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Be Wise After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction: Know These Basic Aftercare Tips

If your dentist says the words “wisdom tooth extraction,” your first instinct is to probably go into panic mode. But fear not, it won’t be as bad as you think. In fact, you’ll probably feel better after they’re out since they’re most likely crowding your other teeth and affecting your oral health. The most important part of the tooth extraction for you is that you follow all aftercare instructions to ensure your incision sites heal properly.

The Importance of Aftercare

Wisdom teeth surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed on 5 million Americans annually. Fortunately, this means your oral surgeon is going to be experienced enough that you will most likely recover quickly with only minor discomfort. Nonetheless, you should not take aftercare instructions lightly. Infections and dry sockets are a possibility, and you should do your best to prevent them from happening.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Healing Tips

Aftercare for a wisdom tooth removal is not overly complicated. You will experience some minor temporary discomfort, so we’ll discuss some post-extraction healing instructions on how to handle these issues.

Swelling: To reduce swelling and bruising, you can apply ice packs to the outside of your mouth intermittently. But depending on your situation before the extraction, your dentist may recommend using a warm compress rather than something cold.

Bleeding: After your surgery, you should expect some bleeding. Your dentist will tell you how long to keep a gauze pad over the extraction site for, depending on how heavy the bleeding is. After the initial bleeding stops, you shouldn’t experience any more bleeding.

Food and Drink: You should try to limit your eating and drinking for the first few hours following surgery. But it is important to drink a good amount of fluids to keep hydrated after the bleeding has stopped. When you’re feeling ready to eat, you should try to stick to soft foods like pudding, jello, and mashed potatoes. This will reduce the risk of aggravating the extraction site or leaving food particles in the sockets.

Mouth Care: To avoid dislodging the blood clots at the extraction sites, you should not rinse vigorously or use a straw. Additionally, you should avoid drinking alcohol or smoking after tooth extraction. You should brush your teeth the night of the surgery, but be very gentle and avoid the surgical area.

 

Along with this basic wisdom tooth extraction aftercare, it’s important to take prescribed medication like pain medicine or antibiotics as directed by your oral surgeon.

After your wisdom tooth extraction, your pain and discomfort should lessen every day. If you’re experiencing more pain, swelling, bleeding, or develop a fever, it’s important to contact your dentist right away.

Surgery can be scary, but just know that by following any directions your experienced oral surgeon gives you, you should recover quickly and remain just as wise as you were with your wisdom teeth intact.

Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Dysfunction: Is Oral Surgery An Option?

TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is a condition involving pain in the jaw joint and surrounding area. Up to 15% of those who experience TMJ develop chronic TMJ dysfunction.

TMJ is the result of the jaw or muscles in the area becoming disrupted. Those who suffer from the condition often experience facial pain, headaches, neck pain, tinnitus, ear pain, and jaw pain.

 

Can TMJ be treated with surgery?

Jaw conditions such as TMJ can sometimes benefit from surgery for jaw disorders. However, jaw surgery procedures are often considered as a last resort. This is because a patient’s jaw bone may not always be strong enough for surgery.

Non-surgical treatments for jaw conditions such as TMJ include painkillers, oral exercises, and physical therapy. In some cases, those with TMJ may also use oral devices. These devices include mouth guards, splints, and prosthodontics.

 

What oral surgery procedures exist to treat TMJ?

Although surgery for jaw disorders is often rare, in some cases it may be the only way to ease the pain of a TMJ patient. This type of oral surgery is called open-joint arthroplasty.

During open-joint arthroplasty, parts of the temporomandibular joint are removed, replaced, repaired, or repositioned. In many cases of TMJ, the articular disc is what’s focused on during surgery.

 

What happens during open-joint arthroplasty surgery?

During the surgery, an oral surgeon will make an incision into the skin. Once the jaw joint is exposed, the surgeon will either replace, repair, or reposition the articular disc of the joint.

The oral surgeon may see fit to remove the articular disc from the joint should the disc be damaged beyond repair. The disc would then be replaced with an artificial one.

 

What can I expect after the surgery?

Open-joint arthroplasty is performed under general anesthesia. Within 48 hours of the procedure, you’ll be able to begin physical therapy to regain proper jaw movement. While you’re in rehabilitation, you may be given a splint to wear in your mouth.

