At some point in someone’s life, following a visit to their dentist, they may be required to undergo oral surgery. If you’re new to this, you may have plenty of questions and doubts about the procedure: Why do you need ‘surgery’? What should you expect before, during, and after the procedure? What’s the average cost of the whole process?
Well, there are many reasons that may lead to someone having to undergo a particular procedure. However, you shouldn’t start worrying as this is a very normal process that many people go through ‒ both old and young.
This post seeks to provide the answers to all your major concerns as you prepare for your next or planned oral surgery.
What is oral surgery?
In layman’s terms, oral surgery refers to any surgical procedures that occur in or around your mouth area. This also includes the jaw. Oral surgery is usually performed by a specially-trained dentist, who becomes an expert in specific oral procedures.
When would I need oral surgery?
Oral surgery becomes a necessity for any mouth, tooth, and jaw procedures that go beyond the expertise of a general dentist. For instance, if you’ve got a gum graft or are suffering from complicated gum disease, you may be referred to a periodontist who performs such types of oral surgeries.
Another good example is when you have impacted wisdom teeth. It is the duty of an oral surgeon to help you in extracting them.
Your general dentist will examine and refer you to the right oral surgeon in most cases, depending on your needs. However, the chances are that your current dentist has the proper accreditations to provide such oral surgeries, meaning you wouldn’t have to get handled by anyone else.
5 common types of dental surgery
There are many types of oral surgery. However, you may find different classifications and categories depending on who’s creating the list. In this post, we’ll simplify matters by classifying the most common types of oral surgery into five distinct categories.
There are three significant types of prosthodontics: dental implants, dentures, and bridges.
The average cost for dental implants is between $3,000 and $5,000 per tooth.
Dental implants are geared towards providing a more permanent solution after tooth loss, with great success rates. They are also crucial in preventing malocclusion, the shifting of teeth, and helping in preserving the jawbone.
With a 96% success rate, dental implants are by far the best tooth replacement options after extraction. It might take about a week for the swelling to go down. However, the patient can quickly resume their normal activities within two days.
A complete set of dentures ranges between $1,000 and $4,000. A more premium version might go to as high as $8,000.
Dentures are the more affordable solution for replacing extracted teeth. They also help in restoring the patient’s self-esteem by enabling them to smile even better. However, they are of lower quality and not as durable as dental implants.
Bridges are used to cover holes left by missing teeth, especially as a preventive measure against bite problems or shifting of teeth position after extraction.
They cost an average of $2,000 – $5,000.
Surgical extraction (Wisdom teeth)
Wisdom teeth extraction costs an average of $75 – $200 per tooth. However, the pricing is a lot higher for impacted teeth, as each would cost approximately $225 – $600.
It is a normal occurrence to have wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars become impacted. This means that there may not be enough room for them to develop and come in. This may bring forth other issues, such as improper eruption and shifting (repositioning) of nearby teeth. Tooth decay and root cavities are possibilities that can happen due to impacted wisdom teeth.
Dentists would often recommend they are extracted to prevent and provide a permanent solution to the issues brought about by impacted wisdom teeth.
Periodontal surgery is yet another popular oral surgery type. It mostly happens when the patient has receding gum tissue, deep tartar, or problematic gum pockets. Much of these could be summarized as periodontal diseases.
Pocket reduction surgery often costs about $1,000 – $3,000. Depending on how much damage there is, a pinhole surgery can take one back $4,000 – $10,000, while gum tissue grafts cost between $600 and $1,200 for each tooth.
Should it be realized that the periodontal disease has damaged surrounding jawbone or teeth, bone grafting would be required, and this one can cost approximately $200 – $1,000.
Orthognathic surgery, or jaw surgery, helps in correcting the irregularities of the jaw bone, realigning both jaws and teeth to improve how they co-work.
There are a plethora of issues that may occur from jaw misalignment, including facial pain, difficulty in chewing, talking, or even sleeping. In some cases, orthognathic surgery may involve orthodontics.
Orthognathic surgery costs between $20,000 – $40,000. The exact figure would depend on the complexity of the operation and whether both jaws are affected or just one that needs surgery.
Cleft lip (Palate repair)
Cleft lip occurs when the sides of the lip or palate aren’t fused during fetal development stages. This medical concern has a trickle-down effect and brings forth other issues, such as speech, hearing, and eating difficulties.
A cleft lip surgery can be performed as early as three months after birth. A palate repair is ideal for a nine-month to a year-old child. Early intervention is key here, and the patient may be put under orthodontic treatment as well.
A cleft lip or palate repair costs approximately $5,000 – $10,000.
Prepping for dental surgery
Prior to the D-day, your dentist will take you through all that you need to know regarding the procedure and will be available to respond to all your questions. However, depending on the nature of the oral surgery, the dentist might have to go through your entire medical history to advise accordingly.
Some of the instructions you’ll get will also involve the right diet plan to stick to before the surgery.
Self-care routine after oral surgery
Your dentist will take you through the right way to take care of your oral health after undergoing dental surgery. For starters, it would be prudent to understand that soft foods eaten at room temperature are the best for post oral surgery patients. Avoid chewy, crunchy, and hard foods as they may slow down your recovery process.
Depending on your procedure, you may be advised to avoid brushing your teeth for a specific period. Experts would rather have you using saltwater or mouth wash to rinse your mouth to eliminate the bacteria.
Other remedies to aid in fast recovery are:
There are a lot of oral surgery types, but the main ones you ought to beware of are prosthodontics, surgical extraction, periodontal surgery, orthognathic surgery, and cleft lip repair.
Regardless of the surgical procedure, you’re due to get, do not worry, as they all have high success rates when done by the right medical pract
Is oral surgery painful?
No. Depending on the procedure you are set to undergo, your oral surgeon will administer anesthesia to help numb the pain. The dentist will know the appropriate anesthesia to administer once they go through your medical history.
What type of anesthesia is used for oral surgery?
Depending on the complexity of the procedure, the oral surgeon can use local anesthesia, IV sedation, and general anesthesia.
Does insurance cover oral surgery?
Yes. Oral surgery is most likely covered in your dental plan. Be sure to confirm that from your insurance provider and inquire from your dentist if they accept your insurer.