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What is Oral Surgery?
Beaverton, OR

Woman smiling after getting oral surgery at Beaverton Oral Surgeons in Hillsboro, ORWhen faced with the possibility of oral surgery, it's natural to feel a mix of emotions – concern, apprehension, perhaps even fear. Oral surgery can seem daunting whether you are undergoing a routine procedure like wisdom tooth extraction or something more complex like jaw reconstruction. However, understanding what to expect can alleviate some of the anxiety and help you prepare effectively.

Understanding Oral Surgery

Oral surgery encompasses various surgical procedures performed in or around the mouth and jaw area. These procedures are typically conducted by oral and maxillofacial surgeons with extensive training in dentistry and surgery. Oral surgery addresses issues related to the teeth, gums, jawbones, and surrounding soft tissues.

Types of Oral Surgery

Tooth Extractions

One of the most common oral surgeries is tooth extraction. It involves removing a tooth from the socket in the jawbone. This may be necessary for several reasons, including severe decay, infection, crowding, or trauma. Wisdom tooth extraction, in particular, is a prevalent type of tooth extraction performed to address impacted or problematic wisdom teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that support replacement teeth, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. Oral surgery is required to place dental implants into the jawbone. This involves making an incision in the gums, drilling a hole in the jawbone, and inserting the implant. Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth due to their durability, functionality, and natural appearance.

Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is performed to correct jawbones and facial structure abnormalities. This may include procedures to realign the jaws, correct bite issues (malocclusion), improve facial symmetry, or alleviate temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Orthognathic surgery is often recommended for people with congenital jaw abnormalities, severe bite problems, or facial trauma.

Oral Pathology

Oral surgeons may perform biopsies or surgical removal of lesions, cysts, tumors, or other abnormal growths in the mouth or jaw. Oral pathology involves diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions that affect the oral and maxillofacial region, including oral cancers, oral mucosal lesions, and salivary gland disorders.

Treatment of TMJ Disorders

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can cause pain, stiffness, and dysfunction in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. In some cases, oral surgery may be recommended to treat severe or refractory TMJ disorders. Surgical procedures for TMJ disorders may include arthroscopy, joint lavage, or open joint surgery to repair or replace damaged joint structures.

Pre-Prosthetic Surgery

Pre-prosthetic surgery involves preparing the mouth and jaw for dental prosthetics such as dentures or dental implants. This may include procedures to reshape or smooth the jawbone, remove excess tissue, or improve the fit and stability of dental prosthetics.

Facial Trauma Reconstruction

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to treat facial injuries resulting from trauma, accidents, or sports-related incidents. Facial trauma reconstruction may involve repairing fractured facial bones, repositioning displaced teeth, and restoring facial aesthetics and function.

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Oral surgeons may also perform cosmetic facial surgery procedures to enhance facial appearance or correct aesthetic concerns. This may include procedures such as chin augmentation, cheek implants, or facial contouring surgeries.

Preparing for Oral Surgery

Here are some steps to help you prepare physically and emotionally for your oral surgery:
•  Consultation: Your oral surgeon will thoroughly examine your oral health and discuss the procedure with you. This is your opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns you may have.
•  Medical History: Be prepared to provide detailed information about your medical history, including any medications you are taking, allergies, and previous surgeries.
•  Preoperative Instructions: Follow any preoperative instructions provided by your oral surgeon, which may include fasting before surgery and avoiding certain medications.
•  Arrange for Support: Depending on the procedure's complexity and the type of anesthesia used, you may need someone to accompany you on the day of surgery and assist you afterward.
•  Prepare Your Home: Ensure your home is ready for recovery by stocking on soft foods, pain medications, ice packs, and any other supplies recommended by your oral surgeon.

The Day of Oral Surgery

On the day of your oral surgery, you might experience nervousness and anticipation. Here's what you can expect:
•  Preparation: Once you are checked in, you will be taken to a preoperative area, where a nurse or surgical assistant will prepare you for surgery. This may involve taking vital signs, starting an IV line for anesthesia, and answering any last-minute questions you may have.
•  Anesthesia: Depending on the type of procedure and your preferences, you will receive either general anesthesia for temporary unconsciousness or local anesthesia for numbing the surgical area. Your oral surgeon will discuss the anesthesia options with you beforehand.
•  Surgery: The duration of the surgery will vary depending on the procedure's complexity. Your oral surgeon and their team will monitor your vital signs throughout the surgery and ensure your comfort and safety.
•  Recovery: After the surgery is complete, you will be taken to a recovery area. Once you are awake and stable, you will receive postoperative instructions and be discharged home with a responsible adult.

Recovering from Oral Surgery

The recovery period following oral surgery can vary widely depending on the type of procedure performed and your individual healing process. Here are some general tips for a smooth recovery:
•  Follow Postoperative Instructions: Your oral surgeon will provide detailed instructions for caring for the surgical site, managing pain and swelling, and eating and drinking during recovery. Following these instructions carefully is essential to promote healing and minimize complications.
•  Manage Pain and Discomfort: It's normal to experience some pain, swelling, and discomfort after oral surgery. Your oral surgeon may prescribe pain medications or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help manage these symptoms.
•  Eat Soft Foods: Stick to a soft diet for the first few days following surgery to avoid putting pressure on the surgical site. Soups, smoothies, mashed potatoes, and yogurt are good options.
•  Avoid Strenuous Activities: Rest and avoid strenuous activities for the first few days after surgery to allow your body to heal properly. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, as these can delay healing and increase the risk of complications.
•  Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Be sure to attend any follow-up appointments scheduled with your oral surgeon. These appointments are an opportunity for your surgeon to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns you may have.

In the end, oral surgery is not just about addressing dental issues – it's about restoring confidence and comfort. With advancements in surgical techniques, anesthesia, and postoperative care, oral surgery continues to evolve, offering safer, more effective solutions for patients of all ages.

Your comfort and satisfaction are our top priorities. Beaverton Oral Surgeons takes the time to understand your concerns and develop customized treatment plans that meet your unique needs. No matter what oral concerns you are dealing with, our doctors are here to help you reclaim your smile. To schedule a consultation, call (971) 249-8370.
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400 E Main St Ste 120, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Hillsboro, OR 97123-4163
(971) 249-8370


3925 SW 153rd Drive #100
Beaverton, OR 97003
(503) 646-7101


Mon - Thu: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 8:00am - 2:00pm
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