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What crosses your mind if a dentist mentions oral surgery during your dental appointment? Most patients start to panic when they hear that phrase. This is because they believe there’s something wrong with them, which risks their life. Besides, they consider oral surgery to be a painful, costly, and dangerous procedure.

However, that’s not true. Most oral surgery procedures are very common and address common dental problems that most people experience. So, there’s nothing to worry about when you hear about oral surgery. Although every surgical procedure is different, most of the procedures don’t require the patient to be admitted to the facility. Besides, these procedures don’t have a lot of downtime, and you can resume your normal activities within a few days.

So, when do you need oral surgery?

Loose teeth

This is a serious problem if left unchecked. However, it can become a less threatening problem if you consult a professional oral surgeon. First, your dentist will check your bone density in order to determine whether you are the right candidate for dental implants, dentures, or dental bridges. You can be the right candidate for either of these options so long as you have the right bone density and oral health is ok.

Breathing and sleeping problems

This includes things like sleep apnea and snoring, a serious issue that makes one stop breathing for a few seconds while sleeping. Mostly, doctors recommend a CPAP machine to help in opening the airway for patients with this problem. In the event the doctor recommends surgery, you’ll need to book an appointment with an oral surgeon.

Besides, your issue will determine the kind of surgery that you will need to undergo. At times, it might mean that your airway needs to be enlarged, or that certain parts of your nasal passages or mouth need adjustments. Some of these procedures are very easy, and you will go home on the same. However, others are a bit complicated, and you might need to be admitted to the hospital for a few days—especially if your jaw has been wired shut.

Impacted teeth

At times, you will need your wisdom teeth extracted, and this can be done through oral surgery. Some of the signs that you need this surgery include swelling, chronic pain, or signs of infection around the teeth. Wisdom teeth tend to erupt partly, and this makes them more likely to become decayed or infected over time.

So, in the event, you experience an excessive or uncommon amount of pain or pressure at the back of your mouth—where your wisdom teeth are, you should seek professional dental care immediately. There’s a chance that you need oral surgery because of your wisdom teeth. Mostly, teenagers and people in their early 20 are more likely to undergo oral surgery because of this issue.

Issues with overbite or underbite

People whose jaws are not aligned properly have underbite or overbite issues. So, if that’s your case, your dentist might recommend orthognathic surgery. In addition to solving excessive overbite and underbite issues, this surgery can also help people who have problems with chewing or swallowing, sleep apnea, and certain birth defects. Mostly, an orthodontist can help to correct the alignment of your teeth. However, if the misalignment problem comes from your jaw, you will have to undergo oral surgery for the problem to be corrected.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)

All oral surgery cases start with a simple visit to the dentist. Maybe you are experiencing persistent headaches and facial pain. In such a case, this might be as a result of Temporomandibular Joint Disorders or TMJ, which is a dysfunction of the small joint in front of your ears, where the skull and lower jaw meet. Mostly, a surgeon might recommend oral medication, physical therapy, and splints, since they are very effective in treating TMJ. However, you might have to undergo oral surgery on the joint in case there’s an isolated problem with that joint, which can only be corrected by surgery.

Missing teeth

If you have missing teeth because of previous oral problems, you should consider making an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can. Although most people are not concerned about living with missing teeth, addressing this issue early can make a positive impact on your oral health, and life, as well.

Missing teeth are known to cause speech problems, gum disease, and issues with the adjacent teeth, among other dental problems. To address these issues, oral surgery might be the best option. A dentist might recommend a titanium dental implant, with a crown that resembles your normal teeth or dentures or bridge to solve the problem of missing teeth. All in all, you shouldn’t live with missing teeth—no matter the reason.

What to expect after oral surgery

The professional oral surgeons from dental clinic say that your oral surgeon will advise you on what you should do after your surgery. This will include the arrangements that you need to make for your care, as well as the recommended medication. If your oral surgery involved the administration or general anesthesia, you should avoid taking food or beverages for at least 12 hours before the surgery. In this case, your surgery should be scheduled early in the morning, as this reduces the discomfort caused by hunger and thirst.

Besides, your surgeon should tell you the time that you need to recover from the surgery. You might need to take some time off your work, and avoid doing strenuous activities. Your surgeon might recommend pain relief medication and antibiotics to prevent infection. Lastly, you will be advised on the foods and drinks that you should avoid as you recover from the surgery.

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