The term dental surgery covers a broad range of dental procedures. Any operation that is performed on the teeth, gums, jaw or surrounding oral and facial structures can be considered dental surgery. Oral surgery includes procedures such as tooth extractions, bone grafts, placement of dental implants, periodontal surgery and more. As with any type of surgery, there are risks. With proper home care, most of the risks associated with dental surgery are eliminated or kept to a minimum.
Risks Associated with Oral Surgery
Before starting any procedure, you will be informed of the possible risks associated with the surgery. The type of risk involved depends on the type of procedure being performed. Some of the more common risks may include the following:
- Dry socket – This condition may develop with a tooth extraction if the blood clot is disturbed or does not form properly in the socket. Food impaction, smoking or sucking through a straw can prevent proper formation of the blood clot, causing the socket to become “dry.” This slows healing and can be painful as it leaves the bone exposed to air, food and fluids.
- Infection – There is always a slight chance of infection with any surgery. Symptoms of infection include abnormal swelling, pain, pus formation, fever and/or salty or prolonged bad taste.
- Injury to adjacent teeth – Sometimes when a tooth is extracted, injury can occur to an adjacent tooth during the extraction procedure.
- Numbness – Nerves serving the mouth are located near wisdom teeth. If a nerve should be irritated during the surgery, numbness can result. Depending on which nerve is affected, the numbness or tingling sensation can be felt in the lip, tongue, cheek, chin, gums or teeth. If this happens it is usually temporary. In rare cases it can be permanent.
- Sinus problems – If the roots of a tooth to be extracted penetrate the sinus cavity, an opening in the sinus may occur as a result of the procedure. These usually heal on their own; however, on rare occasions sinus pain or drainage may occur.
- Tooth root fragments – Tooth roots can be long or fragile. During the surgery part of the root may break, leaving a fragment. If it is close to a nerve or the sinus cavity, or if removal of the fragment could cause damage to adjacent teeth, it may be left in place. Usually there is not a problem, and the fragment can be monitored with periodic x-rays.
If you experience any of these problems, call your dentist. Most risks can be minimized if you follow the post-operative instructions which are given to you at your appointment. It is also important to take any medication as instructed for the duration advised.
We use the latest in dental technology at ConfiDENT in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for all dental procedures. When you are in need of dental care, be sure to contact our team.