Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a specialised field of dentistry focusing on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and birth defects that affect the jaws, mouth, gums, teeth and facial structures.
Although no one likes the sound of oral surgery it is sometimes necessary. However, unlike other surgeries, dental surgery doesn’t usually involve being admitted to hospital or having to undergo general anaesthesia.
Oral Surgeons work together with dentists and orthodontists to treat children and adults who have problems with the growth and position of their jaws and teeth.
Some common situations where a patient may be required to see an oral surgeon include:
• Impacted teeth • Wisdom teeth removal • Jaw problems • Overbite/underbite • Cancer treatment • Removal of lesions on the face or inside the mouth
Although oral surgery isn’t as invasive as general surgery and you won’t require a general anaesthetic, there are still some instructions you should follow after and sometimes before your procedure.
• No exercise – Limit activities and exercise for the day • Gauze pads – Apply gauze pads over the surgical area should any bleeding occur • No Smoking – After oral surgery you should not smoke! This will encourage bleeding from the area and cause pain • Ice packs – These will reduce swelling in the area where surgery took place • Mouth rinsing – You should NOT rinse your mouth until 24 hours after the procedure has taken place. However, after that you should rinse using a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt – this will help keep any infection at bay. • Pain – Pain/discomfort after surgery is completely normal and should ease off more and more each day. Over the counter pain medication can be taken to help relieve the pain, if the pain persists after 5 or 6 days you should consult your dentist
If you or your dentist feels you would benefit from seeing an oral surgeon, they can refer or recommend a surgeon that would be best for your specific needs.
Ian, the Mosman dentist. Dentist Mosman.