When it comes to your oral health, choosing the right oral surgeon can make all the difference between a successful procedure and a disastrous outcome. Before you schedule your appointment, it’s important to do your homework and ask the right questions. After all, this is your health we’re talking about.

As daunting as it may seem, don’t be afraid to speak up during consultations. Inquire about your surgeon’s qualifications, experience, and success rates. Patients often overlook the importance of this step, only to regret their decision in the long run.

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, complications from oral surgeries can stem from various factors, including infection, nerve damage, and improper surgical techniques. By asking your oral surgeon the right questions, you can ensure that you’re in good hands and set yourself up for a successful procedure.

1. What is the Oral Surgeon’s Experience?

Understanding your surgeon’s experience isn’t about questioning their competence. Rather, it’s about gaining insights into their past surgeries and outcomes. Experience plays a vital role in reducing potential risks.

What kind of training do they have? Well, before setting up their private practice, oral surgeons undergo at least four years of advanced training beyond dental school. This training happens within a hospital-based residency program, ensuring they’re well-versed in diverse surgical procedures.

Some oral surgeons take a step further and earn a medical degree, involving two additional years of training. So, if you’re planning oral surgery and your dentist isn’t an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, don’t hesitate to inquire about their training and experience. Ask about the specific surgery you’re about to undergo.

2. What’s the Surgical Process?

When preparing for a surgical procedure, it’s normal to want to understand what will happen. Your surgeon won’t tell you every detail, but they will explain the basic steps. They can tell you things like:

  • How fast the sleep medicine will work
  • Where they will make cuts or stitches
  • How long the whole operation might take
  • Factors that might influence the recovery process

If you have any other questions, you should ask them. It’s your right to know what will happen to your body during the surgery.

3. Are There Different Sedation Choices?

Surgeons can provide various types of anesthesia suitable for your operation. One option is local anesthesia, which can be an injection at the surgery site or a numbing cream. 

Another is conscious sedation, a potent pill that induces drowsiness quickly. Remember, you’ll need a ride to and from the hospital with this choice.

IV sedation and general anesthesia are also available, administered orally or through a gas mask. The best choice depends, really. That’s why it’s so important to ask your oral surgeon about the options.

4. What Are the Dental Care Costs?

Regarding medical operations, it’s hard to ignore the cost factor. This is true even for surgeries that are deemed necessary for your health. Before you decide to undergo a surgical procedure, it’s crucial to understand both the immediate and future costs involved.

Your dental health provider can roughly estimate the total expense based on what your insurance covers. This will help you to plan your finances accordingly. Additionally, some dental offices may offer payment plans, allowing you to pay off the cost over some time rather than upfront.

However, remember that selecting a surgical procedure based on cost might not be the best choice for your overall health. Yes, managing your expenses is important, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your well-being.

5. What Are the Potential Risks?

Oral surgery, like any medical procedure, carries certain risks, although generally low. When you undergo a surgical procedure in your mouth, issues can potentially arise. These might occur during the operation from anesthesia complications or excessive bleeding. Post-operative problems could also emerge for various reasons.

Despite these concerns, it’s important to highlight that oral surgeons possess extensive training and expertise. Their primary goal is to reduce any possible risks to their patients. Nevertheless, no matter how minor, every surgical procedure involves a degree of risk. Complications, although uncommon, could occur either during the surgery or the recovery phase.

Discussing potential risks with your surgeon before undergoing the procedure is always wise. Knowing what could happen and how to respond can help alleviate anxiety.

6. What’s the Post-Surgery Recovery Time?

Many surgeries, especially those involving the mouth, are outpatient procedures. This means you can get back to your regular activities fairly quickly. However, more complex surgeries may require a longer recovery period. It’s crucial to give yourself ample time to heal fully.

After your surgery, the recovery process begins. How long this takes varies from person to person and depends on the type of procedure performed. Your surgeon and their team will guide you through what to do. They’ll instruct you on things like replacing gauze, eating suitable foods, taking medication, and scheduling follow-up appointments.

7. What Should I Avoid?

Before oral surgery, your surgeon might suggest you take certain medicines a few days ahead. These could be pain relievers, antibiotics, or other prescribed drugs to be taken after the surgery. The idea is to prepare your prescriptions in advance so you can focus on recovery post-surgery without worrying about getting your medications.

Sometimes, you may have to avoid certain foods or drugs before or after the surgery. You’ll learn about these during your pre and post-operative instructions. But discussing this with your doctor beforehand is always a good idea to avoid any potential issues.

Find A Certified Oral Surgery Specialist

Oral surgery is a complex and critical field that requires proper training and expertise. Jenkins, Morrow, and Gayheart is a leading provider of oral surgery services, and we employ some of the best oral surgeons in the industry. We have a team of highly skilled oral surgeons who are dedicated to providing the best care to our patients. 

We use state-of-the-art technology and the latest techniques to ensure the safety and comfort of our patients. Additionally, we are committed to creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for our patients, and we strive to provide a personalized experience to each of them.

Contact us today and schedule an appointment to speak with an oral surgeon about your needs and procedure.