Dental Tips Blog

Jun
19

Oral Surgery – What Are the Risks?

Posted in Oral Surgery

Oral surgery often involves tooth extraction. But it may also include gum therapy and jaw reconstruction. Before you agree to oral surgery for any reason, you want to understand all of the potential risks.

Risks of Oral Surgery

Most of the “risks” of a surgical procedure on your jaw are typical side-effects.

These may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Facial bruising

Such effects aren’t surprising given the nature of surgery on the mouth. Some more rare complications from oral surgery are:

  • Nerve damage
  • Infection
  • Perforated sinuses

These problems are not common and are easy to avoid with careful planning, so they’re not likely to happen on a regular basis.

Reduce Your Risks During Oral Surgery

The best way to prevent complications and unpleasant side-effects after oral surgery is to follow your dentist’s or oral surgeon’s instructions. You’ll get advice to help you safely prepare for and successfully recover from your procedure.

For example, you’ll receive instructions to avoid smoking during the initial recovery period. Smoking can slow down the healing process and lead to painful complications such as dry socket. You should also avoid physical activity that can raise your blood pressure and disrupt the healing surgical site.

Benefits vs. Risks of Oral Surgery

There’s no need to be overly concerned about the possible risks of oral surgery. Your dentist and oral surgeon will work together to help you deal with any unexpected outcomes, if there are any. Simply follow the directions you’re given to maintain your chances of a successful recovery.

The benefits of oral surgery are worth any potential risk. Ask your dentist for more information on how a surgical procedure can improve your oral health.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Jun
18

Can You Have Oral Surgery While Pregnant?

Posted in Oral Surgery

Your pregnancy can be a happy, yet stressful time. But throw a toothache into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a lot of discomfort.

Is it safe to get treatment like oral surgery while you’re pregnant?

Dental Care Is Important to a Healthy Pregnancy

If you have a toothache, gum infection, or some other dental emergency, then you need to take care of it as soon as possible. Serious problems can raise your anxiety levels, put stress on your baby, and lead to a risk of premature birth.

Oral surgery to place a dental implant, repair a fractured jaw or to perform a tooth extraction is vitally necessary, even if you are pregnant.

Pregnancy Precautions in Oral Surgery

If possible, postpone oral surgery until the second trimester. The first trimester tends to be a sensitive time for growing babies and the last trimester may be too uncomfortable for you to sit through treatment.

If you need oral surgery during pregnancy, your surgeon will discuss the safest treatment options with you. For example, you will likely need some anesthesia since surgical pain can put stress on your baby. The doctor will help you decide on a safe anesthetic as well as any antibiotics and pain relievers you may need.

You can also rest assured that if you need one or two diagnostic dental x-rays before an oral surgery that they won’t harm your baby.

Oral Surgery Is Safe for Pregnant Women

Oral surgery could be necessary during your pregnancy if you experience dental complications. It’s the optional cosmetic procedures (like teeth bleaching) that should wait until after the delivery.

In the meantime, visit your dentist for checkups to minimize your chances of needing oral surgery over the next several months.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

May
16

5 Tips for Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Out

A wisdom tooth extraction is so common that it’s almost a rite-of-passage for many adults.

The following 5 tips can help you prepare for wisdom teeth removal.

Learn About Your Wisdom Teeth

First of all, find out what you should expect. Not everyone has the same wisdom tooth situation.

You may only need to have one or two wisdom teeth taken out. You may not need any extractions, at all…or, you may need to have all four removed at once. See your dentist to find out what he or she recommends.

Stock Up on Soft Foods

You’ll need a supply of foods that don’t require any chewing to get you through the first few days after wisdom tooth extraction. Solid foods can get lodged in the sockets and disrupt the surgical wound.

Well before your surgery, stock up your fridge and pantry with things like:

  • Soup
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Pudding

Rest Well, But Don’t Put Your Feet Up!

Get lots of rest after a wisdom tooth extraction. Take a few days or even a week off of work or school and stay in bed. Keep your head elevated, however, to prevent a strong flow of blood to the surgical site.

Use Lots of Ice

Ice will soothe the pain and bring down swelling. Keep lots of ice packs in your freezer for the first 24 hours!

Listen to Your Dentist

Your dentist or oral surgeon will have very specific directions for you to ensure that you recover quickly and fully from wisdom tooth extraction. These will include instructions for cleaning your teeth during the recovery period.

Do whatever your dentist advises, and your smile will be back to normal in no time!

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Jan
26

Can You Keep a Tooth After It’s Extracted?

You’re curious: would your dentist let you keep your extracted tooth?

Federal Law on Extracted Teeth

You might be surprised to find out that there are no regulations or federal laws on who gets to keep extracted teeth.

Even OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) does not restrict returning extracted teeth to patients.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) itself states this:

“Once an extracted tooth is returned to a patient, it is no longer considered a potential risk to dental health care personnel and is no longer subject to the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.”

State Law on Extracted Teeth

Most states don’t have any clear regulations on returning teeth to patients. A few, like Florida, allow patients to keep extracted teeth after they’ve been disinfected. Check with your dentist to find out whether there are any local restrictions on getting your tooth back.

Why Don’t Dentists Return Extracted Teeth?

There is no law compelling dentists to give patients their extracted teeth. Dentists, however, are under law to ensure that a pulled tooth is properly disposed of as infectious waste. Most dentists are simply more comfortable with getting rid of a tooth in the regulated way.

If you really want to keep your tooth after a tooth extraction, whether because it has a gold filling, sentimental value, or would come in handy for showing off, talk about it with your dentist. It’s best to work out a plan long before you need to have a tooth extraction.

