Oral Surgery in St. Catharines
Oral Surgery: What Is It?
When Is Oral Surgery Required?
It’s a fact that oral surgery is a common aspect of todays dentistry. Most people will require an oral surgery procedure at some point in their lives, and most will be minor procedures.
Our St. Catharines Oral Surgery Procedures
- Dental Implants
- Tooth Extractions
- Wisdom Teeth Removal
- Bone Grafting
- Facial Trauma Care
- TMJ Disorders
- Jaw Surgery
- Cleft Lip and Palate Procedures
- Sleep Apnea Treatments
Your dentist will determine if an oral surgery procedure is necessary, and will speak to you during a consultation before referring you to an oral surgeon if required. Oral surgeons are able to provide an extra level of specialized care and more expertise about certain procedures. Oral surgeons are also commonly used to provide additional examinations and consultations before deciding which procedure you might require.
What’s Involved in Having Oral Surgery?
After it’s been decided that oral surgery is the best option, you’ll be wondering exactly what’s involved and what preparations you’ll need to make before your appointment. Every procedure and patient are different meaning that your consultation with your dentist or surgeon is when you will be briefed on what to expect.
Before anything happens, you’ll have a consultation with your oral surgeon or dentist. The consultation is there to inform you about the procedure, if sedation is necessary, what preparations you’ll need to make and what you can expect post-surgery in terms of pain or recovery. You will also be asked to inform the surgeon of your medical history and any medications you are currently taking.
Arrange a Drop Off & Pick-Up from Your Appointment
Depending on the type of sedation and invasiveness of your surgery, you may be required to have someone pick you up from our office. Most of our oral surgery treatments are classified as outpatient procedures meaning you will be discharged from our clinic after your surgery. General anaesthesia typically means you will not be able to drive yourself home, so a ride from a trusted person, a taxi or even public transportation are necessary. Senior patients may also be more comfortable knowing there is someone nearby to assist and take care of them if needed.
Eating & Drinking Before Surgery
Depending on the type of sedation your surgery requires, you may be asked to abstain from eating before your appointment. General anaesthetics usually mean patients are not allowed to eat or drink for a minimum of 8 hours before surgery. This is something that will be discussed during your consultation with your oral surgeon. Procedures requiring only local anaesthesia will not require fasting.
Eating & Drinking After Surgery
Due to the invasive nature of most oral surgeries, eating regularly after your appointment will be very difficult. This will be discussed during your consultation, but you can expect to be put on a ‘soft food only’ diet for at least a few days after surgery. You’ll need to avoid chewing, biting, which means no hard foods. Foods you can eat include protein shakes, soups, broths or regular foods that have been pureed. It is important that you are prepared for this temporary diet before you head in for surgery.
Do not sip anything through a straw as the suction created can lead to dry socket, bleeding and other complications. If you underwent general anaesthesia, it’s important to avoid alcohol for 24 hours. Be careful eating and drinking after receiving local anaesthesia until you regain feeling in the numbed areas.
Painkillers & Antibiotics
Your medical history and current medications can affect the process or outcome of your surgery, so make sure you provide accurate details during your consultation. Certain medications like blood thinners should be stopped weeks before surgery as they can delay the healing process. You will be advised to visit the pharmacy before surgery to pick up some painkillers like Advil or Tylenol, as well as any antibiotics that may be required so they are ready for you when you get home. Your oral surgeon will make recommendations about what you can expect and which medications you might need. Some antibiotics may need to be started before your surgery appointment date.
Getting Your Home Prepared for Recovery
After your surgery, you’ll most likely not be in a good state to arrange your home so you can recover comfortably. This is something that is best done before your appointment and will help make your recovery as comfortable as possible. Things to consider include:
• Changing your bed linens for something disposable and clean in case of bleeding while you sleep.
• Ensure you have sufficient pillows at hand to keep your head elevated and comfortable.
• Collect any necessary items so you will have easy asccess to them during recovery. Cell phones, iPad, TV remotes, glasses, pain killers, tissues, something to drink etc.
• Prepare some food and drinks before surgery.
• Have some ice packs in your freezer ready to help reduce any pain or swelling.
• Ask family or a friend to be available to you for a few days in case you need some help or support.
What to Expect Post-Surgery
Everyone’s body reacts differently to surgery, but the majority of patients make a complete recovery and notice any swelling and pain reduce inside a few days. We recommend managing your symptoms – taking painkillers and medications so you can recover as comfortably as possible. Remember to take antibiotics and medications as directed, taking care not to exceed the recommended dosages. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office if your pain becomes worse, swelling does not subside or bleeding persists.
Tips for Recovery
Once the surgery is over it’s time for you to recover. You’ll most likely be experiencing some pain and swelling around your face which is anything but pleasant. This is normal, and should pass in a few days. In the meantime, it’s important that you rest as much as possible and avoid aggravating any wounds. Use painkillers to manage your symptoms and keep yourself comfortable. It is recommended to eat and drink something as soon as you can after surgery to give your body the energy to recover quickly. Remember though, only soft foods and don’t sip through a straw. Keep your head elevated and apply ice packs to reduce swelling or pain. As early as 24 hours after surgery you may begin to carefully rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water or solution. You may also brush and floss your teeth, taking extra care not to upset an wounds.
Questions to Ask your Oral Surgeon Before Your Appointment
How long will my surgery take?
Is sedation required?
Will I require someone to drive me home after my surgery?
Am I allowed to eat or drink before my appointment?
Will I need painkillers, antibiotics or other medications?
What is my expected recovery time?
Will any additional appointments or surgeries be required?