Dental Tips Blog


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


What Can I Eat After Having Oral Surgery?

Whether you have sutures in your gums or your wisdom teeth extracted, you may be experiencing a bit of mild discomfort. This can affect your ability to chew as well as your appetite. What can you eat for the next few days after oral surgery?

Use the following suggestions to plan your meals for the week after your next oral surgical procedure:

Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat

Want to start off your day with something substantial? Warm cereal is a good way to go.


Warm soup is a comforting way to get your body the nutrients it needs. Just don’t eat it while it’s too hot. That definitely won’t feel good if you accidentally burn yourself.

Macaroni and Cheese

You don’t want your pasta al dente for this dish! Make sure the noodles are cooked until very soft and that there’s enough cheese sauce to make them easy to swallow. This is another great option for getting protein and a full belly with minimal chewing.

Mashed Potatoes

Whether you go for sweet or regular potatoes, mashing them is a good way to get fiber. Use an electric mixer to ensure that the potatoes don’t have any chunks that need chewing.


Yes, your dentist approves sweets in this case! Cool, soft, and easy-to-swallow desserts are a good way to soothe sore gums and give your jaw a break. They can even boost your morale. Choose from soft-serve ice cream, pudding, and Jell-O.

The key is to avoid foods that require a lot of chewing. Anything you can gently sip from a glass or spoon is fair game! Talk with your dentist for more ideas on safe foods during recovery from oral surgery.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care of Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth GA 30103


Do These 5 Things to Quickly Recover from a Tooth Extraction

You might not look forward to having a wisdom tooth or other tooth extracted, but you’ll probably find that the experience is more comfortable than you might think. Here are a few tips to help you bounce right back after a tooth extraction.

  1. Stay Away From Straws

Suction of any kind will put tension on the blood clot forming at the extraction site. Disturbing that clot will only cause more bleeding and delay the healing process.

If your mouth is swollen and sore after oral surgery, it may be tempting to use a straw. But it’s better to just sip carefully.

  1. No Smoking!

Smoking is another activity that creates suction in the mouth. But not only that, it constricts blood vessels throughout the body which slows down the delivery of nutrients to your gums. Avoid smoking after any type of oral surgery.

  1. Eat Healthy

Vitamin C is essential to healing as is protein. Make sure you stick to very soft food for the first couple days, however. Enjoy minimal-chewing-required meals of:

  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt
  • Soup
  • Soft pasta
  • Pudding
  • Scrambled eggs
  1. Get Lots Of Rest

Strenuous physical activity that gets the heart pumping raises blood pressure. That will only put more tension on the healing site and disrupt the blood clot. Take a break from hard work and physical exercise for a couple days.

  1. Put Off Brushing

Yes, you get to skip tooth brushing immediately after your surgery. On the following day, you can start gently brushing your other teeth. Just make sure to avoid the extraction site. Also, don’t swish your mouth with water or mouthwash too vigorously, since that can disrupt healing.

Follow your dentist’s other instructions for a fast and successful recovery!

Posted on behalf of:
Gastonia Family Dentistry
2557 Pembroke Rd
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 854-8887


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



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



Oral Surgery for Wisdom Teeth

Posted in Oral Surgery

Oral surgery is generally needed to remove wisdom teeth. There are a few lucky people whose mouths have room for their “third molars,” but for the rest of us our wisdom teeth must be taken out. When there is not enough room in the jaw line for wisdom teeth to emerge in proper alignment they become impacted between the jawbone and the gum line. Impacted teeth can cause swelling, infection, and severe oral pain. Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause damage to nearby teeth as well as overall jaw deformation. Therefore, dentists recommend that people with impacted wisdom teeth have them surgically removed.

Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common forms of oral surgery. It is generally an out patient procedure that will allow the patient to recover at home. The surgery is typically performed while the patient is under a general anesthetic that will prevent any pain and allow the patient to sleep through the entire procedure. To remove the impacted wisdom teeth, an Atlanta oral surgeon will open up the gum tissue, take out any bone covering the teeth, separate connecting tissue, and then remove the impacted teeth. After removal, the dentist will stitch up the hole left behind in the gum and place gauze in the mouth to help stop the bleeding.

In most cases, the recovery time of wisdom teeth removal is only a few days. The patient can expect moderate discomfort (alleviated with a prescription for pain medication) and swelling. Your dentist will give you specific tips to help with your recovery, but generally you will change your gauze pads periodically, eat soft foods, apply an ice pack, rinse your mouth, and avoid drinking from a straw.