The repositioning of the articular disc has been known to reduce jaw pain. Up to 95% of those who receive the surgery report improved jaw function.

 

Open-joint arthroplasty isn’t for everyone. Be sure to talk to your dentist and oral surgeon about your TMJ. You may benefit from another type of lower jaw surgery or procedure.

 

IOMSWA does not treat TMJ, we only diagnose. Please contact us with any questions.

Caring for Your Teeth During and After the Holidays

Throughout the winter, especially around the holidays, we allow ourselves to indulge in a plethora of sweet treats. We’ve been good all year, so we deserve a few treats, right? Of course! However, while our taste buds may be in heaven, our teeth can suffer dire consequences if not taken care of properly. With that in mind, let’s take a discuss a few things you can do to keep your teeth healthy before, during, and after the holidays.

Try to avoid hard or chewy treats. While this may be difficult to do with all the yummy leftover holiday treats laying around, treats that are hard or excessively chewy can cause damage to teeth. Chewy snacks stick to teeth and can cause harm to tooth enamel. Furthermore, chewy and hard candies can leave a sugary residue on the teeth. Because of these risks, you should try to choose healthier treats instead.

Additionally, you should make home oral care a top priority. Even though this is important all year long, it’s especially important during and after the holidays. Despite being tired and overly busy, you should ensure you’re brushing and flossing your chompers at least twice a day. Moreover, you should take extra care of your teeth after eating. If brushing isn’t possible, opt for mouthwash. Mouthwash is an alternative option that will help remove food particles and bacteria after eating.

Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Whether you slipped up on your oral health or had too many sweet treats, you may find yourself in need of a tooth extraction procedure. A single tooth implant is a relatively simple procedure and it’s nothing to worry about if you’re being taken care of by an experienced oral surgeon. In fact, according to scientific literature, dental implants have a 98% success rate. Additionally, it’s important to remember the dental implant advantages you will get from your dental implant procedure. Some common dental implant advantages you can look forward to may include:

An improved appearance of your teeth

Durable and long-lasting implants

Protection of healthy jaw bone

An easier time eating

No risk of cavities on the implants

So whether you’ve been putting off visiting the dentist for a long time or are just now experiencing a dental issue, it’s important to make an appointment to get your teeth checked out. Not only can you get your current tooth issue taken care of, but you’ll be taking proactive measures to protect your natural teeth in the future.

Be Wise After Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction: Know These Basic Aftercare Tips

If your dentist says the words “wisdom tooth extraction,” your first instinct is to probably go into panic mode. But fear not, it won’t be as bad as you think. In fact, you’ll probably feel better after they’re out since they’re most likely crowding your other teeth and affecting your oral health. The most important part of the tooth extraction for you is that you follow all aftercare instructions to ensure your incision sites heal properly.

The Importance of Aftercare

Wisdom teeth surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed on 5 million Americans annually. Fortunately, this means your oral surgeon is going to be experienced enough that you will most likely recover quickly with only minor discomfort. Nonetheless, you should not take aftercare instructions lightly. Infections and dry sockets are a possibility, and you should do your best to prevent them from happening.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Healing Tips

Aftercare for a wisdom tooth removal is not overly complicated. You will experience some minor temporary discomfort, so we’ll discuss some post-extraction healing instructions on how to handle these issues.

Swelling: To reduce swelling and bruising, you can apply ice packs to the outside of your mouth intermittently. But depending on your situation before the extraction, your dentist may recommend using a warm compress rather than something cold.

Bleeding: After your surgery, you should expect some bleeding. Your dentist will tell you how long to keep a gauze pad over the extraction site for, depending on how heavy the bleeding is. After the initial bleeding stops, you shouldn’t experience any more bleeding.

Food and Drink: You should try to limit your eating and drinking for the first few hours following surgery. But it is important to drink a good amount of fluids to keep hydrated after the bleeding has stopped. When you’re feeling ready to eat, you should try to stick to soft foods like pudding, jello, and mashed potatoes. This will reduce the risk of aggravating the extraction site or leaving food particles in the sockets.

Mouth Care: To avoid dislodging the blood clots at the extraction sites, you should not rinse vigorously or use a straw. Additionally, you should avoid drinking alcohol or smoking after tooth extraction. You should brush your teeth the night of the surgery, but be very gentle and avoid the surgical area.

