Prepare for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: A How-To Guide

If you require oral and maxillofacial surgery, you will want to prepare yourself well to avoid complications and have a speedy recovery. Oral surgery is commonly outpatient procedure and involves either general or local anesthesia.

Oral surgeries must be approached in the same way as any other surgeries. You have to make the same preparations and follow post-op instructions to avoid the risk of infection.

What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

Oral and maxillofacial surgery refers to any surgical procedure that treats conditions, injuries, defects, and aesthetic aspects of the mouth, teeth, jaws, and face. It is performed by oral surgery associates who completed a degree in Dentistry and another four-year surgical residency training in a hospital.

What Are the Most Common Types of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

A number of conditions may require oral and maxillofacial surgery, including:

1. Impacted Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to develop. More often, they fail to emerge through the gum line and become entrapped or “impacted” between the gum tissue and the jawbone. This will cause swelling, pain, and infection. Without wisdom teeth surgery, it can also damage nearby teeth, gums, and bones, and form cysts or tumors destroying the sections of the jaw.

Cuspids and bicuspids can become impacted too and can cause the same types of problems described above. These will require surgery as well.

2. Tooth Loss

Dental implants are recommended alternatives to dentures and bridges. These tooth roots are surgically anchored in place in the jawbone to act as stabilizers for the artificial teeth that will be attached to them. To be a suitable candidate for dental implants, you must have a healthy bone density. Also, there is a high risk for infection so you must be able to keep good oral hygiene practices.

3. Jaw-Related Problems

  • Unequal Jaw Growth. Your upper and lower jaw may fail to grow properly. This makes it difficult for a person to speak, eat, swallow, and even breathe. While some of these problems can be corrected with braces, more serious cases require oral and maxillofacial surgery to move all or part of the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both into a new position that is well balanced, functional, and healthier.
  • Improve Fit of Dentures. If this is your first-time to get dentures, oral surgery can help correct any irregularities in your jaws prior to creating the dentures to ensure a perfect fit. Surgery can also help long-term users of dentures. Supporting bones may deteriorate over time, making dentures loose. In severe cases, oral surgery associates may add a bone graft to areas where little bone remains.
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). Dysfunction in this small joint in front of your ear where your skull and lower jaw meet is a common source of headache and facial pain. While most patients improve with oral medications, physical therapy, and splints, advanced cases will require surgery.

4. Other Conditions

  • Cleft lip or cleft palate repair
  • Facial injury repair
  • Lesion removal and biopsy
  • Facial infections
  • Advanced cases of sleep apnea

How to Prepare for An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

Oral and maxillofacial surgery can go a lot easier if you put in a little preparation. Do the following:

1. Be Informed

Set an appointment with your surgeon to make sure you understand the reasons for your procedure. Aside from the benefits, ask about the possible risks too.

2. Make Sure You Have A Ride Home

Sedation can impair your judgment, which makes it unsafe for you to drive a car. Ask a family member or a friend to bring you home. If no one is available, you can take a cab. Other clinics will also allow you to stay in for a while until you are good at driving.

3. Fast

Can you eat before wisdom teeth removal or any other oral surgery procedures? You have to do fasting, including water, if you will undergo sedation. Do not eat anything after dinner the night before your surgery. This is to avoid the risk of aspiration, a rare but serious complication of anesthesia that fills your lungs with your stomach content. If you need to take medication during your fast, sip a small amount of water.

4. Bare Your Arms

Wear short sleeves for easy access to your arms. Aside from giving your IV, doctors will also monitor your vital signs and blood pressure during the procedure.

5. Give Yourself Time

Arrive at least 20 minutes early. This will give you enough time to finish the last-minute paperwork and relax. If you still have lingering questions, this is the best time to ask.

At Sunrise Dentistry, we believe in doing whatever is necessary to give you better oral health. Our doctors are excellent in providing holistic services, including oral and maxillofacial surgery. Contact us now at (970) 247-3303 if you need to schedule an appointment.