Many patients become concerned when they find out that they must undergo oral surgery, but it isn’t as big of a deal as it’s often made out to be. This is because there are common procedures provided by an oral surgeon and a lot of the time this route can provide the highest level of care possible.
The types of oral surgery procedures that are the most popular include, but aren’t limited to alveoloplasty, bone grafting, dental implants, tori removal, and wisdom teeth removal. Most procedures can be conducted on an outpatient basis with recovery being only a few days.
To help reduce the anxiety that is usually present with oral surgery, and to provide a better understanding of things, this guide will take you through everything that you need to know.
What are the most common oral surgery procedures?
Below we’ve broken down the most popular procedures that our dental practice is asked to perform, as well as what you can expect with each one as well as how much each one costs. Remember, if you continue to have any questions, feel free to reach out to our office directly.
After a tooth extraction as well as prior to getting fitted with dentures, comes what is known as Alveoloplasty. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the jawbone is smooth and ready for tooth replacement when that time comes.
When it’s done after tooth extraction, it can actually help complement the healing process and remove any bone spurs that may have been left behind when you had your tooth (or teeth) pulled. As far as what it does for dentures, it provides the opportunity to have a better fit than those who don’t embrace Alveoloplasty, thus reducing the chances of them sliding around.
o Alveoloplasty Recovery
The Alveoloplasty recovery process is just like it would be with tooth extractions, you will have to keep a piece of gauze on the area for a couple of hours to stop the bleeding while the blood clot has a chance to form. As far as eating and drinking, you will want to avoid using a straw and stick to soft foods for the first few days after the procedure.
Also, it is critical that you avoid using the part of your mouth where the procedure was done until it has had a chance to heal. Finally, enhance the healing process by rinsing with warm salt water (8 ounces of warm water & a teaspoon of salt) about three or four times per day starting on the second day of recovery.
o The Cost of Alveoloplasty
Just like with any other types of oral surgery, there are many factors that come into play when it comes to how much you can expect to pay for Alveoloplasty (including but not limited to your current medical condition as well as your medical history).
There are times when this may need to be spread across a couple of different appointments as well. Expect the cost to cover any anesthesia that is used during the procedure, x-rays, and the procedure itself. The cost of Alveoloplasty usually ranges from $500 all the way up to $2,000.
· Bone Grafting
Bone grafting is where an incision will be made into your gum line to gain access to the jawbone. Usually, bone mineral is deposited to encourage bone growth within your gums.
Simply put, dental bone grafting is used to help replace any bone that may have been damaged or become the victim of a disease. It’s not uncommon for bone grafting to be done when it comes to wisdom teeth removal, as this is one of the main times that it’s done.
o Bone Grafting Recovery
Avoiding mouth rinsing, making sure you keep the gauze on the location of the bone graft and taking your pain medication are essential steps that you must take to ensure a solid recovery. If there is swelling, you can use an ice pack for 15 minutes followed by 15 minutes of rest for as long as it takes to get the swelling down.
Your dentist may also recommend that you take other precautions depending upon your situation. Expect to take a few days off following the day of your bone grafting procedure. You can resume work whenever it feels comfortable for you to do so.
o The Cost of Bone Grafting
If your own bone is used, the procedure will be a little pricier with a tag of $2,000+. If another source of bone is used, expect to pay from $300-$1,000+ making it the more affordable route when it comes to bone grafting.
Keep in mind that a CT scan or x-rays may be needed, which will be in addition to the cost of the procedure if there is another specialist that needs to handle things in this sense. However, if it is all done in the same dental office, you can expect it to be included in the overall cost.
· Dental Implants
Dental implants are where a dentist or oral surgeon will install a post to screw a crown into, and it’s one of the most preferred forms of tooth replacement. Whether you have a single tooth that needs to be replaced or need to replace all your upper/lower teeth, they tend to be a lot more functional than traditional dentures.
o Recovering After Receiving Dental Implants
Just like the other procedures, expect to have to keep gauze on the implant location for the first couple of hours after surgery. Avoid flossing after the procedure as it’s not uncommon for it to get snagged on the implant and pull it off. You can use salt water to rinse after the first couple of days to speed up healing and minimize the risk of infection.
As far as the other steps that you need to take during the recovery process, you should expect to eat soft foods, take pain medication, and use ice compression to help reduce the amount of swelling. The recovery process from dental implants tends to take a little bit longer than procedures at a lower level of complexities.
o The Cost of Dental Implants
This depends upon how many teeth need to be replaced as well as the type of dental implant that you choose to go with. Expect a single tooth implant to be as low as $1,999 and an All-on-4 dental implant to be as much as $36,000. All necessary services are included in the overall cost of dental implants.
