Oral Surgery FAQ's
Are the rules for Orthognatic Surgery different from tooth extractions or dental implant placement?
Yes, very different. Patients who are undergoing surgical procedures on only one jaw usually go home the same day. Patients who are having surgery on both jaws will generally stay overnight. Generally it is necessary to wire the jaws together after orthognatic surgery. In general, the jaws are immobilized securely with rubber bands for the first 1-2 weeks and then loosely for an additional 3-5 weeks. It is very important to discontinue any medication which are "blood thinners" or which may increase your tendency to bleed. Please stop taking the following medications at least 2 weeks before surgery. Reflections Family Dentistry will provide specific instructions prior to your surgery date.
Do I need to avoid certain medications?
It is important to discuss all medication with Reflections Family Dentistry during your pre-surgical consultation. In most cases medication should be continued unless specifically instructed to withhold them. Typically Plavix, Aspirin, Coumadin and other types of blood thinners can also be continued. When necessary Reflections Family Dentistry will consult with your physician to safely manage your medications.
Is there a food and drink restriction prior to surgery?
If treatment calls for the patient to be sedated then yes there are food and/or drink restriction. The patient must not consume anything, including water for 6-8 hours prior to surgery.
How long will the surgery take?
The length of surgery depends on your treatment. Some surgery's are less than 30 minutes, while other procedures may take considerably longer. Reflections Family Dentistry will provide you with the estimated time of surgery at your pre-surgical consultation.
Will there be a lot of bleeding with a tooth extraction?
It's important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding after a tooth extraction. You will be asked to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the extraction. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.
Will there be swelling or facial bruising?
After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. In some treatments there may be some minor bruising; however, in procedures such as dental implant placement ordinarily there is no bruising seen. For teeth removal or jaw procedures, women and/or very light skinned patients may experience slight bruising. Taking blood thinner will help reduce bruising. It is, however, not uncommon to have a black eye or discolored cheek or neck following extensive procedures. Reflections Family Dentistry will discuss what bruising if any would be related to your procedure treatment.
Will my vital signs be monitored during and after treatment?
Reflections Family Dentistry and/or one of their highly trained surgical assistants will continuously monitor your vital signs.
Will anesthesia be used?
Reflections Family Dentistry will discuss your anesthesia options. Our goal is to provide minimal discomfort as possible.
What do I need to be aware of before intravenous sedation?
You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for eight (8) hours prior to the appointment. No smoking at least 12 hours before surgery. Ideally, cut down or stop smoking as soon as possible prior to the day of surgery. A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home. The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience. Please wear loose fitting clothing with sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow, and low-heeled shoes. Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery. Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery. If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office. If you take routine oral medications, please check with Reflections Family Dentistry prior to your surgical date for instructions.
Will antibiotics be prescribed prior to surgery?
We commonly use antibiotics to kill bacteria found in the mouth, which will also prevent infection after treatment, particularly with the placement of dental implants immediately after extracted teeth. The specific drug used depends on the medical profile and well being of the patient and the type of treatment.
Will you prescribe antibiotics and pain medication?
Procedure and patient health are determining factors of what antibiotic and/or medication will be prescribed. Call the office if the medication does not seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable. Reflections Family Dentistry will discuss what, when, how long and dosage with you in both the pre-surgery and post surgery interviews.
How long will I be off of work/out of school?
Depending on the extent of the procedure and type of sedation you may resume work and a normal life style anywhere from a few hours to a few days. It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.