Best of all, try to keep your teeth securely in your mouth where they belong! Regular dental checkups will help you do just that.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565

Oct
21

What Is Dry Socket?

Dry socket is a condition in which an extraction site does not heal properly after a tooth is removed. There is basically an empty opening in the gums that exposes the underlying tissues and bone.

Why It Happens

A normal extraction site will bleed for a little while after the tooth is removed. Within a few hours, however, a blood clot should form. This is the body’s natural way of stopping the bleeding and starting the healing process.

But if that blood clot never forms or is disturbed/infected, it can open up the extraction site and lead to a dry socket.

Signs of Dry Socket

If you end up with dry socket after an extraction, you will likely experience significant discomfort for a couple days straight.

Symptoms of dry socket include:

  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Spotting the bone peeking through in the socket
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty eating
  • Pain that just won’t go away

How to Prevent Dry Socket

Your dentist will give you specific instructions for recovering from a dental extraction. This will include things like not smoking or using a straw, and avoiding intense physical activity. These things can all disrupt the blood clot or prevent it from forming.

It’s also important that you treat your gums for any bacterial infection before having an extraction in order to prevent the socket from getting infected.

Painful though a dry socket can be, it’s rather unlikely you’ll get one. They’re more commonly associated with extracting impacted wisdom teeth. Following your home care instructions is the best way to prevent one.

If you’re worried about getting dry socket or think you have it, contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Oct
18

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

Sep
14

Does it Hurt to Get Teeth Extracted?

Whether it’s a wisdom tooth or abscessed one, you want to know what getting an extraction feels like before it happens.

Happily, it won’t be anywhere near as bad as you may have expected.

The Area is Completely Numb

Thanks to local anesthetic, you won’t experience any pain. The injection may pinch a little bit at first, but within a few minutes you’ll be so numb that nothing should bother you.

Your dentist will wait until he or she is 100% sure that you’re numb before starting to remove your tooth.

Pressure, Not Pain

As the tooth extraction gets underway, you will feel something. But this isn’t pain – it’s pressure. The dentist has to apply a bit of force to loosen the ligaments around the tooth root and separate it from the bone.

You may feel a bit anxious about experiencing the pressure. But if you’re numb from the anesthesia, then no, you won’t be feeling any pain.

Dentist’s Reassurance

Your dentist or oral surgeon doesn’t want your tooth extraction to hurt, either!

You’ll feel better after you talk with your dentist and express your concerns. He or she will establish a signal that you can use to calmly ask him or her to stop if something doesn’t feel right. This is often just something like raising your left hand. This will put your mind at ease knowing you’re in control, and help you relax.

Post-Procedural Pain Prevention

Your jaw will likely be sore once the anesthesia wears off. Your dentist may recommend that you take some over the counter pain relief medication to limit swelling and discomfort before they set in.

Find out how you can prepare for a tooth extraction by contacting your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

Nov
8

Help! My Kid Has Two Rows of Teeth!

“Shark teeth” or double rows of teeth is a very common occurrence in kids. It frequently happens around the lower front teeth in children about six years of age.

As your child’s adult teeth start to grow in, they put pressure on the roots of baby teeth. This makes them start to break down and loosen. With time, the baby tooth gets wiggly and falls out, making room for the adult one to take its place.

Well, that’s how the process is supposed to go. But on occasion, things seem to happen out of order.

Make Way for Adult Teeth

If there isn’t enough room in the mouth for the adult teeth to move into place, they may start to erupt just behind the baby teeth. Or perhaps a baby tooth’s roots were too tough to resorb properly. In either case, an adult tooth may decide to grow in where there’s nothing blocking it.

The problem with this is that now the baby tooth has nothing pushing on it, so it’s not going anywhere. Your child could end up permanently stuck with some double rows of teeth.

Fortunately, your kid’s dentist can do something about this. An examination will help you find out for sure whether tooth extraction is necessary or whether the baby teeth will soon fall out on their own. Get the stubborn primary teeth removed quickly, and there may be time for crooked adult ones to drift into the proper place.

If your dentist advises extracting stubborn baby teeth, everyone can rest assured that it will be a quick and surprisingly comfortable process. Contact your child’s dental office for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Stafford Oral Surgery & Specialists
481 Garrisonville Rd. Suite 103
Stafford, VA 22554
(540) 322-1808

Sep
29

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

Jun
22

Does My Tooth Have To Be Extracted If It’s Not Bothering Me?

It may feel like more hassle than it’s worth to have a tooth removed when it doesn’t hurt. However, your dentist has your best interests in mind when he or she advises you to have it extracted, anyway.

How could that be the case? Consider three common scenarios in which extraction is a good idea.

Effects of Gum Disease

Advanced gum disease gradually loosens the supports, which anchor teeth in place. Once those supports break down, your tooth would become very loose and useless for chewing. Taking out the diseased tooth prevents the infection from spreading to other teeth and gives you a clean slate for replacing it with a dental bridge or implant.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When your dentist finds a wisdom tooth growing in the wrong direction on an x-ray, he or she may recommend that you have it removed before it goes any further. An impacted wisdom tooth can push other teeth out of alignment and even permanently damage the roots of neighboring teeth. You might not feel it now, but later on, you very well could!

Extra Teeth or Retained Baby Teeth

A tooth that sits out of alignment with the rest of your teeth may cause you more problems than you’d expect. Being out of line makes it harder to keep clean. It’s more likely to trap bacteria in hard-to-access places, putting it and neighboring teeth at risk for developing tooth decay and gum disease.

Schedule a consultation with your local dentist for a complete dental examination. Your dentist will help you make the best treatment decisions for your smile, whether or not that includes any extractions.

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

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