Dental Tips Blog


Tips for a Successful Recovery from Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Are you ready for your upcoming dental implant placement, tooth extraction or other oral surgery procedure? These reminders will help you recover quickly and keep discomfort to a minimum.

Rest well.

Avoid physical activity for at least 2-3 days after your procedure. This will help your body heal quickly and avoid disrupting any bandages, sutures, or blood clots. If you’re used to regular workouts, take things slow.

Take meds as directed.

Your dentist or surgeon may prescribe painkillers and/or antibiotics. But always ask before taking any over-the-counter drugs so that you don’t experience any unexpected interactions.

Eat soft foods.

Stay away from hard, crunchy, sticky foods or anything that has small bits that can get stuck in the surgical site. Opt for things like soup (not too hot), smoothies (not made from berries with seeds), pudding, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and yogurt.

Expect some swelling.

Swelling is a normal outcome from surgery. You can reduce it by keeping your head elevated even when you rest, and placing an icepack on the outside of your face.

Have a friend drive you home.

Even if your surgery was a small procedure, you absolutely cannot drive yourself home if you’ve had sedation. You MUST have plans in place for a friend or family member to transport you back home safely to rest after your surgery. 

Have someone stay with you.

You will likely be on some high grade pain medication after your operation. You may even still be feeling the effects of the sedation or anesthesia. It’s a good idea to make sure someone can stay with you for the first few hours after the surgery.

Your companion can also make sure you take medications as directed, do cooking for you, and contact help if you experience an allergic reaction or some other emergency.

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Denture and Implant Specialists
203 Woodpark Pl #102
Woodstock, GA 30188
(770) 926-0021


Smile Destroyed in an Accident? Here’s How to Restore It

Posted in Oral Surgery

At first, you were just grateful to still be alive. You were lucky that you didn’t suffer much more than some jaw damage.

But now that some time has passed since the accident, you realize that the damage to your smile has made day-to-day living a nightmare.

Things like missing or broken teeth or a poorly-aligned jaw can interfere with your speech and eating ability. You may even be embarrassed to show your teeth in a smile.

What can you do to repair your smile?

Full-mouth reconstruction (FMR) may be the answer.

An FMR case is a series of procedures to get your mouth as close to a healthy state of function as possible.

Your unique treatment plan may include things like:

  • Crowning multiple teeth to even out their fit and appearance
  • Gum tissue grafts
  • Extracting teeth that can’t be restored
  • Replacing missing teeth with dentures or implants

Full-mouth restoration focuses on restoring function so it’s more medically-necessary than a simple smile makeover. But an FMR will also take aesthetics into consideration. You will end up with a beautiful set of teeth that you can chew comfortably with by the time the process is over.

Getting FMR is usually a process of several months to a year. It does take time to complete everything on your list, but it’s best to do it all back-to-back so that you don’t lose progress.

If you were recently in an accident, you may first need an oral surgeon’s help to reconstruct facial features. Once such injuries are stabilized, you’ll work with a dentist to rebuild your smile.

Contact your dentist today if you think full-mouth restoration is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224


When Should You Visit an Oral Surgeon?

Posted in Oral Surgery

While oral surgeons are known for extracting teeth, most people aren’t aware of what else they can do.

What occasions necessitate treatment with an oral surgeon?

Procedures commonly offered at oral surgery centers include:

  • Sleep apnea treatment
  • Facial reconstruction
  • Jaw surgery
  • Removal of tumors and cysts
  • Oral cancer diagnosis
  • Repairing birth defects

So what’s the difference between your dentist and an oral surgeon?

General Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon

General dentists and oral surgeons both complete at least four years of education. Individuals who want to specialize in surgery go on to study for another 3-6 years. A surgeon then focuses on treating conditions in procedures like those listed above.

Your regular dentist is often your first line of defense when it comes to dental care. He or she is the one you’ll visit for a checkup, or dental cleaning. If you need a more complicated procedure requiring surgery, your dentist will refer you to a reputable oral surgeon in your area.

When to Go?

In rebuilding facial structures, you want a surgeon who knows the anatomy best. After a car accident, for example, you may need to go to an ER right away. But once you’re stabilized, it’s time to call in an oral surgeon.

If your dentist says you should see a surgeon for something like a biopsy, then you probably shouldn’t put it off. But if your condition isn’t urgent and you just want to make an esthetic change or two, then you have a little more freedom in choosing when to go.

You can also do a search for oral surgeons in your area and contact one if you’re interested in finding out more.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115


How to Find a Good Oral Surgeon

Posted in Oral Surgery

Your full mouth reconstruction treatment might include a variety of procedures such as:

  • Extractions
  • Restorations
  • Periodontal (gum) therapy
  • Implants

It could also require the specialized skill of an oral surgeon. As you plan out your full mouth reconstruction, you might wonder about how to find an oral surgeon who will help you feel comfortable.