Along with this basic wisdom tooth extraction aftercare, it’s important to take prescribed medication like pain medicine or antibiotics as directed by your oral surgeon.

After your wisdom tooth extraction, your pain and discomfort should lessen every day. If you’re experiencing more pain, swelling, bleeding, or develop a fever, it’s important to contact your dentist right away.

Surgery can be scary, but just know that by following any directions your experienced oral surgeon gives you, you should recover quickly and remain just as wise as you were with your wisdom teeth intact.

Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Dysfunction: Is Oral Surgery An Option?

TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is a condition involving pain in the jaw joint and surrounding area. Up to 15% of those who experience TMJ develop chronic TMJ dysfunction.

TMJ is the result of the jaw or muscles in the area becoming disrupted. Those who suffer from the condition often experience facial pain, headaches, neck pain, tinnitus, ear pain, and jaw pain.

 

Can TMJ be treated with surgery?

Jaw conditions such as TMJ can sometimes benefit from surgery for jaw disorders. However, jaw surgery procedures are often considered as a last resort. This is because a patient’s jaw bone may not always be strong enough for surgery.

Non-surgical treatments for jaw conditions such as TMJ include painkillers, oral exercises, and physical therapy. In some cases, those with TMJ may also use oral devices. These devices include mouth guards, splints, and prosthodontics.

What oral surgery procedures exist to treat TMJ?

Although surgery for jaw disorders is often rare, in some cases it may be the only way to ease the pain of a TMJ patient. This type of oral surgery is called open-joint arthroplasty.

During open-joint arthroplasty, parts of the temporomandibular joint are removed, replaced, repaired, or repositioned. In many cases of TMJ, the articular disc is what’s focused on during surgery.

What happens during open-joint arthroplasty surgery?

During the surgery, an oral surgeon will make an incision into the skin. Once the jaw joint is exposed, the surgeon will either replace, repair, or reposition the articular disc of the joint.

The oral surgeon may see fit to remove the articular disc from the joint should the disc be damaged beyond repair. The disc would then be replaced with an artificial one.

What can I expect after the surgery?

Open-joint arthroplasty is performed under general anesthesia. Within 48 hours of the procedure, you’ll be able to begin physical therapy to regain proper jaw movement. While you’re in rehabilitation, you may be given a splint to wear in your mouth.

The repositioning of the articular disc has been known to reduce jaw pain. Up to 95% of those who receive the surgery report improved jaw function.

 

Open-joint arthroplasty isn’t for everyone. Be sure to talk to your dentist and oral surgeon about your TMJ. You may benefit from another type of lower jaw surgery or procedure.

A Brief History of Dental Implants

Dental implants have been used for thousands of years. Although the methods of replacing lost teeth might not have been very pleasant back in the day, people have always understood the importance of a good-looking smile. Today, with the help of oral surgeon practices, dental implants are a common procedure and according to scientific literature, they have a 98% success rate. This article looks at some of the key developments in dental implants throughout time.

2500 BC – 88 AD

Even in ancient times, dental implants were used to replace missing teeth. Egyptians used a method to stabilize teeth which involved the use of ligature wire made of gold. Etruscans made tooth replacements from oxen bones and soldered fold bands from animals to restore oral function in humans. The Phoenicians also used gold wire to stabilize teeth, and even used ivory as a tooth replacement. The first evidence of actual dental implants is attributed to the Mayans. The Mayans utilized pieces of shells as implants, allowing the growth of compact bone formation around the implants.

1600s – 1800s

From the late 1500’s to the 1800’s, teeth were collected from the underprivileged or from cadavers to use for dental implants in Europe. Dr. John Hunter was an iconic person during this time. He worked with “resurrectionists” who acquired corpses through grave robbing. Due to this partnership, Hunter was able to document the anatomy of the mouth and jaw. He then suggested transplanting teeth from one human to another, and through experiments he saw the jaw bone form around the implanted tooth. During this time, materials such as silver capsules, corrugated porcelain, and iridium tubes were used as implants.

Early 1900s

Drs. Alvin and Moses Strock experimented with orthopedic screws made of Vitallium. This screw provided anchorage and support for replacement of a missing tooth. The Strock brothers were recognized for their use of a biocompatible metal in a dental implant procedure. Dr. Bodine found a way to use fewer struts or girders in a dental implant surgery and Dr. Lee first introduced the use of an endosseous implant with a central post.

