What is oral surgery?
When you are referred for oral surgery, it is because an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is the specialist with the training and skill to treat your condition for your best results. There are many types of oral surgery procedures, including teeth extractions (including wisdom teeth), dental implant placement, repair of fractures in the facial and jaw bones, treatment of oral pathologies, soft tissue biopsies, orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery), surgical treatment of TMJ, and various kinds of cosmetic procedures. Oral surgeons are often asked if there a difference between oral surgery and oral and maxillofacial surgery? To clarify, there is no difference — oral refers to your mouth, while maxillofacial refers to your entire jaw and face. Since oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained to diagnose and perform surgery to treat injuries or problems in the entire maxillofacial area, this includes all the oral structures too!
Several of our patients have shared their personal experiences having oral surgery at our North Conway and Littleton, NH, offices. We hope these stories will help to inform you about your own upcoming oral surgery as well as help you to feel confident about your choice to join Dr. Williams and White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center for your care.
Why choose an oral surgeon?
Oral surgeons are uniquely qualified to treat you in the least invasive way possible with your absolute comfort in mind. All oral surgeons earn a four-year graduate degree in dentistry and then go on to complete a four-year or six-year hospital-based oral and maxillofacial surgery residency where they are trained in emergency medicine, head and neck surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, general surgery, and anesthesiology. As a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, our own Dr. Williams has achieved the highest level of training to perform expert oral surgery for dental implants, wisdom teeth extractions, bone grafting, and more, including the administration of sedation, including general anesthesia. In fact, oral surgeons are the only healthcare specialists other than anesthesiologists who can administer all levels of sedation. In addition, Dr. Williams completed a fellowship in head and neck surgery and is an expert in advanced airway techniques and anesthesia safety.
Get to know Jonathan Williams, DMD, MD, White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center’s trusted oral surgeon.
When do you need oral surgery?
A certified and experienced oral surgeon is the most qualified provider to place dental implants and provide other types of tooth replacements such as full-arch restoration. In addition, you may receive a referral for oral surgery if you or a family member is suffering from
- Facial pain or TMJ
- Wisdom teeth impaction
- A jaw that is misaligned
- A facial injury requiring reconstructive surgery
- Cleft lip and palate
- Cancer or other pathology in the mouth, face, jaw, or neck
- Pain caused by an ill-fitting denture or other dental prosthetic
The team at White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center stays current on the latest methods and surgical techniques and offers the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery to improve your oral health, general health, and your overall well-being! We are diligent about keeping our patients well-informed every step of the way through their experience at our state-of-the-art, welcoming, and comfortable practice, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions and concerns.
Preparing for Oral Surgery
Our team is here to guide you before, during, and after your oral surgery, but you are also a very important part of your care team, so it’s crucial that you take the time to prepare for the period following your procedure — including a careful review of your pre- and post-op instructions. We will provide you with all the information and instructions you will need before you undergo oral surgery at White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center, but here are some things to keep in mind to make sure your oral surgery experience and your recovery go as smoothly as possible.
It is likely that your first visit with us will be a consultation with Dr. Williams during which you will collaborate with him to create a treatment plan that addresses your condition, desires, and concerns. During this appointment, Dr. Williams will go over everything you need to know about your upcoming surgery, including which medications to avoid in the weeks before your procedure. This appointment is an excellent time to present any questions you may have about your treatment to your surgeon — it’s a great idea to write down your questions before the consultation so we can get everything covered! You may also have diagnostic images taken at this time so that your surgeon can create precise surgical guides for your operation. If we don’t know you yet, we look forward to meeting you at your consultation!
Our practice boasts a state-of-the-art surgical suite where you will receive personalized, attentive oral surgery care in a comfortable environment by our trusted team. This also means that since you are receiving outpatient surgery, you will be discharged soon after your procedure. You will likely be under the effects of anesthesia, so you must arrange reliable transportation to and from our practice before and after your procedure. If possible, you should have someone with you at home for at least 24 hours after your surgery — this is to ensure that you are able to rest and there is someone to assist you should you need anything, or, in rare instances, suffer any post-surgical complications.
Dr. Williams may prescribe pain control or other medications for you to take during your recovery. These medications should already be filled and available before your surgery so that you do not have to worry about picking them up from the pharmacy while you should be at home resting.
Preparing Your Home for Your Recovery
It’s important that your home is prepared for an easy recovery — this includes making sure ahead of time that your bed linens are clean but expendable as they may become stained, that you have plenty of pillows to make sure your head is supported in an upright position to help keep swelling down, and that you have important things within arm’s reach like your phone and phone charger in case you need any assistance. It’s also good to pre-stock your fridge with the type of soft foods and liquids you will enjoy comfortably post-surgery — and don’t forget to have some ice packs in the freezer.
What to Expect During Recovery
Most of our White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center patients experience comfortable recoveries free of complications — but, unfortunately, oral surgeries do involve a certain amount of discomfort. Any pain and swelling you experience should ease after about two to three days. If your discomfort feels like too much even on the prescription or over-the-counter medications you have been advised to take, or if you continue to bleed more than what is described in your instructions from our office, please call us so that we can guide you and make sure everything is going as planned. Every patient is different, so each patient’s recovery time will vary, but we assure you that if you follow the directions of your surgeon, you will quickly be back to your regular routine and activities.