For many people, the thought of having surgery is particularly frightening. After all, many surgical procedures require anaesthesia, and the idea of being asleep while a surgeon repairs internal damage or removes certain malfunctioning organs certainly doesn’t bring to mind pleasant images. If those surgeries are planned as opposed to unexpected emergency procedures, you even have plenty of time to let your imagination compound your fears.
Most people transfer those fears and frightening images to the field of dentistry if they’re told that they need dental surgery. Of course, dental surgical procedures aren’t quite the same as other types of surgery. Though it may be difficult to stay calm when faced with a dental surgical procedure, there’s really no need to worry.
Looking at Some Common Types of Dental Surgery
Surgical extractions are among the most common dental surgeries people face. Some teeth can’t simply be pulled because they have unusual root curvature or there’s not enough of the tooth left above the gum line for the dentist to grasp. Rest assured, though, these procedures aren’t much different than simple extractions.
They involve the same aesthetic injections, and you’ll feel similar pulling and pressure to that of having a tooth pulled. You may need a few stitches in your gums after the fact, but even then, the healing process is very much like that of a simple extraction. That’s only one type of dental surgery.
- Root Canals. Root canal procedures are performed to eliminate infections within the teeth. Dental surgeons drill into infected teeth and scrape away all the soft tissue within. Then, they clean and disinfect the teeth to get rid of any remaining infection. From there, they fill in the teeth and place crowns on them to keep bacteria from getting inside. This procedure isn’t all that different than getting a standard filling, and aftercare is much the same.
- Gum Contouring and Repair. These types of procedures are often used to help combat gum disease and reverse the damage it can cause. They can also be used for cosmetic purposes. During gum contouring, the surgeon will use a scalpel or laser tool to remove damaged or excess gum tissue. Gum reconstruction may involve grafting soft tissue or biologically compatible synthetic materials onto the gums. Local anaesthetics are typically used to numb the gums during the procedure, and protective materials may be applied afterward to protect the gums and allow them to heal properly.
- Dental Implant Surgery. If you have missing teeth, dental implant surgery can provide a permanent solution. During this type of procedure, the surgeon will insert titanium posts through the gums and into the jawbones. From there, you’ll need to allow a few months for the gums to heal and the implants to fuse with your jawbones. Then, the posts will be fitted with crowns that will function like natural teeth.
Those are a few of the most common dental surgical procedures. Your mouth and face will most likely feel numb immediately after dental surgery. This feeling can last for a few hours, and it may make drinking and eating especially difficult. Still, it generally passes quickly. For the next few hours or days, you may feel a bit of discomfort. Your dentist will probably prescribe painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications to help deal with that portion of the recovery process. All that is short-lived, though, and the results of those procedures are well worth any short-term discomfort you may experience.