What an Oral Surgeon Does

Whether you have an advanced oral issue that is congenital or caused by disease or trauma, an oral surgeon can correct it using anesthesia, both local and general, if needed.

In line with your reconstructive needs, an oral surgeon’s skills will come in handy in:

  • Treating facial trauma
  • Removing cysts and tumors
  • Extracting teeth
  • Correcting the alignment of your jaw
  • Rebuilding facial structures

Your oral surgeon should work closely with both your primary doctor and your dentist in designing your full mouth reconstruction treatment plan.

Meeting an Oral Surgeon

Your dentist will likely know several individuals whom he or she could refer you to. You can do a little research of your own, as well. Ask about the personality of a particular surgeon you are being referred to. Look up their professional information online to find out whether they belong to any professional dental societies. When you meet a surgeon in person, ask him or her about how much experience they have had with cases like yours.

Find Out More Before Surgery

You’ve met with a surgeon and you feel the office is a good fit. Great! Don’t forget to follow up by asking detailed questions about your treatment plan. Ask about how the office works with your insurance and whether they offer some sort of financing. Talk with your local general dentist for more information and recommendations.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725


Managing Discomfort After Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

Oral surgeries encompass a wide range of procedures. From wisdom simple extractions to gingival grafts, oral surgery procedures are designed to enhance your oral health and improve a person’s smile. Managing discomfort after an oral surgery is important, especially if you plan to return to work or school in a short period of time. Although some types of surgeries can take as long as 2 weeks for complete healing to take place, discomfort should not last for more than a few days.

Keeping your mouth clean

Rinsing with warm salt water throughout the day plays two important roles. One is that salt water helps remove inflammation in the soft tissues throughout the mouth. Two, the water helps remove food debris or bacteria from the areas around the surgical site. This is more comfortable and gentler than brushing or using an alcohol-containing mouth rinse when your tissues are still recovering. 

Using warm or cold compresses

Alternating a warm and cold compress against the side of the face for 5 minutes at a time will minimize swelling, inflammation, and minor discomfort. Most discomfort is caused by inflammation, so preventing inflammation from occurring in the first place is a great way to avoid unnecessary discomfort. Only hold the compress against the skin for a few minutes at a time, alternating the cold and hot each time. 

Taking the right medication

Always take any prescription medication as directed. Don’t take just any medication! Your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic (for infection) or pain medication. Or, you may be advised to take ibuprofen as needed after a certain point. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication as well as pain reliever.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



Bone Grafting

Posted in Oral Surgery

Bone grafting is a procedure that is used for patients that need to preserve bone height or create new bone height in certain areas of their mouth. Bone may be lost due to gum disease, age, anatomy of the mouth, or lack of healthy teeth. Most of the time, bone grafting is used prior to the placement of dental implants, so that an implant can be placed and supported securely for several years as a means of tooth replacement.

Types of bone grafting used can include:

  • Placement of a bone graft in the socket of a tooth that has been removed.
  • Improving the height and width of bone in the jaw, where an implant is to be placed.
  • Altering the bone quantity near the nasal sinuses if a sinus lift is needed before the implant is placed.
  • In areas of bony defects around otherwise healthy teeth, or for minor bone loss needs.

A successful bone graft will not only place new bone in the desired area, it will also encourage new bone formation around it. This strengthens the bone in the jaw for implant support or delaying damage from gum disease.

How do you know if you’ve suffered from bone loss and need a bone graft? A periodontal examination by your dentist or hygienist can be used to determine areas of bone height that is lost along each tooth. Routine x-rays will also reflect overall bone height, as well as pinpoint areas are localized concern that could jeopardize other teeth.

Your dentist will discuss the different types of bone graft materials that can be used. To find out whether or not a bone graft can help you, contact your dentist today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



Are Hard or Soft Bristles Best?

Posted in Oral Surgery

There are so many types of toothbrushes available on the oral care aisle, not to mention the selection of bristle types. Which type of bristle is best – hard, medium, or soft? Even when their dentist tells them which one to try, many patients go with the complete opposite. Does it really matter which one you choose, and does it affect your oral tissues?

One type of bristle can actually do physical damage to your tooth enamel and gum tissues over time. Which one is it? Hard bristles – especially when someone scrub brushes very firmly, a hard bristled toothbrush can physically wear away tooth enamel and cause gum recession which may require gum graft surgery. Both of these conditions are irreversible and lead to sensitivity and aesthetic concerns.