While no one wants to undergo a surgical process, having your wisdom teeth removed is one of the most common and easily recovered from procedures. Your oral health can be maintained by wisdom teeth removal. Talk to your dentist at your next appointment.

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



Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you are like many young adults, you may have noticed a third set of molars erupting in your late teens or early twenties.  These molars are called wisdom teeth because they are the last set of teeth you will ever get.

Wisdom teeth can generally stay in place if they are healthy and properly aligned.  For teenagers that had braces, wisdom teeth may have erupted after braces came off.  If this is the case, the orthodontist may be consulted to see if the new molars will cause any shifting or changing of the tooth pattern.

In some cases, wisdom teeth simply do not have the room to stay in place.  Signs that there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth include pain in or around the new tooth, infections or cysts at the gum line, or tooth decay on the wisdom tooth or between the wisdom tooth and the second molar.

Reviewing your past dental records, your dentist will determine if your wisdom teeth can stay in place or not.  If they need to be removed, he or she will schedule an appointment when this can be done.  Wisdom teeth extraction may require that you be placed under anesthesia, depending on how fully the tooth erupted.  Your dentist will explore all possible options with you prior to the appointment.

If it is determined that your wisdom teeth may stay in place, your dentist will continue to monitor them at each visit.  As we age, the shape of our mouth changes, and it may be possible that the wisdom teeth need to be removed at a later time.

If you have concerns about your wisdom teeth, schedule an appointment to see your local dentist.  He can determine the best course of action for you and your wisdom teeth.

Posted on behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



Orthodontic Exposures

Posted in Oral Surgery

What is an orthodontic exposure? This is a surgical procedure that is performed in order for your orthodontist to access and put braces on teeth that may have been impacted or not have erupted properly. This often happens when teeth are so crowded that the permanent tooth doesn’t have enough room to erupt into the mouth. Instead, the tooth becomes impacted higher up into the bone and does not come into the mouth because it is wedged behind other teeth.

Teeth that commonly require orthodontic exposures are usually the canine (or “eye”) teeth. These are the 4 sharp-cusped teeth just on either side of the 8 incisors in the front of your mouth. By uncovering these teeth, your orthodontist can move the impacted teeth into the proper position with the rest of your teeth. It may take longer to move these teeth than it does others.

Typically an oral surgeon is the specialist that will perform this procedure for orthodontic patients. Your orthodontist will refer you to an oral surgeon and specify which teeth need to be exposed. Your oral surgeon will do this using anesthesia and pain management to keep you as comfortable as possible during the treatment.

After the tooth has been exposed your dentist can place braces on the tooth and bring it into alignment with the rest of your smile. You will normally wait a day or up to two weeks after the procedure before having your orthodontist place a device on the newly exposed tooth. It may take up to a year for the tooth to be completely moved into it’s proper place. If necessary, gum grafting may be used to cover any remaining exposed root surfaces after your orthodontic treatment is completed.

Posted on the behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery & Dental Implants



Orthodontic Exposure Explained

Posted in Oral Surgery

Impacted teeth are teeth which for one reason or the other fail to emerge from below the gum line, or only emerge partially. While not all impacted teeth require treatment, certain teeth, such as the upper canine teeth, are crucial for functional occlusion and for their aesthetic value. Orthodontic exposure is the dental procedure used to treat unerupted teeth that are too valuable to extract or leave alone. The procedure involves using orthodontic appliances attached to the teeth to pull impacted teeth up from below the gum line.

Orthodontic exposure is done after braces have been put on the teeth. It is also called ‘surgical exposure’ because it requires that the gums be surgically cut to expose the impacted tooth. This simple surgery is typically done using only local anesthesia. An incision is made in the gums and a section of the gum tissue and bone is removed to expose the tooth.  The incision may be sutured afterward to help the gum tissue heal and a surgical dressing called periodontal packing may be placed to protect the area. Once the impacted tooth is exposed, a metal bracket is bonded to it and a small, taut chain is used to attach the bracket to the arch wire of the braces.  Over time, the traction of the chain and bracket pulls the impacted tooth up into its correct position in the dental arch.

Post-operative care is necessary with orthodontic exposures, initially to remove any surgical dressings and sutures and thereafter, to periodically tighten the chain which gradually loses traction. During follow-up visits, the orthodontist may make other adjustments to the bracket and chain to carefully guide the positioning of the gradually emerging tooth. Some tightness will be felt, but the process by which the tooth slowly moves is painless. After about a year, the end result will be a fully erupted tooth that is properly positioned and aligned with the rest of the teeth.

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