Dental surgery can be intimidating, especially because it is likely you have heard horror stories about post-dental surgery complication. Here’s the real facts behind all the terrifying tales.
Tooth Extraction Complications
While a simple tooth extraction does not require surgery as it is visible/easily reached, a broken off tooth or unerupted teeth (such as wisdom teeth) will need surgery to be removed from the mouth. Things that could occur after surgery are:
- Jaw soreness/swelling
- Dry socket
- Damage to teeth adjoining extraction site
- Incomplete extraction of tooth
- Tooth misalignment
- Hole in sinus (from upper tooth extraction)
- Fractured jaw
An additional concern is if a tooth is removed, it’s opposite tooth will slowly move out of the socket (not applicable to wisdom teeth). Lacking a tooth can also thin the jawbone at the site of extraction over time.
Dental Implants Post-Op
Getting new, custom-fit teeth is an important investment in your self-esteem. Some of the things you’ll want to watch for post-implant are:
- Damage to teeth adjoining implant site
- Nerve damage
It is also possible that a dental implant may affect your sinus’ if the implant protrudes into a sinus cavity.
After Jaw Surgery
Jaw surgery is performed to align the jaw properly for both appearance enhancement and improved oral functionality. Watch for this post-jaw surgery:
- Infection at incision sites
- Tooth damage
- Bad reaction to anesthesia
- Nerve damage
- Poor cosmetic result
In rare cases, the original jaw alignment may reassert itself.
How To Avoid Post-Surgery Dental Complications
Knowledge is how you win half the battle when it comes to oral health. Now that you know there can be serious consequences post-dental surgery, here is how you avoid these unpleasant complications.
- Follow surgery after-care instructions – After your dental procedure, your will have specific care instructions to follow. These can range from not eating for 12+ hours to not using straws to drink for a few days. Even if the instructions sound arbitrary, trust that the directions are given for a reason.
- Ice pack swelling – Facial swelling is a common side-effect of dental work, and can be dealt with by holding an ice pack (or frozen veggies) to the swollen area in 20 minute intervals. However, if the pain increases by the 3rd day after surgery, you likely have an infection and need to see your dentist.
- Infection treatment – If you are brushing twice a day, rinsing and flossing, you should not get an infection. However, if you do, your dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to deal with it. Take the full course of the prescribed medicine; anything less invites the infection to come back stronger than ever.
As the other complications (nerve/tooth damage, TMJ, hole in sinus, fractured jaw) are outside of your control, you will need to see you dentist immediately on recognition of the problem.
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