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What is dental surgery?

In this blog, our Winnipeg dentists discuss oral surgery and answer some of the FAQs we get from our patients such as, what is oral surgery? Does it hurt? And how can I encourage recovery? 

What's dental surgery?

Dental surgery is a term that encompasses a range of medical procedures of the gums and teeth. If you require a root canal, wisdom tooth extraction, or dental implants, we might tell you that you need dental surgery to improve or protect your oral health. At Odyssey Dental Care, we aim for a preventive approach to dental care and will always opt to recommend the least invasive procedure possible while still resolving our patients' dental conditions effectively.

Although, there are situations where surgery is necessary. Below are a few of the most common dental surgery procedures:

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

When your wisdom teeth come in misaligned, causing crowding, or other dental problems they will need to be extracted. In some situations, wisdom teeth extractions will have to be completed in a surgeon’s office, and may or may not involve anesthesia. Your dentist will open the gum tissue, clean any bone or debris covering the tooth, then choose to either extract the entire tooth or cut it into more easily removable pieces.

Once the procedure is over, your dental professional might use dissolving stitches or removable stitches (which you’ll have a follow-up appointment to have removed). Recovery usually takes a few days and you’ll need to eat soft foods until the area heals.

Dental Implants

Implants and bridges are tooth replacements. While dental implants serve as artificial roots used to support replacement teeth, bridges are false teeth that fill a gap between healthy teeth and dental implants on both sides to help restore your smile’s function and appearance.

Implants are surgically placed in the jaw bone, below the gum tissue. Healing and recovery will generally take between 3 and 6 months following surgery. The patient will then come back to the dental office to finish the procedure.

At your second appointment, your dentist will attach the tooth replacement (a denture, crown, or bridge) to the implant.

Root Canal

A root canal involves the removal of a damaged tooth root, saving the tooth from extraction. The pulp will be removed from the tooth and the space will be 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. However, the tooth might feel sensitive for the first several days, and you have to eat a diet of soft foods. Generally, the procedure is highly successful and recovery should be uneventful.

Is it painful to have dental surgery?

Depending on the procedure you are having done you may feel a bit of pain or discomfort after a dental surgery however, you should be able to manage it with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication.

How can I promote recovery?

Recovery typically takes a few days. In order to ensure a speedy, smooth recovery, keep these general tips in mind:

  • Eat soft foods. You may gradually add solid foods back to your menu as recovery happens.
  • Apply an ice pack to the area intermittently during the first 24 hours (as directed by your dentist).
  • Do not lie flat – try to lie on your side to give blood a chance to clot.
  • Avoid using straws. Sucking on a straw may loosen a blood clot, encouraging bleeding and delaying healing.
  • Restrict strenuous physical activity, as it may increase bleeding.
  • 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.

    Contact our dentists in Winnipeg today with any questions or concerns you have about oral surgery.

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