Late 1900s

Throughout these decades, various implant designs were expanded and modified. The Ramus Blade endosseous implant was made of surgical grade stainless steel, which was to serve as a synthetic third molar. Additionally, in 1978, a threaded titanium root-form implant was developed and tested using titanium screws.

Today…

In an oral surgeon practice today, dental implants are made of titanium, which is a bio-compatible material that is naturally accepted by the body. The natural jaw bone attaches itself to the implant, using it as a strong foundation for the tooth replacement.

Fortunately, an experienced oral surgeon working at an oral surgeon practice can give you a much more pleasant experience than you would have had thousands of years ago. Full dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and restore confidence in your smile.

Finding the Right Oral Surgeon for Your Procedure

You just found out you need an oral surgery procedure. Now what?

Oral surgery is very common. In fact, approximately three million people currently have dental implants, and every year that number increases by 500,000. Surgery can be scary and stressful, but finding an experienced oral surgeon you feel comfortable with and trust to do your procedure is an important part of preparing. There are steps you can take to ensure you find the best oral surgeon for, including knowing what an oral surgeon does, what you should look for in an oral surgeon, and how to find the best oral surgeon to perform your procedure. But first things first, you need to understand what an oral surgeon actually does.

What Do Oral Surgeons Do?

Oral surgery is used to treat disorders, diseases, injuries, or other issues in the face and jaw regions. Some common procedures performed by oral surgeons include:

  • Realignment of jaws and other jaw problems
  • Removal of teeth, including wisdom teeth extraction
  • Dental implant surgery
  • Treating oral cancer and other mouth diseases
  • Oral bone graft procedures

What to Look For in an Oral Surgeon

Finding an oral surgeon you can trust is key to having your procedure go smoothly. Here are a few things to look for when looking into oral surgeons:

  • Arrangements to handle emergencies – you should know what kind of assistance you will be provided in case of an emergency or required help outside of office hours.
  • Anesthesia – it’s important to understand the type of anesthesia you will be given during the procedure, how it will make you feel, and any side effects you may experience.
  • Insurance coverage – check to see if the oral surgery office accepts your insurance, and if not, how much the procedure will cost you.
  • Technology and equipment – ask what kind of technology or equipment will be used, if it’s the most up-to-date equipment, why they use that method, and how long they’ve been working with it.

To get ready for your oral surgery, you can schedule a consultation appointment to meet with them and ask them any questions you may have. Finding the best oral surgeon to perform your procedure may take some time, but it’s important to thoroughly research and talk to multiple surgeons before making your final decision.

What You Should Expect as a Dental Implant Patient

Having missing or damaged teeth can negatively impact a person’s self-esteem. With an estimated more than 35 million Americans missing all of their teeth in one or both jaws, according to prosthodontists, dental implant surgery is a common procedure.

A dental implant procedure is where an experienced oral surgeon places an artificial tooth that is then fused to the jawbone. This procedure gives the dental implant patient a durable, permanent fix for their missing tooth. If your dentist has suggested a single tooth implant or even multiple implants, here are a few things you should know as a dental implant patient.

There are many dental implant advantages that you should take into consideration. For one, a dental implant will last much longer than a dental bridge, which relies on surrounding teeth as anchors. Bridges may need to be replaced a few times during a lifetime and can cause other dental issues down the road.

Additional advantages of dental implants include:

  • Being aesthetically superior, Compared to bridges and dentures, implants stay in place and will mimic your own real teeth
  • Saving adjacent teeth. Unlike bridges, which need to anchor to surrounding teeth, they stand alone and won’t cause issues to your other teeth
  • Being reliable and durable. Implants rarely have to be replaced, saving you the hassle of having to have another procedure done
  • Helping build confidence. Unlike other forms of tooth replacement, dental implants look and feel like real teeth, leaving no reason to be self-conscious about them

The dental implant process itself can be fairly time-consuming. As a dental implant patient, you will first have a complete dental exam, most likely including x-rays. After the initial diagnosis is made, your dentist will recommend you to the best oral surgeon in the area.

