FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have completed additional training post dental school (usually 4-6 years). This training covers a wide variety of areas including but not limited to, dentoalveolar surgery (single tooth removal, multiple tooth removal, wisdom tooth removal), oral pathology, facial bone trauma management, general anesthesia, dental implants and bone grafting, and orthognathic (jaw) surgery.
No, Dentists with either of these degrees are both recognized by the American Dental Association as completing a 4 year post-graduate education in dentistry. DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery, DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine.
Yes, Oral and Maxillofaical surgeons are highly trained in providing safe office general anesthesia. Our residency training includes several months of anesthesia rotation along with countless IV anesthetics during clinical rotations. This anesthesia is administered through an IV and is similar to the sedation used for other medical procedures (Ex colonoscopy). Every five years, each office is reviewed by the state board to assure that all procedures, drugs and equipment are up to current standards.
Many patients are seen and treated the same day. This is typical especially for extraction and other simple problems. Complicated problems will require separate consultations. Please contact our office with any concerns over consultation requirements.
Surgical costs are determined per each individual case and are based on the usual and customary rates for the area. We accept many dental insurance PPO’s and as a courtesy, allow patients to pay 20% of surgery fees at the time of treatment while insurance is processed. We do not accept dental HMO’s or Medicaid reimbursement. Please remember that requests for fee estimates are just estimates and may be higher based on surgical findings. A pretreatment for insurance benefits must be requested by the patient and generally requires a consultation before surgery.
POST OPERATIVE FAQS
Typically, this indicates some type of a localized infection. Please call our office, so we can evaluate this and recommend appropriate treatment.
Numbness of the lip, tongue, gums, teeth etc. is a common occurrence after lower jaw surgery. Many times, roots of lower third molar and adjacent teeth may be close to the Inferior Alveolar Nerve (the nerve that supplies sensation to the front portion of the lip and chin). Numbness to this area is usually caused by some type of irritation to this nerve and generally resolves within a few days or weeks. Occasionally, it may take longer to resolve or require more definitive management. It is however, important for you to have us evaluate this so appropriate recommendations can be made. Please call the office with any questions you may have related to this issue..
We typically use resorbable sutures (stitches). They begin to dissolve within 2-3 days. Its okay for them to come out. If you notice any significant and persistent bleeding please let us know.
The “holes” or better, extraction sockets will generally close within 6 weeks. It will take several months for the sockets to actually fill with bone. If food gets trapped in the socket area, be sure to clean it with the water syringe given to you at the time of your surgery.
No. The bad breath is from stuff getting into the socket area. Be sure to keep the surgery site clean and this should resolve.
Pain in the ear is generally referred pain from the lower jaw and sometimes referred to as a “dry socket”. This is normal and will resolve as the extraction site heals. If this pain is inceasing in frequency or duration, please contact the office so we can help.
There are some things that may help decrease dry socket occurrence. These include meticulous oral hygiene before and after surgery with oral salt water rinsing and general oral care. Smoking cessation prior to surgery and during the recovery phase (ideally for at least 1 week). Dry socket symptoms are self-limiting and will generally go away with time.
Antibiotics are strong medicines that can save lives in the face of infection. However, they are not needed in every situation. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued several warnings on the consequences of inappropriate use of antibiotics. As surgeons dealing mostly with the head and neck, we have the luxury of a region that has a very rich blood supply, and a tremendous ability to resist infection. It is for that reason that not every surgery we perform necessitates the use of antibiotics afterward. There have been numerous studies published that show the use of antibiotics after most oral surgery procedures in healthy patients does not affect the infection rate.
The general rule at our practice is: If you need antibiotics to fight an infection, or if you have a disease that lessens your body’s ability to fight infection, a prescription will be given. If you do not fall into one of these categories, no antibiotics will be required. That does not necessarily mean that you will not get an infection afterward- just that the use of antibiotics after surgery will not change the risk.