· Tori Removal
While tori doesn’t need to be removed most of the time, there are instances such as getting dentures where it will. Also, it’s common that dentists will recommend tori removal to improve oral health and make the patient’s oral hygiene practices more impactful.
In the case where it does need to be removed, this can be done by your dentist. The process is fairly straightforward and can be done within a single office visit. Re-occurrence is usually non-existent after going through the procedure, but there are rare cases where it may regrow slowly.
o Tori Removal Recovery
A full recovery can take up to a month after having tori removed, but the bleeding should stop within the first few days. Swelling for up to 3 weeks is common, but a cold compress for 15 minutes as needed could help reduce the swelling a little quicker.
Make sure that your mouth is kept clean, be careful about your diet, and use ice cream as another approach to reducing the swelling. Your dentist may also have other recommendations that should be adhered to entirely to ensure the recovery is a win.
o The Cost of Tori Removal
You can expect to have to pay $1,200 or more depending on where the tori is located as well as the overall treatment process itself. Your dentist can provide you with an accurate cost estimate that will be tailored to your case and needs specifically.
· Wisdom Teeth Removal
There are times when your wisdom teeth could make your mouth too crowded, or they could even become impacted which can cause quite a bit of pain at times. To alleviate any discomfort, and ensure a healthier mouth, wisdom teeth removal is usually embraced.
This can be done by your dentist or you may be referred to see an oral surgeon to have your wisdom teeth removed, dependent upon the complexity of the procedure itself. This is usually done with general anesthesia and all your wisdom teeth can be removed at once.
o Wisdom Teeth Extraction Recovery
Recovery is usually only a few days, but it can take up to a week depending on how your body embraces the healing process. Avoid anything that’s heavy-duty in nature during this time to ensure the blood clot doesn’t have a chance of becoming dislodged.
As far as general recovery tactics, you will need to keep gauze on the location for as long as it takes your blood to clot up where your wisdom teeth were removed. Also, ensure that you eat soft food and don’t eat anything sticky for the first few days while avoiding usage of the side(s) that the procedure was done on.
o The Cost of Wisdom Teeth Removal
If you need to have all four of your wisdom teeth removed, the price usually sits in the range of $1,000-$1,500. If you require fewer extractions, the price per wisdom tooth can be within the range of $250-$500. This is more expensive than a simple dental extraction, but this is due to the level of attention to detail that’s needed as well as the increased amount of work that’s involved.
Will my insurance cover the cost of oral surgery?
This depends upon the policies set forth by your insurance providers, but to keep things simple, if an oral surgery procedure is considered medically necessary it can be covered. This means that extractions, bone grafting, and tissue biopsies are usually covered.
Where things can get a little bit tricky is with dentures and implants, as these 2 types of procedures have been known to be classified as something that’s cosmetic and not something that is directly related to someone’s overall health, medically speaking.
A lot of dental insurance providers will make it easier for you to cover your expenses when it comes to oral surgery, with medical insurance being more difficult to use in that sense. Also keep in mind that you may have to pay a certain amount out of your pocket before your insurance company will be willing to pay, so make sure this is something that you research completely to make sure that you aren’t left in the dark so to speak.
Other Oral Surgery Financing Opportunities
Oral surgeons and dentists both have taken it upon themselves to make access to care as easy as it can be, regardless of whether their patients have insurance or not. This is where the use of third-party lenders comes into play, as there are opportunities where no down payment may be required.
Another viable option is to embrace the power of a dental savings plan, which can significantly reduce the cost of oral surgery. The reason for this is that if you have to pay directly without insurance, dental financing, or a dental savings plan, the cost can be a little bit higher.
For more information on alternative financing options for oral surgery, consult with the office to see what options are available as well as what is going to be required of you in order to be able to qualify. If you embrace third-party financing, the monthly payments are usually pretty reasonable since the purpose is meant for people to be able to afford the care they need without being over-budget.
Frequently Asked Questions About Oral Surgery
Are bone grafts safe?
There is a minimal risk when it comes to bone grafting, and over the years strict guidelines have continued to be refined to ensure an even better success rate. Precisely, there was one clinical study that was done which revealed an 87.5% success rates with bone grafts.
Also, the AATB (American Association of Tissue Banks) and the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) oversee bone banks themselves. This is a move to make sure that the risk of infection from bone grafts is minimized in any way possible.
Can I go straight to an oral surgeon?
The short answer is yes, but if you have insurance you may be required to get a referral from your dentist before they will help cover the cost. However, one way around this is to choose a dental office that has an oral surgeon on their staff. This ensures that you don’t have to go somewhere else.