Upon meeting with the oral surgeon, you will discuss a treatment plan. This plan can include discussing how many implants will be needed and the condition of your jaw bones. Finally, the procedure is started. Dental implants require multiple surgical procedures, which can take a few months to fully complete. First, the dental implant cylinder is placed in your jawbone to form the base for the implant. After several months of healing, an abutment is placed, and finally, an implant prosthesis or crown is put in.

Receiving dental implants can be a long journey, but it’s worth it in the end. After the implants are in place, you can have confidence in your smile again knowing the implants look and feel like the rest of your teeth.

What Do Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Do?

When you need to have a cavity filled or a single tooth extracted, it’s fairly normal to see your regular dentist. But what if your oral issues require lower jaw surgery or a full denture implant? In those cases, you’d go to see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Let’s take a closer look at what these oral specialists do and how they achieve their title.

What is oral and maxillofacial surgery?

Simply put, oral and maxillofacial surgery is a surgical specialty that specifically addresses oral health. This field covers the diagnosis, surgery, and treatment of both functional and aesthetic oral health problems. Whether that means performing a dental implant surgery or correcting a jaw issue, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon will handle it. Some other types of oral surgery procedures these professionals perform include:

  • Oral cyst and tumor removal
  • Jaw alignment
  • Aesthetic oral surgery
  • Wisdom tooth removal

What makes these surgeons so special?

While a general dentist will complete four years of dental school and then enter the industry as a practicing professional, oral and maxillofacial surgeons go on to even higher levels of specialized education. After completing dental school, students who wish to become oral and maxillofacial surgeons must spend another four years in a residency program for surgery. There, they learn everything they need to know about emergency medical care, safe surgical practices, and anesthesiology. That’s right! Aside from trained anesthesiologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only medical professionals licensed to administer all types of sedation. So the next time you’re having an oral surgery procedure performed, rest easy knowing your oral surgeon has the specific knowledge to provide you sedation safely.

What are the most common types of oral surgery procedures these surgeons perform?

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can perform a wide variety of oral surgeries, but there are a few procedures that are a little bit more routine than others. Three of the most common procedures include:

  • Tooth Extractions
  • Corrective jaw surgery
  • Cleft lip/palate surgery

Considering that oral problems are quite common (over 35 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with TMJ disorders), it’s possible that you might see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the future, and now you know exactly why these surgeons are so important.

Oral Bone Grafting Can Help Give You the Smile You Deserve

Dental surgery has come a long way to ensure patients are provided what they need to have the perfect smile. One procedure that has made this possible is oral bone grafting, which allows dental implants to be placed if a patient’s jawbone doesn’t provide the proper support. But bone grafting can be used for a variety of other reasons as well. If your dentist has mentioned this procedure as a possibility for your jaw, there are a few things you should know. Let’s take a closer look at a few important questions you might be asking:

1. What is oral bone grafting?
An oral bone graft is a type of corrective jaw surgery that adds bone to the jaw if the patient’s own jaw is not strong enough to support dental implants. This typically happens when the jaw doesn’t have a tooth to replace the one that’s been lost, so it slowly creates a hollow dip in the jawbone. Once a bone graft is complete, solutions like crowns, bridges, or implants can be placed. Bone grafting is a minor outpatient procedure that is common in the United States. In fact, of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44, approximately 69% are missing at least one of their teeth. And in those Americans over the age of 74, 25% have lost all of their permanent teeth.

2. Where does the grafting material come from?
There are a few places grafting material can come from, the first is the most common, where the source for the bone graft is cadaver bone. This could include cadaver or synthetic bone as well as bovine bone. Surgeons are also able to take bone from the patient’s own jaw or sinuses. An experienced oral surgeon will decide which type of material is best to use in any specific dental implant procedure.

3. When does bone grafting need to be used?
There are many reasons a person may need an oral bone graft. Bone density may decrease if the jawbone begins to waste away due to the loss or removal of a tooth. The three most common reasons people require bone grafting are:
○ Gum disease, or other infections and diseases
○ Tooth Extractions
○ Injuries to teeth or the jaw itself
Any type of surgery can be scary. It’s important to remember that bone grafting is a minor, common procedure that can help give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Bone grafting makes dental implants and other procedures possible so patients don’t have to wear dentures or just have missing teeth. For more information on oral bone grafting, talk to your dentist today.