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What is dental surgery?

When people talk about dental surgery, what exactly do they mean? How is it done? And does it hurt? Today we’ll explore the answers to these questions and more as our Pembroke dentists provide facts and answer FAQs from patients. 

What is dental surgery?

Dental surgery is an umbrella term referring to a number of medical procedures involving the teeth and gums. If you need dental implants, a wisdom tooth extraction, a root canal or something else, it can be said that you need dental surgery to restore or improve your oral health. At Pembroke Dental, we take a preventive approach to dental care and always strive to recommend the least invasive procedure possible while still effectively resolving dental issues for our patients.

Nonetheless, surgery is going to be necessary in some cases. A few of the most common dental surgery procedures include:

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Often wisdom teeth need to be extracted because they come in misaligned, cause crowding or lead to other dental issues. Wisdom teeth extractions sometimes need to be performed in a surgeon’s office, and may or may not involve anesthesia. During the procedure, the dentist will open the gum tissue, clear away any debris or bone covering the tooth, then decide whether to extract the entire tooth or cut it into more easily removable parts.

Once the extraction is complete, your oral surgeon may use either dissolving stitches or removable stitches (which you’ll have a follow-up appointment to have removed). Recovery from an extraction procedure can take a few days and you’ll need to eat soft foods until the area heals.

Dental Implant Placement

Implants and bridges are tooth replacements. While dental implants serve as artificial roots used to support replacement teeth, bridges are false teeth suspended between 2 natural teeth or dental implants to help restore your smile’s function and appearance.

Implants are surgically placed in the jaw bone, underneath the gum tissue. Recovery and healing typically take between 3 and 6 months following surgery. The patient will then return to the office to complete the procedure.

At your second appointment (which will occur once your mouth has had a chance to completely heal), your dentist will attach the tooth replacement (a bridge, crown or denture) to the implant.

Root Canal Therapy

A root canal involves the removal of a damaged tooth root, helping to save the tooth from the need for an extraction. The pulp will be removed from the tooth and the space cleaned. Next, your dentist will add a filling or crown to help restore the tooth’s function.

The root canal will be finished with a crown or filling. Though the tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days, and you’ll need to stick to soft foods, the procedure is usually highly successful and recovery should be uneventful.

Is dental surgery painful?

Depending on your procedure, you may feel some pain after a dental surgery but it should be manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication.

What can I do to encourage recovery?

Recovery from dental surgery typically takes a few days. In order to ensure a speedy, smooth recovery, follow your dentist's post-surgery instructions and keep these general tips in mind:

  • Do not lie flat – try to lie on your side to give blood a chance to clot.
  • Apply an ice pack to the area intermittently during the first 24 hours (as directed by your dentist).
  • Restrict strenuous physical activity, as it may increase bleeding.
  • Eat soft foods. You may gradually add solid foods back to your menu as recovery happens.
  • Avoid using straws. Sucking on a straw may loosen a blood clot, encouraging bleeding and delaying healing.
  • Dental surgeries can range from simple to complex, and have varying timelines and recovery times. If you have any questions about your procedure, its benefits or after-care, consult your dentist.

    Do you have questions about an upcoming dental surgery at Pembroke Dental? Our Pembroke dentists can address any inquiries or concerns you may have. Contact us today.

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