Oral Surgery FAQs

Find out the facts about oral surgery.

Will anesthesia be used?

Golden Valley Smiles will discuss your anesthesia options. Our goal is to provide minimal discomfort as possible.

How is the anesthesia administered?

Depending upon your treatment we may administer a local anesthesia such as lidocaine or nitrous oxide. For a more involved treatment we may recommend an oral sedation or intravenous sedation.

Before Intravenous Anesthesia Sedation

  • Do not eat or drink anything including water for eight hours prior to the scheduled appointment.
  • No smoking at least 12 hours before surgery.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home after recovery.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing with either short sleeves or sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow.
  • Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
  • Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
  • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
  • The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the procedure.
  • If you take any oral medications, please check with Golden Valley Smiles prior to your surgical date for instructions.

Will my vital signs be monitored during and after treatment?

Golden Valley Smiles and/or one of their highly trained surgical assistants will continuously monitor your vital signs.

Do I need to avoid certain medications?

It is important to discuss all medication with Golden Valley Smiles during your pre-surgical consultation. In most cases medication should be continued unless specifically instructed to withhold them. Typically Plavix, Aspirin, Coumadin and other types of blood thinners can also be continued. When necessary Golden Valley Smiles will consult with your physician to safely manage your medications.

How long will the surgery take?

The length of surgery depends on your treatment. Some surgery's are less than 30 minutes, while other procedures may take considerably longer. Golden Valley Smiles will provide you with the estimated time of surgery at your pre-surgical consultation.

How long is the on-site recovery before I can leave the office?

Plan to stay in our recovery room for at least 20 minutes if sedation was involved, or until Golden Valley Smiles is satisfied that you are recovered sufficiently to go home. If your procedure required sedation you must be completely alert before leaving the office for home. You must have a ride home. You may not drive yourself. It is recommend that you do not drive for a minimum 24 hours after surgery.

How long will I be off of work/out of school?

Depending on the extent of the procedure and type of sedation you may resume work and a normal life style anywhere from a few hours to a few days. It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

Are the rules for Orthognatic Surgery different from tooth extractions or dental implant placement?

Yes, very different. Patients who are undergoing surgical procedures on only one jaw usually go home the same day. Patients who are having surgery on both jaws will generally stay overnight. Generally it is necessary to wire the jaws together after orthognatic surgery. In general, the jaws are immobilized securely with rubber bands for the first 1-2 weeks and then loosely for an additional 3-5 weeks. It is very important to discontinue any medication which are "blood thinners" or which may increase your tendency to bleed. Please stop taking the following medications at least 2 weeks before surgery. Golden Valley Smiles will provide specific instructions prior to your surgery date.

Will there be a lot of bleeding with a tooth extraction?

It's important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding after a tooth extraction. You will be asked to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the extraction. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

Is there a food and drink restriction prior to surgery?

If treatment calls for the patient to be sedated then yes there are food and/or drink restriction. The patient must not consume anything, including water for 6-8 hours prior to surgery.

Will antibiotics be prescribed prior to surgery?

We commonly use antibiotics to kill bacteria found in the mouth, which will also prevent infection after treatment, particularly with the placement of dental implants immediately after extracted teeth. The specific drug used depends on the medical profile and well being of the patient and the type of treatment.

Will there be swelling or facial bruising?

After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. In some treatments there may be some minor bruising; however, in procedures such as dental implant placement ordinarily there is no bruising seen. For teeth removal or jaw procedures, women and/or very light skinned patients may experience slight bruising. Taking blood thinner will help reduce bruising. It is, however, not uncommon to have a black eye or discolored cheek or neck following extensive procedures. Golden Valley Smiles will discuss what bruising if any would be related to your procedure treatment.

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The dentist was great! She explained all treatment and I felt comfortable with my treatment plan. As always everyone here amazing. Thank you for working with my schedule. This was my best experience ever at the dentist and I’m a very nervous person when it comes to pain. I will be bringing my family here soon. Everyone was nice, attentive and made me feel very comfortable. The office could use some updating but besides that, everything was great. I was unsure what to expect my first time here, but I couldn't be any happier with the service I received. Everyone I encountered was friendly and professional. I feel my needs were met, and I look forward to many years of dental care.