Surgery in dentistry refers to any procedure that involves the modification of teeth, gums or jaw bones. There are a plethora of procedures that fall under dental surgery. Dental surgery can be anything as simple as removal of a tooth to something more intricate like reconstruction of the jaw bone following trauma.

Types of dental surgery

Most procedures in dentistry involve the modification of the teeth, gums or jaws in one way or the other and are hence termed as dental surgeries. Some common oral surgical procedures include:

 

Endodontic

These surgeries involve the treatment of damaged or infected soft tissues inside the teeth known as dental pulp. Some common endodontic procedures include: pulpotomy, pulpectomy or root canal treatment and apicoectomy.

Prosthodontic

These procedures entail the replacement of missing tooth structures. They include crowns, bridges, dentures, dental veneers and implant supported prosthesis.

Periodontal surgery

These surgical procedures pertain to the treatment of gums and surrounding jaw bone. Most periodontal surgeries aim at debridement of infected soft tissues and gums.

 

Oral and maxillofacial surgery

This can include anything from tooth extractions, removal of impacted wisdom teeth to correction or reconstruction of the jaw bones and placement of implants.

What to expect during the procedure?

Most of the dental surgeries are outpatient procedures which are carried out with the administration of local anesthetics. They are relatively straight-forward and may take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete. Depending on the situation, the surgery may either be completed in the same sitting or may require multiple sittings. Certain complex situations like jaw reconstructions or resections may require administration of general anesthesia.

What to expect after the surgery?

As with any medical procedure, your body may take time to heal and recover following a dental surgery. Depending upon the type of procedure, the recovery period may vary. Due to the inflammatory process after any surgery, some amount of tenderness and discomfort is expected. You may also experience some difficulty in opening the mouth during the healing period. In certain cases, eating and chewing might be challenging for a couple of days. To ensure a smooth recovery, it is crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions.

Post operative care

The post-operative instructions may vary depending on the type of surgery. Some common precautions which you may need to follow include:

Dietary restrictions:

  • Eating immediately after the surgery is not recommended. Your dentist may advise you to refrain from eating for a couple of hours

  • During the healing process, you may have to stick to soft foods that can be easily chewed

  • Hot and spicy foods have to be avoided

  • Alcohol and tobacco consumption is strictly prohibited

Other restrictions

  • Driving or operating heavy machinery is not recommended

  • Strenuous activities including physical workouts or exercise is also not advisable for a couple of days following the surgery

Your dentist may also prescribe certain medications like painkillers, antibiotics etc to aid the recovery process.

The takeaway is that most dental surgeries are extremely effective and resolve the problem easily. So, do not hesitate to visit your dentist for timely check ups and maintenance of your oral health.