I have a dental extraction coming up. What should I know and expect?

While wisdom teeth are one of the most common reasons for dental extraction treatment at Oral & Facial Surgery Group, other teeth sometimes need to be removed for different reasons. We sat down with our own Dr. Maneesh Mohan to talk about why a tooth might need to be removed, and what to expect during the procedure. 

  1. Why might a tooth extraction be needed? And, what are the benefits?

There are multiple reasons why a tooth is removed. The most common reason is because the tooth is compromised. It may be infected or symptomatic (painful). Unfortunately, that’s not the only reason we remove teeth. Sometimes we proactively remove teeth for orthodontic reasons, such as overcrowding. We also proactively remove wisdom teeth to prevent future damage to the other teeth, bone or tissue surrounding the area.

  1. What happens during a dental extraction?

From a procedure standpoint we are “loosening” or manipulating the ligaments that hold the tooth within the bone. Once the tooth has “loosened” it can be removed. 

  1. Are there any risks or complications?

Unfortunately, with any medical or dental procedure there are always risks and potential complications. In general the risks and benefits are weighted against each other. Those details are discussed with the patient in depth. Eventually the patient and surgeon make an educated decision together. In our practices, our surgeon and staff hold safety to be the top priority. Everything else is a close second. 

  1. How should I prepare for the procedure?

Many patients choose to be sedated. If so, we always give them pre-operative instructions. This includes not eating or drinking anything eight hours before the procedure, dressing comfortably, and bringing a ride to drive them home. As far as mental preparation, that is individually based. If this is your first dental procedure, there may be more apprehension. If you are more seasoned with dental procedures, you may not find it to be as intimidating. We always encourage a consultation prior to any  procedure to ensure the patient has plenty of opportunity to have all their questions answered. A comprehensive consultation usually helps alleviate any unwanted stress.

  1. Will I be awake during the procedure? 

Based on the patient’s medical history and the complexity of the surgery, sedation may be an option for the patient. A detailed discussion with your surgeon is encouraged to determine if you are a candidate for sedation. If you are not a candidate for sedation, other alternatives might include local anesthesia and/or nitrous oxide gas.

  1. What sedation options are available? Are they safe?

The most common sedation option is the use of IV sedation. This IV sedation option can be either moderate or deep sedation/general anesthesia. Sedation options are typically very safe. Strict patient guidelines and continuous training for staff are mandatory to maintain safety. Complications typically arise when a patient’s complete medical history is not fully disclosed or clinicians/ staff members are not well trained. Fortunately, the surgeons and staff at Oral & Facial Surgery Group are board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons and have been extensively trained in anesthesia and office-based sedation. 

  1. What kind of specialized training do the surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery Group receive to perform dental extraction(s) under sedation?

The surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery Group are diplomates of American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (ABOMS). This means they are board certified in the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery. They have completed a rigorous head and neck surgery training that comes with advanced anesthesia training. Our anesthesia training follows the guidelines of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), which is the governing body of oral and maxillofacial surgery throughout the country. We also have state societies that follow the AAOMS guidelines. These state societies maintain and enforce the AAOMS guidelines. Based on the guidelines, each office is  re-evaluated routinely to maintain their anesthesia privileges and status. Also, every surgeon has a continuing education requirement that includes anesthesia update training for licensure renewal. With the requirements by AAOMS, our state requirements and continuing education requirements, our surgeons and staff are highly educated and the offices are fully equipped to keep our patients comfortable and safe during any IV sedation procedure.

  1. Who is in the room during the dental procedure?

If you are being sedated, the surgeon and two other surgical assistants/nurses are present during the procedure. If local anesthesia is utilized, then only the surgeon and one other person may only be necessary. Because of the degree of complexity and the importance of safety, sedation patients are watched in more detail.

  1. What is the recovery time?

Recovery time can vary from case to case. Because every patient is unique and requires their own specific plan, the recovery time will vary. It would largely depend on the complexity of the procedure as well as the patient’s medical history. Biology tells us that it always gets worse before it gets better. Typically the first three days after surgery the patients will notice the swelling and discomfort increase until it stabilizes around day four. After it stabilizes, it starts trending back down. Some people bounce back faster than others. It’s important to remember that this is only a general principle and not a hard and fast rule. The principle assumes that nothing has happened to aggravate the surgical site after the procedure.

  1. What should I be watching for during my recovery? 

Because every procedure and patient is different, it is hard to limit it to a few potential issues. The common stuff you want to be mindful of include unexpected or unexplained  increases in pain, bleeding or swelling.  

  1. Will my primary dentist receive an update about how my procedure went?

Communication is an important detail in our practices. A post-procedure summary or letter is provided to the primary dentist by Oral & Facial Surgery Group to maintain communication as well as ensuring the continuity of care. 

