Orthognathic Surgery Long Beach, CA

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Reasons for Oral Surgery

Oral surgery may help with several conditions. Some of the most common include:

  • Tooth Loss. Losing natural teeth can erode the jawbone over time, making deterioration an inevitability. Dental implants can prevent this from happening by anchoring the false teeth to the jawbone and stabilizing them.
  • Impacted Teeth. Teeth are "impacted" when they become trapped between the jawbone and the gum tissue. Usually, this happens because the tooth has not emerged in proper alignment or entirely through the gumline. Generally, dentists will recommend patients have these removed.
  • Orthodontics. Oral surgery is sometimes necessary when braces are not enough to correct malocclusion (a misaligned bite). In such cases, a dental professional works with a surgeon to build a personalized treatment plan for the patient's orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery).

It is important to remember that the above list is not exhaustive. Patients should consult with a professional to ensure which treatment option is right for them.

“Oral surgery may help with several conditions.”

Preparing for Oral Surgery

Oral surgery can be a complicated process. Taking a few easy steps can help simplify the process. Patients should maintain open and honest channels of communication with their dental professional at all times. There is no shame in asking questions. Being informed about what is going to happen and why can do a great deal to assuage any fears.

Those who will undergo sedation should not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the evening before surgery. Fasting prevents the chances of aspiration, a rare complication of anesthesia in which the lungs fill with the contents of the stomach. However, a small sip of water to take medication during the fast is permissible.

“There is no shame in asking questions. Being informed about what is going to happen and why can do a great deal to assuage any fears.”

What to Expect from Oral Surgery

Many patients find it benefits them to arrive at least 20 minutes early on the day of the surgery, allowing them to complete any paperwork and relax. Additionally, patients with removable dental devices should come with a container to store them in during surgery.

Patients who will be undergoing sedation should arrive wearing loose, short-sleeved clothing to assist staff in taking vital signs and administering the IV. It may also be necessary for nurses to put blood pressure cuffs on the patient to monitor them during the procedure.

“Many patients find it benefits them to arrive at least 20 minutes early on the day of the surgery, allowing them to complete any paperwork and relax.”

Recovering from Oral Surgery

Patients should plan to spend the day resting after oral surgery. The drowsiness of the sedative will likely last all day, making it important for patients to avoid doing anything that requires concentration. Patients should also refrain from straining to avoid dislodging any blood clots and causing bleeding. They should also keep their heads elevated whenever they are lying down.

Above all, it is crucial to follow the dentist's instructions for your individualized treatment plan. If you contract a fever, develop pus, or notice your swelling and bruising getting worse after three days, call our office right away.

“Patients should plan to spend the rest of the day resting after oral surgery.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long will my face swelling last after oral surgery?

A. Facial swelling is likely in the first 24 hours following oral surgery. Typically, this lasts for five to seven days, with varying degrees of intensity. Once the swelling has subsided, you will probably notice some bruising. This should fade considerably by the 10-day mark.

Q. When can I return to my normal diet after oral surgery?

A. Most patients can return to their regular diet about a week after oral surgery. This is a gradual change, and you should avoid any spicy or acidic foods until then. You will need to stick to liquids and soft foods for the first two days following surgery. You can start incorporating low-chew foods on day three.

Q. What causes a "dry socket" after oral surgery?

A. "Dry sockets," or alveolar osteitis, are blood clots that appear in extraction sites and break down prematurely. These usually result from overexertion, smoking, and poor oral hygiene during the postoperative period. Sometimes, they happen without a clear cause. Symptoms include bad breath, foul odor and taste, and increased pain. If you suspect you have developed a "dry socket," contact our office immediately.

Q. Is oral surgery painful?

A. Patients are under anesthesia during oral surgery, meaning you will not feel any pain during the procedure. However, you will likely feel some pain and discomfort after surgery once the anesthetic has worn off. Our team can give you recommendations or prescribe appropriate medication to help manage this pain.

Q. Can I drive myself to and from my oral surgery?

A. No. Patients should make plans for someone they trust to drive them to and from the procedure. Anesthetics and sedatives can negatively affect one's ability to drive, making it dangerous to be on the road.

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