What is Oral Surgery?

You may know you need oral surgery or have heard the term before, but what on earth does that mean?

Oral surgery is also known as Oral & Maxillofacial surgery. It is a branch of dentistry that covers the diagnosis and treatment of orofacial defects, diseases, or injuries. This means that to become an oral surgeon, you have to become a dentist first, then do even more schooling to specialize and obtain the title of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon. Oral surgeons can provide patients with unique expertise in facial reconstruction, dental implants, tooth removal, and bone grafts, among others.

The reasons why people require oral surgery can range from tooth extractions, facial trauma, cyst or tumour removal to correcting birth-defects such as unequal jaw growth or a cleft palate. Surgery time can be as quick as 10 to 20 minutes or can take a few hours, depending on what is needed. For your typical wisdom tooth extraction, you can expect to be in the office for 2 to 3 hours. These include the time for check-in, a consult if needed that day, surgery time, and recovery (if the surgery was under General Anesthesia).

Proper preparation for oral surgery appointments is very important. When you have your consultation with Dr. Bureau and his team, you will be given preoperative instructions to follow depending on the type of anesthesia you will require. This may include having no alcohol or smoking for 24 hours prior, no eating or drinking (not even water) after midnight the night before the surgery if general anesthetic or IV sedation is required and may include a premed antibiotic. Once your procedure is complete, our lovely nurses will go over post-operative care instructions. Always remember that when having general anesthetic or IV sedation, you are considered legally impaired for 24 hours after surgery. You will need a ride to and from our office, as well as care at home afterwards.

In the following days and weeks, it is important to keep the surgical area clean and free from any debris. This is important to minimize your risk of infection. We always call to check on you the next business day after your procedure just to follow up and make sure there are no concerns. We want to make sure that you are healing as quickly and seamlessly as possible. While you will be provided with an aftercare booklet and our website also has more information, we encourage you to call with any questions that you may have. We are more than happy to address your individual needs as we know that each and every case is different.

We are always happy to answer any additional questions and we encourage you to contact our office during business hours at (403) 286-2551.