Oral surgery refers to surgery confined to the oral cavity (mouth) and includes the following:
extraction of teeth, including wisdom teeth.
removal of soft tissue lesions, such as cysts, tumours, abscesses.
recontouring the shape of your gums, gingivectomy.
Oral surgery is usually carried out as day surgery, with most procedures lasting less than 30 minutes. You will experience a minimum of discomfort afterwards and this is usually kept comfortable by painkillers prescribed by your dentist.
Wisdom teeth extraction can prove more uncomfortable as there may be bone removed and stitches may have to be placed.
Our oral surgeon will prescribe a painkiller for you for post-surgical control of pain. Commonly, paracetamol (PANADOL) is more than adequate although sometimes an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (NUROFEN, BRUFEN) or sodium valproate (VOLTAREN) is used to control both swellingand pain. Tenoxicam (TILCOTIL) is steadily gaining popularity as a post and pre -operative painkiller as studies have shown that a pre-op dose of tenoxicam greatly reduces the pain and swelling post-operatively.
NEVER take aspirin (DISPRIN, ASPROTABS) for pain relief before or after oral surgery as acetyl salicylic acid in aspirin acts as a blood thinner and can disrupt your body's ability to clot after bleeding. This can cause excessive bleeding or bruising (bleeding under skin) post-surgically.
The mouth is full of bacteria and in normal circumstances these do not pose a problem, but post-operative wounds may provide an inlet for bacteria into the tissues and a post-operative infection is both uncomfortable and can be life-threatening.
Your dentist will provide you with a list of instructions on what to do post-operatively. Commonsense dictates that you should keep the wound clean. Things you should do include:
Keep your teeth clean - food particles and plague can get into wounds and cause irritation.
Use a mouthwash - an antibacterial mouthwash, such as COLGATE's SAVACOL can keep your mouth clean and reduce the risk of infection.
Eat sensibly - avoid foods with seeds or nuts as these may get into the wound.
Things you should not do include:
Smoke - a big NO! Smoking irritates the wound and smokers tend to have a higher risk of infection post-operatively. Try not to smoke for 48 hours.
Drink alcohol - alcohol will cause the blood vessels around the wound to swell and may cause bleeding. It is best avoided for a day post-operatively.
Take aspirins - as these thin the blood and may cause bleeding.
rinse and gargle the wound - AVOID doing this for the first 24 hours as you do not want to break the blood clot down
Make an appointment to see the oral surgeon at Austin Dental Plus. Please bring any records that you may have from any other practice. In some instances you may need a referral depending on your insurance.