Oral & Facial Surgery Group prides itself on safety above all else. We operate under the guiding principles of safety and comfort for all patients. If your dentist has recommended a dental extraction or any other dental procedure, you can feel good about trusting your care to the surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery Group. Schedule a consultation today!

Should you consider getting dental implants?

Dental implants are a great solution for missing teeth. They are suitable for patients of varying ages who have lost teeth due to injury, illness or gum disease. Dental implants are metal posts, usually made from titanium, that are surgically placed into your jawbone beneath your gums. 

On top of each post, your dentist places an abutment that connects the implant to a replacement tooth — usually a crown, bridge or denture. If you are missing one or more teeth, here are a few benefits to getting dental implants.

They Are a Long-Term Solution

Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants are a long-term replacement that you can brush and floss just as you would natural teeth. They fit comfortably in place and won’t slip out!

They Help You Eat and Speak

Many patients with missing teeth report difficulties with chewing foods and/or speaking. Dental implants provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function just like natural teeth, allowing you to speak and eat with ease.

They Prevent Bone Loss

Dental implants help to prevent the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing, preserving your jawbone and facial structure. 

They Help Improve Confidence

Many patients with missing teeth often feel self-conscious about their smile. Dental implants match the color and appearance of natural teeth, helping to improve confidence levels.

They Don’t Get Cavities

The material a dental implant is made of cannot decay. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about a cavity. 

They Prevent Misalignment

A missing tooth leaves a gap that can cause other teeth to shift around. Dental implants fill in the space to keep your teeth straight. 

Do you think you might be a candidate for dental implants? Contact us to schedule a consultation!

Celebrate National Dentist’s Day this Saturday!

Saturday, March 6 is National Dentist’s Day! Celebrated annually, National Dentist’s Day is an opportunity to show appreciation for the dentists and dental specialists who keep our mouths healthy, including general dentists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons and prosthodontists. As part of our celebration, we’ve combed history to recognize a few of the very first dentists and dental specialists.

First Dentist of Ancient History

The first recorded dentist, Hesy-Ra, lived and worked in Ancient Egypt around 2600 BC. He was known as the “Chief of Dentists” and was a person of high distinction under the pharaoh. According to New World Encyclopedia, the inscription on Hesy-Ra’s tomb reads, “The greatest of those who deal with teeth, and of physicians.”

First Women Dentists 

Did you know that March is Women’s History Month? Women have played a vital role in dentistry. Emeline Roberts Jones was the first woman to practice dentistry in the United States. Since women were not allowed to enter dental school at the time, Jones secretly provided dental services until her husband allowed her to join his dental practice in 1855. Lucy Hobbs Taylor was the first woman to actually graduate from a dental school, earning her degree from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in 1866.

First Pediatric Dentist

Another noteworthy woman in dental history is M. Evangeline Jordon, the first dentist to specialize in pediatric patients. Jordon began her career as a teacher and worked summers as a dental assistant, but eventually devoted herself to dentistry full-time, limiting her practice entirely to children in 1909. Jordon aimed to find methods for reducing children’s fear of going to the dentist. She also wrote and lectured on the importance of proper oral hygiene habits for kids.

First Orthodontists

While there is evidence that orthodontics has been around since ancient times, two French dentists are credited with progressing the field to where it is today. Pierre Fauchard developed a device called the “blandeau” in 1728, which helped to expand the mouth arch. Later, Louis Bourdet, who was dentist to the King of France, perfected the blandeau and was the first dentist to recommend extracting premolar teeth to ease crowding and to improve jaw growth. A century later, American Edward Hartley Angle developed the first classification system of malocclusion and the first school of orthodontia, establishing orthodontics as a specialty distinct from general dentistry.

First Oral Surgeon

Simon P. Hullihen is regarded as the “father” of oral surgery. Graduating as a medical doctor, he specialized in treating problems of the mouth and head, performing over 1,100 operations using instruments he invented himself.

First Prosthodontist

The practice of prosthodontics goes back to ancient times, when ancient Egyptians used gold wire to stabilize and replace missing teeth. However, the birth of modern implantology is often credited to Italian Manilo Formiggini, who developed a spiral stainless steel implant that allowed bone to grow onto the metal.

This National Dentist’s Day, give thanks to dentists for the important work they do to help keep our mouths healthy. If it’s time for your check-up, be sure to contact us.

Oral & Facial Surgery Group is a part of Mortenson Dental Partners.

I have a dental extraction coming up. What should I know and expect?

While wisdom teeth are one of the most common reasons for dental extraction treatment at Oral & Facial Surgery Group, other teeth sometimes need to be removed for different reasons. We sat down with our own Dr. Maneesh Mohan to talk about why a tooth might need to be removed, and what to expect during […]

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