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When Is It Time to See an Oral Surgeon?

You’ve likely heard of an oral surgeon but might not know when you may need one. A dental surgeon is a specific type of dentist who spent four years in dental school and then four years in a hospital surgical residency.

Because of this extensive training, oral surgeons are very skilled when it comes to diagnosing and performing advanced procedures, such as the extraction of wisdom teeth that have become impacted, dental implants, and severe dental injuries. Some severe injuries include knocked-out teeth, broken jaws, or temporomandibular joint issues.

If you suffer from these kinds of dental problems, the general dentist that you see in Hudson Valley may refer you to an oral surgeon.

General Anesthesia

The two most common types of anesthesia are local and general. Local anesthesia, such as lidocaine, is used for small dental problems, whereas general anesthesia is used when you have extensive and painful dental work that needs to be completed.

In most cases, the dental procedures that oral surgeons perform require the use of general anesthesia to prevent pain. The good news is that oral surgeons are well trained when it comes to administering all kinds of anesthesia, so you’re in good hands. Their job is to make your experience a pleasant one.

Determine If Oral Surgery Is the Right Choice for You

Do you suffer from dental discomfort? The good news is that you don’t have to and shouldn’t. Oral surgery can correct and cure a number of dental issues.

For example, if you have wisdom teeth that haven’t come in correctly, this can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. An oral surgeon can quickly and easily remove these teeth, relieving all of the pain that they were causing.

Another reason to choose a surgeon is if you have lost teeth because of an infection or accident and need implants. Having an oral surgeon properly place dental implants for you ensures that they’ll work for years to come.

A surgeon can pick the proper location to install the implants so that there’s sufficient jawbone to drill into. If needed, the surgeon can graft bone to your jaw to make it strong enough to support implants.

Common Jaw Problems Oral Surgeons Solve

Let’s dive deeper into the specific jaw-related problems that oral surgeons can solve. Typically, if you have one of these dental problems related to your jaw, your general dentist in Hudson Valley will send you to an oral surgeon.

Ill-fitting Dentures

Poor-fitting dentures are usually the result of jaw irregularities. An oral surgeon can make your dentures fit better, providing you with more comfort and ensuring that they stay in your mouth.

Disorders Involving the Temporomandibular Joint

Generally, problems involving the temporomandibular joint require the expertise of an oral surgeon. You’ll know if you suffer from these joint problems because you’ll have aching facial pain, pain around your ear or locking of your joint, which makes it difficult to open and close your mouth. If you think that you have a problem with this joint, schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon.

Jaw Growth That’s Unequal

Most jaws grow equally on both sides. However, some people suffer from unequal jaw growth. When this happens, it can be difficult to eat, speak or breathe naturally. An oral surgeon can eliminate this problem.

Facial Injuries

Oftentimes, facial injuries can lead to oral surgery. Depending on your situation, you could have a fractured jaw or other bone that impacts your ability to chew or speak. On that same note, facial injuries can cause swelling or become infected if not treated.

Cleft Palates

Cleft palates are a type of disorder that results in a gap forming in your lip. They can also cause a slit to form in the roof of your mouth. When left untreated, cleft palates can cause a number of problems, including dental issues if it extends up into the gums. Thankfully, oral surgeons can deal with these types of issues.

Tips You Should Consider Before Oral Surgery

If you have an appointment for oral surgery, you may feel a bit nervous. Fortunately, a little preparation can go a long way to help you feel at ease.

Beforehand, contact your oral surgeon to find out if you’ll need to take any medications once the surgery is over. If you do, you can arrange for your prescription to be ready for pickup immediately afterward.

Most importantly, make transportation plans. Oral surgery usually involves some kind of anesthesia. This means that you won’t be able to drive yourself. Arrange for a friend or family member to take you to and from your appointment. You may even want this person to pick up your prescription medication if you need one.

Lastly, if you have any concerns or questions about your surgery, discuss them with your oral surgeon. Doing so can put your mind at ease.

Follow the Diet Recommendations From Your Oral Surgeon

Before and after your surgery, your oral surgeon will likely give you specific instructions to follow regarding what you can and can’t eat and drink. These instructions can get specific if you’ll be under general anesthesia. Make sure to follow all of these instructions carefully.

Typically, the instructions involve not drinking or eating eight hours before the surgery starts. If you’ll only be under local anesthetic, you can have a light meal an hour or two before surgery.

If you smoke, you should not do so 12 hours before surgery. You should also wait at least 24 hours before smoking after surgery.

When the surgery is done, it’s important that you eat soft foods. Sometimes, this can make it difficult to get the nutrition that you need. Many surgeons recommend eating meal replacements, such as SlimFast or Boost. These will ensure that you get the nutrition that you need.

Finding an Oral Surgeon in Hudson Valley

If you’re looking for an oral surgeon in Hudson Valley give us a call. We can provide the help that you need to get any dental problem under control. Call our friendly staff members today to schedule a consultation.

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