Can saltwater rinse heal gum infection?
What saltwater does for oral health is it reduces the ability for bacteria to have a place where they can thrive. It has also been used to help with healing after oral surgery as well as to fight a sore throat, bad breath, and gingivitis. By adding a � teaspoon of salt to warm water, you can reduce the risk of having a gum infection due to poor oral health.
Can Tori be cancerous?
While other types of growths can be signs of oral cancer, tori is not cancerous nor does it have a chance to turn into cancer. However, many find that it’s a lot better for them to have it removed as soon as they have the chance to do so. The most common reason for tori growth stems from genetics.
Do they put you to sleep for oral surgery?
In a lot of cases, general anesthesia is used which allows you to be asleep during the procedure. The only time that a local anesthetic is used is during simple procedures such as tooth extraction. If you’re undergoing any type of oral surgery, you can expect to have a higher level of sedative used.
Do Tori continue to grow?
Over time, tori will continue to grow slowly. As far as how it affects you, it usually doesn’t pose that much of a problem until it becomes large in size. To prevent it from growing, you can enlist the help of a dentist to embrace tori removal which will stop the growth and eliminate tori in its entirety.
How can I make my mouth heal faster after oral surgery?
The obvious answer is to follow the instructions of your dentist/oral surgeon in terms of the things you should do after your surgery. However, brushing your teeth carefully, using an ice pack, and sticking to soft foods are the most common ways to encourage your mouth to heal faster after oral surgery.
How long do dental implants last?
On average, dental implants can last for up to 15 years but it has become more common for implants to last a lifetime if they’re taken care of very well. Using tobacco and poor oral hygiene are the main reasons that dental implants have failed before they were expected to.
How many days off do you need for wisdom teeth removal?
Expect to take about 3 days off when you have your wisdom teeth removed, but keep in mind that there are times when the rate of healing requires you to take off a little longer. This is something that you will have to use your best guess on as well as embrace the recommendation made by your dentist.
How painful is a dental implant?
The procedure itself is meant to be painless because a general anesthetic is used to make the patient as comfortable as possible. However, once the anesthesia wears off your gums could be sore, and the amount of discomfort is determined by the number of dental implants that you had.
Is Alveoloplasty necessary for dentures?
It’s a common approach as it provides one with the opportunity to have a better fit with their dentures than they would have without Alveoloplasty. However, it’s not always a requirement for getting your dentures fitted if your dentist recommends forgoing this procedure.
Is oral surgery dangerous?
Just like with any type of surgical procedure, there is risk involved (such as pain, numbness, etc.). Over time, the focus on minimizing these risks has made it to where the benefits outweigh the downsides. In general, you can usually reduce the risk of complications by following the recommendations by your dentist as they’re able to provide you with the best insight when it comes to the healing process.
Should I get all 4 wisdom teeth removed at once?
This depends upon your situation, but most of the time it’s recommended that you have all 4 wisdom teeth removed at once to reduce the risk of complications. Not to mention, doing it this way will allow for a much more streamlined healing process than having to get them removed one by one.
I think my dentist left a piece of tooth after my extraction, what should I do?
If you feel like a piece of tooth structure was left after your extraction, please re-visit your dentist so he or she can take a radiograph to confirm that the tooth is still there. If it is, he or she will need to remove what is left over or refer you to a local oral surgeon.
What are bone grafts made of?
The most popular types of bone grafts are made of bone that has been removed from one’s own body as well as synthetic bone which is more acceptable by the body. Another route that is usually taken is getting bone from a bone bank.
What causes Tori to grow?
While tori is often thought to be due to excessive clenching or grinding of one’s teeth, there is no one reason that has been pinpointed as to what actually causes growth. Over time, growth does continue with Tori rather slowly.
What should you not do before an oral surgery?
Usually, it will be recommended that you don’t have anything to eat or drink for up to 12 hours before undergoing oral surgery. This is a precaution most common when general anesthesia is going to be used during the procedure. If a local anesthetic is used, your restrictions may be lighter (which should be determined by your dentist).
I have a cyst growing on my mouth, should I remove it?
At Best dental we offer oral cyst removal for benign lesions that may be growing on your lips or cheeks. If the lesion is deemed to be more serious, a biopsy may be performed.
When should Alveoloplasty be done?
Most of the time, Alveoloplasty is done prior to getting dentures to ensure the best fit possible. Sometimes it’s also needed when a tooth extraction is done and there’s a bone spur in the jaw that needs to be made smooth.
If you are needing oral surgery services in the greater Houston, TX area our expert team at Best Dental should definitely be on your short list. With high quality care at an affordable price, caring for your oral health has never been easier. We hope to meet you and your family soon!