Maintaining oral health is crucial for our overall well-being. Poorly maintained teeth and gums lead to oral diseases like cavities, rotten teeth, tooth decay, etc. Some dental issues can be avoided by proper brushing, avoiding sugary foods, and flossing. However, dentists perform oral surgery to treat severe dental issues.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is performed inside your mouth, on the jaw, teeth, or other oral and facial structures. Tooth extraction is the most common surgery; it is performed mainly to treat tooth decay, dental trauma, and issues caused by wisdom teeth. According to research, 90% of tooth extraction procedures take place to remove wisdom teeth.
Some people avoid getting oral and maxillofacial surgery due to a fear of pain. In reality, such procedures don’t hurt as dentists use numbing injections, sprays, and sometimes anesthesia.
Dentists induce sleep in patients using sedatives for more lengthy procedures like cosmetic surgery. Most people ask for sedatives to keep their anxiety at bay and let the dentist or dental surgeon perform the surgery smoothly. Although the procedure doesn’t hurt, patients can expect pain, bleeding, swelling, and sore muscles afterward.
Procedures like tooth extraction and root canal are considered minor surgeries and routine procedures as they can be performed easily. In contrast, major oral surgeries that involve sedation and IVs are complex and take longer.
A rubber mouth prop is used during minor and major surgeries to keep the mouth open. It is placed between the mandibular and maxillary molars. Dentists use a soft bite block to keep the mouth open for longer surgeries where the patient is put to sleep.
More serious oral surgery requires a lot of attention from those performing it. However, there aren’t any severe issues post-surgery; the patient might experience sore throat, confusion, numbness, and sleepiness from anesthesia.
Oral Surgery Professionals at Soft Touch
Soft Touch Dentistry, led by Andrew Owyoung, DDS, has offered families in Sacramento complete family dental treatment for over 29 years. Dental specialists at Soft Touch Dentistry are compassionate. They take time to learn about your need and plan procedures accordingly. The team at Soft Touch collaborates to ensure clients enjoy their sessions and have a comfortable experience.
The dentists at Soft Touch provide patients with detailed guidance on their disease and explain the entire procedure and treatment before starting. Furthermore, Soft Touch Dentistry uses advanced technology to make the procedure seamless. The dentistry practice is equipped with Intra-oral cameras, Sirona Cerec, Digital X-rays, Galileo’s 3D imaging, Arestin® microspheres, etc. The dental surgeons at Soft Touch use their knowledge, experience, and advanced technology to provide clients with the utmost dental care.
Andrew Owyoung, DDS
Dr. Owyoung graduated in 1988 from the University of California, San Francisco, with a DDS and a Bachelor of Science degree in dental materials. Earlier, he received his bachelor’s degree of Science in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis.
Since 1988, Dr. Owyoung has been working in the dental industry to provide high-quality dental care. His practice and experience assist in providing exceptional dental care. He is also a part of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and Sacramento District Dental Society.
Alex Owyoung, DDS
Alex Owyoung, DDS, son of Dr. Owyoung, is a dental surgeon at Soft Touch. He received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Santa Clara University in 2016. He later graduated from the University of California, San Francisco, and received a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree.
Dr. Alex Owyoung found his passion for healthcare while at Santa Clara University. He was appointed as an EMT, participated in various medical and dental mission trips, and volunteered for Camp Kesem organization. Dr. Alex Owyoung is a part of the Honor Dental Society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon. He also served at dental service events and volunteered at Mabuhay Health Center in San Francisco. Dr. Alex Owyoung aims to provide exceptional dental care like his father and looks forward to working with oncology patients.
Types of Oral Surgery in Sacramento
Several procedures come under oral and maxillofacial surgery, which include:
1. Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is a minor routine surgery. The procedure involves the removal of a tooth from its socket. Dentists suggest tooth extraction if the patient has severe gum disease, tooth decay due to cavities, an impacted tooth, and crowded teeth. It is also required as part of orthodontic procedures.
Most dentists avoid tooth extraction to save natural teeth. However, in some cases, tooth extraction is the only way to prevent bone loss and the risk of cavities and other dental diseases. Tooth extraction also includes wisdom tooth extraction.
2. Periodontal Surgery
Periodontal surgery, also called gum surgery, is a common surgery to prevent gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis. The procedure is suggested to treat damaged gum tissues, gum gaps, bacterial infections, and other infections. The dental surgeon numbs the area and makes a small incision to remove the damaged tissues. The area is cleaned by removing bacteria, plaque, etc., and repositioning and suturing the gum.
3. Dental Implants
Dental implant surgery is a standard tooth replacement procedure. It is done to replace damaged or missing tooth roots. The dental surgeon uses a metal screw to replace the tooth root. After the area where the dentist has placed, the screw heals, the procedure is followed by placing dental crowns, dentures, or bridges.
4. Cosmetic Surgery
Dental cosmetic surgery involves multiple dental treatments that aim to enhance the beauty of your smile—the procedure focuses on treating and improving the appearance of gums, teeth, and mouth.
The most common treatments in cosmetic surgery include teeth whitening, veneers, and fillings.
