Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Alabama and Florida are trained to correct and resolve a wide array of oral health conditions, including impacted wisdom teeth.

What is Oral Surgery?

Oral surgery refers to any surgical procedure performed in or around your teeth, jaw and mouth. Depending on the type of procedure, you may need to be referred to an oral surgeon.

Advanced oral surgery procedures are performed by a qualified dental specialist. Dental specialists complete several additional years of education and participate in an advanced residency program.

What Kinds of Dental Professionals Perform Oral Surgery?

There are multiple medical specialties within dentistry. Advanced oral surgery procedures are usually performed by:

  • An oral surgeon
  • An endodontist
  • An periodontist

Each dental specialist specializes in certain types of oral surgery. For example, if you have gum disease and require a gum graft, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. Additionally, if your dentist determines that a nonsurgical root canal procedure will not be sufficient to save a tooth, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist.

What are the Most Common Types of Oral Surgery?

Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Oregon, Washington and Massachusetts provide care for a wide variety of dental health conditions. A few of the most common oral surgeries include:

What to Expect During Oral Surgery?

Depending on the type of surgery, you may be asked to take a dental x-ray of your mouth. The dental specialist will review the x-ray and discuss the upcoming surgery with you, providing any pre-surgery and post-surgery instructions. For example, you may be instructed not to eat or drink for eight to ten hours before surgery. Additionally, some procedures may qualify for or require anesthesia or dental sedation.

Closely follow the instructions provided by the dental specialist to ensure the best possible outcome of your treatment.

We understand that undergoing an oral surgery might cause some patients to have a feeling of anxiousness; here are some tips about calming nerves when going to the dentist.

Can I Drive After an Oral Surgery Procedure?

Talk to your dental specialist about the kind of anesthesia you will receive during surgery. Some types of anesthesia can interfere with the ability to drive. If anesthesia is recommended during surgery, you may need to arrange for transportation home.

Talk with the dental team before the surgery date to ask if any transportation arrangements need to be made.

General Tips for a Comfortable Recovery After Surgery

Ask your provider for specific instructions depending on your procedure. Some strategies on how to be comfortable after oral surgery and maintain your results include:

  • Not smoking or consuming alcohol after surgery as it can delay the healing process
  • If you have pain, use an ice pack to reduce inflammation
  • Instead of brushing your teeth, rinse your mouth with a solution of one teaspoon of table salt dissolved in warm water; rinse your mouth with the solution every few hours to help eliminate bacteria
  • Before surgery, set up a reclining chair or a reclining bed so you will be able to rest comfortably
  • Eating only soft foods after surgery; avoid foods that are hot, chewy or hard — any food that might affect the wound
  • Avoiding the consumption of hot, carbonated or caffeinated beverages within the first 24-hours following surgery
  • After 24-hours have passed, drink plenty of fluids; do not drink with a straw as it may disturb the wound
  • Being patient; depending on the type of oral surgery, your recovery time can vary from two days to four weeks
  • Following up with your dentist as directed

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Gary Allen, DMD, Advantage Dental Group, P.C.; Gary W. Allen, DMD, P.C. | James Thommes, DDS, DentaQuest Oral Health Center Of Massachusetts, P.C.; Advantage Dental Oral Health And Vision Center Of Alabama, P.C.; Advantage Dental Oral Health Center Of Texas, P.C. | Cory White, DMD, Advantage Dental Oral Health and Vision Center of Alabama, P.C. | John Clasen, OD, Advantage Dental Oral Health and Vision Center of Alabama, P.C. | Neil Williams, DMD, Advantage Dental Oral Health Center of Florida, PA