Procedures performed at Akron Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Group, Inc.
IV Sedation / General Anesthesia
What to expect during the tooth extraction process.
When your dentist performs the extraction you should expect that you will feel a lot of pressure, here's why.
The root portion of a tooth is firmly encased in bone (its socket) and it is tightly bound into place in this socket by a ligament. During the extraction process the dentist needs to expand the socket (widen and enlarge it) and separate the tooth from its ligament to a point where the tooth is loose and free to come out.
The bone of the jaw is compressible to some degree. That means if a dentist can apply firm pressure to a tooth, forcing it against one of the sides of its socket, the bone in that area will become compressed. The net result is that the socket becomes slightly enlarged. After repeated application of pressure to a tooth, from many different directions, the entire socket becomes larger. The ligament that holds the tooth in place will become detached from the tooth too. Finally at some point, enough space will have been created and the ligament separated from the tooth enough that the tooth will come out.
Dentists have a variety of tools they use to manipulate and apply pressure to teeth. Some of them are specialized pliers termed "extraction forceps." Dentists also use levers that are called "elevators" (they look somewhat similar to small screwdrivers). Usually a dentist will use an elevator first. These tools are intended to wedge between the tooth and the bone surrounding it. The force the dentist applies to the elevator in turn places pressure on the tooth. This action on the tooth helps to expand its socket and separate its ligament. It's somewhat common that a tooth can be extracted with just the use of an elevator.
Understanding the dentist's use of extraction forceps is more straightforward. The dentist will grasp the tooth with the forceps and then firmly and deliberately rock the tooth back and forth. They will also rotate the tooth as much as it will. The combination of these tooth movements expands the tooth's socket and separates its ligament.
Why you will feel pressure, yet no pain, during a tooth extraction.
The reason you will feel pressure during the tooth extraction process is because our bodies have different types of nerve fibers, each of which carry different types of sensations. Each of these different types of nerve fibers have different physical characteristics. The local anesthetic ("novocaine," more actually usually lidocaine) that a dentist uses to "numb up" a tooth is very effective at inhibiting the function of nerve fibers that transmit pain sensations, but it doesn't have as great an effect on the nerves that transmit pressure sensations.
So, expect to feel pressure during the tooth extraction process, even a whole lot of pressure, but don't assume that this indicates that you will soon be feeling pain because it doesn't. If you do find you feel pain (discomfort that has a sharpness to it) during the extraction process, you should let your dentist know so they can "numb you up" some more. But more anesthetic will not reduce the pressure sensation you are experiencing.
You might hear some extraction noises.
It is possible that during a tooth's removal you will hear some of the noises associated with the extraction process. As an example, patients are sometimes concerned that they have heard a snap or breaking noise. In most cases the event that has produced this type of sound is just a minor issue, usually one of the tooth's roots fracturing. Because this "complication" happens so frequently you can anticipate that your dentist has had plenty of experience in removing broken tooth roots.
Gum and bone tissue removal.
Gum and/or bone tissue may cover over or surround a tooth in a manner that makes it difficult for the dentist to view and/or access it. If so, the dentist will need to reflect back or remove this tissue.
Sectioning a tooth during an extraction.
Sometimes a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket, or else the tooth's roots are so curved, that the dentist can't get the tooth's socket expanded enough that it will come out. In this type of situation one of a dentist's tricks is to cut the tooth into pieces and then remove each portion individually.
Don't be alarmed if your dentist tells you that this technique is required. Sectioning teeth is very commonplace and can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort needed to remove a tooth.
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth. This generally occurs between the ages of 17 and 25, a time of life that has been called the "Age of Wisdom."
Anthropologists note that the rough diet of early humans resulted in the excessive wear of their teeth. Normal drifting of the teeth to compensate for this wear ensured that space was available for most wisdom teeth to erupt by adolescence. The modern diet, which is much softer, and the popularity of orthodontic tooth straightening procedures produce a fuller dental arch, which quite commonly doesn't leave room for the wisdom teeth to erupt, thereby setting the stage for problems when the final four molars enter the mouth.
What is an Impacted Tooth?
Complications such as infection (fig. a) , damage to adjacent teeth (fig. b) and the formation of cysts (fig. c) may arise from impacted teeth.
(b) Crowding, damage
A tooth becomes impacted when there is a lack of space in the dental arch and its growth and eruption are prevented by overlying gum, bone or another tooth.
How Serious is an Impacted Tooth?
Impacted teeth can be painful and lead to infection.They may also crowd or damage adjacent teeth or roots.