The best type of toothbrush to use is one with soft bristles. Softer brushes are gentler on the gum tissue, tooth enamel, and provide just as effective plaque removal as other types of brushes. Gently massaging the gumlines can remove plaque from below the surface without causing irreversible gum recession due to excess forces. Even though you’re choosing a brush with soft bristles, you should still make sure that you’re not pushing too firmly when you brush. Scrubbing hard with a softer brush can still cause some dental wear.

Medium bristled toothbrushes are still too firm to use on your teeth. If you’re unsure whether or not you have enamel abrasion and gum recession from hard brushing, you can ask your hygienist to check. The areas around your premolars or canines are typically the most susceptible, and damage is first evident in these locations. Catching wear as early as possible can prevent dental problems later on.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Virginia Kirkland, North Point Periodontics



Foods to Eat When Recovering From Oral Surgery

Posted in Oral Surgery

After an oral surgery procedure like an extraction, wisdom tooth removal, or gum grafting, you’ll need to take it pretty easy for a few days when it comes to what you eat. Here are some great ideas for helping curb your hunger while also being gentle on your healing oral tissues:

Pudding or Yogurt

A classic “go to” food after dental surgeries, yogurt and pudding are easy to eat because they don’t require any chewing, and they’re smooth when you swallow them. The cool temperature can also help sore areas in your mouth feel better if they are still inflamed.


As long as they aren’t too hot, warm or room temperature soups like potato or chicken broth can be satisfying and be easy to eat as long as you’re not still numb.


Soft and full of protein, eggs can help you feel fuller when you’re not up to eating much solid food. Scrambled eggs are quick and easy to make, and will help you feel satisfied more than a soup would.

Oatmeal or Grits

As you introduce a little more texture into your diet, warm cereals can help you test the waters when it comes to deciding if you can handle solid foods yet or not.

Canned Peaches

Softer than fresh fruits, canned peaches can be eaten even if you’re not comfortable with a lot of chewing. They’ll also help you make sure you reach your goal of total fruits that day.


Cool fruit smoothies are easy to make, can be packed with important vitamins and minerals, and make a great mean no matter what time of the day it is.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



Why You Should Choose a Specialist For Your Dental Care

Posted in Oral Surgery

If you’ve thought about having a major dental therapy completed, you’ve probably asked your general dentist about the procedure as well as how much it will cost. In many cases, your general dentist may even offer this procedure at their practice, or in other instances they may prefer to refer you to a specialist for the treatment. What does a dental specialist have to offer that your routine dental provider does not?

Dental specialists receive an additional 2-3 years of formal dental education after their 4 years of dental school. This training is focused on a particular area of dentistry, such as endodontics, oral surgery, orthodontics, or other specialty based on the preference of specialization by the dentist. After completing intense hands-on training as well as certification in appropriate area, the specializing dentist begins providing expert patient care in the related field.

By selecting to have your dental procedure performed with a specialist such as an oral surgeon, you know that you’re receiving efficient treatment by a doctor with extensive experience in your given procedure. This improves the quality of care you receive, as well as the success of your treatment. In many cases the office is also set up to better handle specific types of treatments in the number of techniques that are used, as well as the equipment available.

Choosing specialist care may come at a slightly higher investment in treatment costs, but in most cases your dental insurance can still cover a portion of your fees. Making the investment in specialist care is one that can assure you’ll receive the most advanced, successful treatment-specific care available to the modern dental patient.

Posted on behalf of Dr. John Carey, North Metro Oral & Implant Surgery



Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Posted in Oral Surgery

While oral surgery is a specialized field in dental health care, many general dentistry practices offer oral surgical services, including wisdom teeth extraction and removal of other impacted teeth.  At some point in their lives, just about every adult will experience the removal of their wisdom teeth and or an impacted tooth.  The removal of these teeth is critical to a person’s overall oral health.  Impacted teeth can result in serious, painful, and expensive oral health issues including infections, abscessed and overcrowded teeth.

The surgery tales place in the dentist’s office using either normal local anesthetic, which is injected into the area where the surgery is to take place or a combination of a local anesthetic and sedation.  If sedation is used, the patient will be in and out of consciousness, but will be breathing with out assistance during the procedure.  The dentist, who performs the surgery, will be a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.D.S) and is highly trained in the most current advanced surgical techniques and dental technology.

In most cases, an initial consultation will be required followed by another appointment where the actual procedure will take place.  During the initial consultation, the dentist will explain in detail the procedure, as well as what to expect during and after the procedure.  In addition, pre-surgery instructions will be given as well.  On surgery day the dentist and the staff will do everything to make sure that the patient is comfortable during the procedure.  Once the surgery is complete, the patient will be sent home with specific aftercare instructions and perhaps a prescription or two.  A follow up appointment will take place to check on the healing process.

While oral surgery is not necessarily a great experience, the dentist and their staff is dedicated to making it as comfortable and pain-free as possible!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants


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