, dental implants are a more expensive option. Depending on your health and how well the implants integrate to your jawbone, dental implants can take some time. The jawbone may need months to fully heal. In some cases, the implants and crowns can be placed the same day—it’s case by case.

2. Bridges

Bridges are a fixed dental restoration that uses adjacent teeth to place artificial teeth. Because it’s dependent on surrounding teeth, adjacent teeth will have to be crowned and may be affected in other ways as well. Because bridges are fixed, they are not taken in and out which provides for better function.

In comparison to implants, bridges are more affordable and quicker—mainly because they don’t require surgery. Dental bridges can be done at any age and don’t have the same health requirements that dental implants. Bridges have a lower success rate than implants—they are also less predictable, harder to maintain and keep clean, and are more likely to decay.

3. artial Dentures

Partial dentures are typically the cheapest option for replacing teeth. This option does not require surgery and rarely requires any alterations to surrounding teeth. Partial dentures are removable and less stable—making them a little more uncomfortable. They can be harder to clean than other options. This option is a quick fix, but not as long-lasting.

For more information on dental implants and other tooth replacement options, contact us at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah. Our expert surgeons will help you replace any missing teeth, and have you smile sparkling again in no time. Come see us today for a consultation! 

Is Oral Surgery Sedation Safe for Kids?

If your child needs oral surgery, sedation will likely be necessary. With children, sedation serves several purposes — it not only relieves pain and eases anxiety, but also tempers their behavior to enable the safe completion of a surgical procedure.

But for parents, the thought of sedating a child can be downright unnerving.

You’ll be relieved to know that oral surgery sedation is safe for kids — as long as an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon with dedicated anesthesia training administers the sedation.

Oral surgery sedation for kids

Keeping Kids Safe During Oral Surgery Procedures

Here at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, we follow the guidelines for safe sedation recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). This includes:

  • Completing a thorough health evaluation prior to the procedure
  • Using a strict procedure protocol to ensure no safety step is forgotten
  • Administering the lowest possible dose of sedation for the surgery
  • Assigning a qualified person the primary task of closely monitoring the child
  • Making sure a properly equipped emergency cart is immediately accessible
  • Documenting every step of the sedation process

Safe Oral Surgery Sedation Options for Kids

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have the skill, qualifications and training to safely administer all forms of sedation. With children, the most commonly used options are:

Oral sedation — an anti-anxiety medication taken in pill form prior to the procedure

Laughing gas — a sedative agent (nitrous oxide) inhaled through a breathing mask

Twilight sleep — anesthesia delivered through an intravenous (IV) line

These mild forms of sedation help keep children calm and comfortable during surgery, without making them unconscious. All are safe choices that carry little risk of complications in the hands of a qualified professional.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons also provide general anesthesia for children undergoing complex or lengthy procedures. For safety purposes, however, surgeons complete procedures that require general anesthesia at a local hospital or surgical center.

Choosing the Right Oral Surgery Sedation for Your Child

When deciding on the right form of sedation for your child, oral and maxillofacial surgeons consider age, medical history, anxiety level, procedure complexity, and several other factors. You’ll also have input on the decision — you know your child better than anyone, so your opinion matters.

Ultimately, the type and amount of anesthesia will be specifically tailored to meet your child’s needs while providing the lowest risk of adverse effects. And you, the parent, play a key role in following the surgeon’s pre-sedation instructions and remaining calm and encouraging. These help your child have a positive experience.

At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, we understand your concerns about the safety of sedating your child for oral surgery, and we welcome your questions. We want you to have the peace of mind of knowing that your child is receiving safe, stress-free treatment.

With three convenient northern Utah locations in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah provides expert care to patients of all ages. If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, contact us and schedule a consultation to discuss oral surgery sedation today.

Oral Surgery Do’s and Don’ts for a Smooth Recovery

If you’re worried about your oral surgery, take a deep breath and try to relax. You have nothing to worry about, as long as you follow your pre- and post-procedure instructions.

Whether you’re coming in for wisdom tooth extraction, corrective jaw surgery, dental implants or another surgical procedure, you can rest assured that we will give you detailed instructions for a smooth and speedy recovery, and answer all your questions before you go home.

oral surgery recovery

Meanwhile, we’ve put together a list of the basic “Do’s and Don’ts” for your oral surgery recovery.

After Oral Surgery, DO …

  • Take it easy. Relax and keep your head propped up with pillows for at least the first 24 hours.
  • Take any prescribed antibiotics and pain medications.
  • Use ice packs for 48 hours. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes, on and off, alternating face sides. On the third day, switch to warm packs.
  • Stick to a liquid or soft-food diet for a day or two.
  • Keep your mouth clean. After the first 24 hours, gently rinse with warm, salted water several times every day. Brush your teeth gently, but steer clear of the surgical site until it has healed.
  • Follow any other aftercare instructions provided.

After Oral Surgery, DON’T …

  • Eat or drink anything hot until your numbness wears off.
  • Overexert yourself. Avoid bending, heavy lifting and exercise for at least three days.
  • Smoke or drink alcohol. Avoid these products for as long as possible.
  • Drink from a straw or spit until the surgical site has healed.
  • Eat hard or crunchy foods for at least a few days.

How Long Does Oral Surgery Recovery Take?

The recovery time for any type of surgery depends on the procedure’s complexity and the patient’s health. In general, the more complicated your oral surgery, the longer it will take you to fully recover.

Simple procedures like tooth extractions and bone grafts heal the fastest. Most patients can return to their normal activities within a day or two. For wisdom tooth extraction or removal of impacted teeth, however, recovery can take up to a week.

Patients who get dental implants or who undergo surgery for jaw misalignment, congenital defects, sleep apnea or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can expect a longer recovery period. With these types of procedures, complete healing can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months. You’ll usually be able to return to work or school and most of your regular activities within a few days, however, as long as you follow your instructions carefully.

Mild pain, swelling and discomfort can be expected after any surgical procedure. If you follow your aftercare instructions, you should heal quickly. However, never ignore any post-surgical concerns. If you’re worried about how your mouth is healing, if you experience any unusual or significant pain, or if you think you may have an infection or other complication, contact our office immediately.

The professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, serving the greater Salt Lake City area, is committed to providing positive surgical experiences. Our experienced, compassionate surgeons and treatment team take every precaution to set the stage for a smooth recovery. For more information, or to schedule an oral surgery consultation, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today.