Dental surgeons suggest cosmetic surgery if the patient has the following:
- Gaps and spaces between teeth
- Misaligned teeth
- Fractured or chipped front teeth,
- Discolored teeth,
- Teeth of irregular length, or
- Misshapen or missing teeth.
5. Corrective Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw surgery, also called orthognathic surgery, is a procedure used to treat irregularities in the upper and lower jaw. This surgery is often recommended for people with facial imbalance, misaligned jaw, and chewing issues.
How to Prepare for Oral Surgery
If your doctor suggests oral surgery, you can do a few things to prepare. Preparing for oral surgery will help you to be at ease and make the process much easier. Here is what you need to do.
Clients receive pre-op instructions before any surgery. Similarly, your dental surgeon might also provide you with pre-op instructions. However, if you have a minor surgery, you need to ask a few questions and learn about your surgery in detail.
You can ask about anesthesia, a basic procedure rundown, and questions related to recovery. Discuss your medical condition, allergies, and possible issues with your medications. Discussing these issues with your dental surgeon can help them take proper precautions to prevent complications.
If you feel unsure and anxious during surgery, let your surgeon know. Your dental surgeon will offer alternatives and discuss the procedure’s safety. Here are some questions you should ask your dentist:
- What are the complications and risks of the procedure?
- What sort of anesthetics will be used?
- What medications are required after surgery?
- At what time should you be there?
- What should be your diet before and after the surgery?
- Do you need a ride home, or can you drive yourself?
Learn About Eating Rules Before the Surgery
In minor surgeries, your doctor might not ask you to make dietary changes. However, suppose you are undergoing major surgery. Dental surgeons will ask you to fast at least 8 to 12 hours before the surgery.
Fasting is essential if general anesthesia and sedatives are involved in the procedure. If you need to take medications, consult your doctor in your pre-surgery consultation session.
It is equally important to avoid smoking at least 12 hours before the surgery. Tobacco and other impurities can risk the chances of getting an infection during the procedure. Another crucial step is flossing and brushing your teeth at night and before surgery.
Choose Appropriate Clothing
Appropriate clothing is necessary for surgery. Avoid wearing long, tight sleeves, as your doctor might need to monitor your heart rate, give an IV, or take your vital signs. Dental surgeons use a safety cloth to avoid getting stains on your clothes. Still, you should wear a basic outfit or ones you don’t mind being stained.
Please do not wear jewelry pieces, as you might be asked to remove them. Also, avoid wearing contact lenses because you might be sedated and must close your eyes for longer.
It would be best if you do not wear makeup; however, you can bring chapstick or lip balm to treat your chapped lips after surgery.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Lastly, ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Getting proper sleep can help calm your nerves. Your doctor might suggest a sleeping position that prevents any pressure from being exerted on your mouth before surgery.
Tips for Recovering From Oral Surgery
Dental surgery often takes a minimum of 30 minutes, while longer, detailed procedures take up to 2 to 4 hours. The recovery period after oral surgery differs from person to person. However, the average time for recovery is between 7 and 15 days, depending on the procedure. Here are a few tips to speed up the recovery process.
The hours immediately following the oral surgery are crucial for a quick recovery. Ensure you get proper rest for at least 24 hours post-surgery. Avoid daily activities like exercise or another strenuous task for a week. Consider getting a week off from your institute or workplace to rest properly and protect the area where surgery was performed.
Ensure Proper Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is essential after surgery to avoid the risk of getting an infection. Avoid using mouthwash for 24 hours after surgery. You can brush your teeth using a soft bristle brush. Avoid getting too close to where surgery was performed, or ask your doctor for better brushing instructions. After a week, you can rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water to gently cleanse the area.
Use Cold Compress
Cold compresses are a great way to relieve pain. It helps stop bleeding and treat inflammation and pain. However, consult your doctor before using a cold compress if you have significant oral surgery. A study found that cold compress or ice in the initial days after wisdom tooth removal can help reduce swelling.
Consume Soft Food
Another way to protect the area where surgery was performed: consume soft, non-chewy food for at least a week. Avoid eating crunchy, hard, and spicy food. Instead, you can opt for liquids, yogurt, and soup. It would be best to avoid smoking and consuming alcohol to prevent infection. Additionally, it is best to avoid carbonated and hot beverages. Drink plenty of water instead to help heal the wound.
Take Prescribed Medicines
Follow your dentist’s prescription and take only prescribed painkillers or antibiotics. You can also take over-the-counter painkillers, like acetaminophen, Tylenol, or ibuprofen, to help relieve pain in case of minor surgeries like tooth extraction, root canal, etc. According to research, one dose of 400 mg of ibuprofen for pain relief is better than 1,000 mg of Tylenol; however, taking both drugs together is more beneficial than single doses.
Oral surgery involves multiple procedures to treat gum diseases, tooth decay, jaw misalignments, etc. Preparing for your oral surgery makes the procedure easy and avoids complications; speedy recovery after oral surgery needs proper care and attention.
Dental surgeons at Soft Touch Dentistry in Sacramento provide professional dental care, proper guidance on dental hygiene, and a host of other quality dental services. Visit the Soft Touch Dentistry website or call 916-424-1703 to learn more about oral surgery and other quality dental services and set an appointment.