Oral Surgery San Luis Obispo, CA
If you are in need of oral surgery, call (805) 910-1216 to schedule an appointment with our San Luis Obispo, CA dental office. At Gregory Pearce Thurston, DDS, we can provide you with the surgical procedure you need to maintain or restore your oral health. When it comes to dentistry, only certain dentists perform surgical procedures. Whether you are looking for a new dentist or are currently under the care of one and need more intensive procedures, we welcome your call. We can examine your teeth, give you an opinion regarding whether or not you need surgery, what procedure will benefit you, and what you can expect from the process. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need in order to feel prepared and comfortable. In the meantime, here are a few frequently asked questions we hear in our San Luis Obispo dentist office.
Why do people get oral surgery?
There are three main reasons that a surgical procedure could be necessary. The first is your health. Tooth decay is incredibly common, and if you receive regular dental care, it is easy to catch and treat before it causes discomfort or spreads. Unfortunately, too many people do not visit the dentist on a regular basis, and this can allow infections to set in. Occasionally, the decay becomes so bad, the tooth has to be removed. Other times, it can be saved with a root canal, but regardless, immediate dental care is necessary to stop the discomfort. It may also be necessary for us to perform oral surgery to correct a problem with your gums. If you have gum disease and suffer from gum recession, you could need a surgical gum graft, for example.
The second reason we perform oral surgery is to remove wisdom teeth. While they do not always pose an immediate health risk, they can grow in impacted and cause discomfort. Removing them can prevent future infections and stop your wisdom teeth from pushing your other teeth forward.
Lastly, our San Luis Obispo patients receive oral surgery for cosmetic reasons. Primarily, this is to replace missing teeth with dental implants. An implant is the most secure and durable solution for tooth loss, because it is the only solution that replaces the root in addition to the tooth. To do so, we implant a titanium post under the gums and secures it to the jaw bone. Titanium is a strong metal that the body treats like natural matter. As a result, the implant and jaw bone will fuse together through the process of osseointegration. This takes a few months, but once complete, a new root system is developed, and when the new tooth is attached, it will be as secure as a natural one. To learn more about this process, call 805-910-1216 and schedule an appointment with our dental office.
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Is oral surgery used with orthodontics?
Yes, when an orthodontist straightens teeth, one of the issues they address is overcrowding. There are certain procedures that can create space in the mouth, and one of them is to extract teeth. While not always necessary, some orthodontists will make a recommendation to have one or several teeth removed as part of the treatment process. An orthodontist is also concerned about jaw alignment. Overbites and underbites can often be treated non-invasively. However, in severe cases, oral surgery is necessary to change the position of the jaw. Whether or not you will need oral surgery as part of your orthodontic treatment is something to discuss during your initial consultation.
How do I prepare for oral surgery?
At Gregory Pearce Thurston, DDS, we will do whatever we can to keep you comfortable during your procedure, and part of that is helping you to be prepared. We believe in patient education and will go over the procedure with you step by step. Since each patient and surgery is unique, our overview here is more generic in nature, and we will take time with you individually. Typically, however, you will want to avoid eating food for a few hours (possibly starting the night before). This is standard protocol when receiving anesthesia. We also recommend that you purchase some ice packs and place them in the freezer. You should plan ahead and buy soft foods, plenty of water, and anything you need to relax and stay comfortable, which should certainly include ibuprofen.
Can you provide me with oral surgery if I am currently being treated by another dentist?
Yes, we can. When you visit our San Luis Obispo dental office, let us know if you are being treated by a dentist and if they mentioned you needing oral surgery. Not everyone performs surgery, so if you want to remain in their care after the procedure has been completed, you certainly can. Otherwise, we welcome you as a new patient to our practice.
What is the recovery like from oral surgery?
This really depends on the type of surgery being performed. As a general rule, you can expect there to be some level of bleeding that is temporary and can be controlled with the gauze that we give you. You can also expect there to be swelling. This is where most of the discomfort comes from. To control it, you will want to place an icepack on your face for 15 minutes at a time, rest for 15 minutes and then use it again. Just be careful not to irritate your skin, and use a light cloth if you need to. Simultaneously, you should use ibuprofen to keep the swelling and discomfort at minimum. The ice is typically only used for a day or two where the ibuprofen may be needed for a week or so. At Gregory Pearce Thurston, DDS, we may also give you antibiotics to take in order to prevent an infection. When it comes to food, you will want to stick with things that are soft and either do not require chewing (like soup) or can be chewed very easily (like steamed vegetables). Buying these items ahead of time will make your recovery easier. Just remember to take it easy and not to push yourself. It is best to follow our instructions than to risk irritating your surgical site.
To find out if you need oral surgery or to discuss a surgical procedure in greater detail, call (805) 910-1216 and schedule a consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and set you on the road to surgery and a full recovery. Our offices are conveniently located in San Luis Obispo, CA, and we are currently accepting new patients.
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Definition of Oral Surgery Terminology
- Crown Lengthening
- Crown lengthening is the procedure in which a professional removes an overgrowth of gum tissue from the teeth to make the teeth appear longer.
- Dental Implant Surgery
- Dental implant surgery involves inserting metal posts, usually consisting of titanium, into the jaw bone to attach abutments to and give patients the full functionality and visually-pleasing teeth.
- Facial Trauma
- Facial trauma can occur when someone is hit in the face by a ball or accidental elbow, along with smashing the face into objects such as a wall or steering wheel.
- Functional Dentistry
- Functional dentistry involves a strong focus on identifying the root cause of oral health issues and not just treating the symptoms.
- Impacted Wisdom Teeth Extraction
- Removing an impacted wisdom tooth is crucial for the patient’s health and well-being since an impacted wisdom tooth will continue to grow in a crooked direction, causing pain. This surgery involves
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery involves the diagnosis and surgical treatment of conditions that result in functional and esthetic aspects of the hard tissues in the maxillofacial region.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the individual has difficulty breathing during sleep and experiences a variety of symptoms due to it, including loud snoring.
- Orthognathic Surgery
- Orthognathic surgery is also known as corrective jaw surgery that can help to correct any issues with the jaw including conditions such as sleep apnea and TMJ.
- Reconstructive Surgery
- Reconstructive surgery involves multiple procedures to rebuild or correct the structure of the mouth, teeth and jaw.
- Regeneration is a procedure in which a professional will fold back the gums to remove bacteria that can cause diseases and inserts bone grafts, membranes or other stimulating tools to promote tissue regeneration.
- Rubber Dam
- A rubber dam is a dental tool that separates the individual tooth from the rest of the mouth during the surgery to prevent anything from spilling into the mouth.
- Soft Tissue Graft
- A soft tissue graft involves removing tissue from somewhere else on the patient’s body and attaches it to the gums to replace missing or damaged gum tissue.
- Unequal Jaw Growth Surgery
- Unequal jaw growth surgery will involve moving all or part of the upper/lower jaw to a more-balanced position that promotes health and better functionality.
- An uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove or remodel tissue in the throat to help treat sleep issues.
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