Oral Surgery FAQ

What is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon?

An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is a doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of problems in the face, including the jaw, mouth and teeth. These problems range from the extraction of teeth to oral cancer and reconstructive surgery. Oral Surgeons in Cleveland Tx complete an internship and residency program after dental school.

What is Board Certification?

Certification with the Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is not a requirement to practice oral surgery. To obtain board certification, an approved internship and residency program have to be completed and application accepted. A written exam as well as an oral exam are administered. Once those are passed, certification is awarded.

Do I need a consultation before treatment?

Simpler issues can often be taken care of the same day. If you have something more than an extraction, you will probably need a consultation before scheduling your surgery.

How long is the recovery period?

The time it takes you to recover from oral surgery depends on how well you rest and allow your surgery site to heal. Avoid crunchy foods and others that require a lot of chewing. Be sure you are rinsing regularly and keeping the area clean. Take your medications as instructed and drink plenty of liquids. Rest and relaxation will allow you to return to normal daily activities more quickly.

How long should I keep pressure on the gauze?

Try to keep gauze in place over your surgery area for at least 30 minutes after you get home, biting down on the gauze for pressure. When you gently remove the gauze, if bright red blood comes from the surgery site, wet a new, clean piece of gauze and place it back over the site. Hold this new piece in place with firm pressure for another 30 minutes. After this second application, the bleeding should have lighten though a pink tint to your saliva is normal for a couple of days.

How can I relieve pain? What do I do if I have pain three to four weeks after an extraction?

Your Oral Surgeon will give you any medication you will require after your surgery. Pain medications should be taken exactly as prescribed for the first couple of days after your surgery then only as needed. Be sure to eat before you start your medications to avoid any stomach trouble!

If you are experiencing pain after three or four week, call your oral surgeon so they can evaluate the area and ensure there is no infection.

What does if mean if my lip and/or tongue feels numb?

Numbness in your mouth is common for a few days after oral surgery. This will typically resolve itself but if it persists, make an appointment to have the area re-evaluated.

What do I do if my sutures come out?

Generally, resorbable sutures (stitches which dissolve on their own) are used and it is fine if they come out on their own. Any significant bleeding should be reported to your oral surgeon.

How long do the holes in my jaw last after an extraction? What does it mean if I have bad breath after an extraction?

The sockets left behind after your extraction typically close in about six weeks. The bone will fill in over the course of several months. Be sure to gently cleanse the site as food left in the socket can cause bad breath. You may be given a syringe with which to squirt water into the area to be certain no particles are stuck.

More on Oral Surgery : Recovery After Oral Surgery