More serious problems may occur if the sac surrounding the impacted tooth becomes filled with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst. As the cyst grows it may hollow out the jaw and permanently damage adjacent teeth, the surrounding bone and nerves. Rarely, if a cyst is not treated, a tumor may develop from its walls and a more serious surgical procedure may be required to remove it.
Despite the considerable concern regarding impacted third molars, a recent study sponsored by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation finds that third molars which have broken through the tissue and erupted into the mouth in a normal, upright position may be as prone to disease as those third molars that remain impacted.
Must the Tooth Come Out if it Hasn't Caused Any Problems Yet?
Not all problems related to third molars are painful or visible. Damage can occur without your being aware of it.
As wisdom teeth grow, their roots become longer, the teeth become more difficult to remove and complications become more likely. In addition, impacted wisdom teeth are more likely to cause problems as patients age.
No one can predict when third molar complications will occur, but when they do, the circumstances can be much more painful and the teeth more difficult to treat. It is estimated that about 85% of third molars will eventually need to be removed.
When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are easier to remove when the patient is younger, since their roots are not completely formed, the surrounding bone is softer, and there is less chance of damaging nearby nerves or other structures. Removal of wisdom teeth at a later age becomes more complicated as the roots have fully developed (may involve the nerve), and the jawbone is denser.
It isn't wise to wait until your wisdom teeth start to bother you. In general, earlier removal of wisdom teeth results in a less complicated healing process.The AAOMS/OMSF study strongly recommends that wisdom teeth be removed by the time the patient is a young adult in order to prevent future problems and to ensure optimal healing.The researchers found that older patients may be at greater risk for disease, including periodontitis, in the tissues surrounding the third molars and adjacent teeth. Periodontal infections, such as those observed in this study, may affect your general health.
What Happens During Surgery?
Before surgery, your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will discuss with you what to expect. This is a good time to ask questions or express your concerns. It is especially important to let the doctor know about any illness you have and medications you are taking.
The relative ease with which a wisdom tooth may be removed depends on several conditions, including the position of the tooth and root development. Impacted wisdom teeth may require a more involved surgical procedure.
Most wisdom tooth extractions are performed in the oral and maxillofacial surgery office under local anesthesia, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will discuss the anesthetic option that is right for you.
What Happens after Surgery?
Following surgery, you may experience some swelling and mild discomfort, which are part of the normal healing process. Cold compresses may help decrease the swelling, and medication prescribed by your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon can help manage the discomfort. You may be instructed to modify your diet following surgery and later progress to more normal foods.
Did you know that dental implants are frequently the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth? Rather than resting on the gum line like removable dentures, or using adjacent teeth as anchors like fixed bridges, dental implants are long-term replacements that your oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically places in the jawbone.
A Solution of Choice for Replacing Missing Teeth
Statistics show that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. Furthermore, by age 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.
Twenty years ago, these patients would have had no alternative but to employ a fixed bridge or removable denture to restore their ability to eat, speak clearly and smile. Fixed bridges and removable dentures, however, are not the perfect solution and often bring with them a number of other problems. Removable dentures may slip or cause embarrassing clicking sounds while eating or speaking. Of even greater concern, fixed bridges often affect adjacent healthy teeth, and removable dentures may lead to bone loss in the area where the tooth or teeth are missing. Recurrent decay, periodontal (gum) disease and other factors often doom fixed bridgework to early failure. For these reasons, fixed bridges and removable dentures usually need to be replaced every seven to 15 years.
Before (left) and after a dental implant
Today there is another option for patients who are missing permanent teeth. Rather than resting on the gum line like removable dentures, or using adjacent teeth as anchors like fixed bridges, dental implants are long-term replacements that your oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically places in the jawbone. Composed of titanium metal that "fuses" with the jawbone through a process called "osseointegration," dental implants never slip or make embarrassing noises that advertise the fact that you have "false teeth," and never decay like teeth anchoring fixed bridges. Because dental implants fuse with the jawbone, bone loss is generally not a problem.
After more than 20 years of service, the vast majority of dental implants first placed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States continue to still function at peak performance. More importantly, the recipients of those early dental implants are still satisfied they made the right choice. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Anatomy of a Dental Implant
A dental implant designed to replace a single tooth is composed of three parts: the titanium implant that fuses with the jawbone; the abutment, which fits over the portion of the implant that protrudes from the gum line; and the crown, which is created by a prosthodontist or restorative dentist and fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance.
Many people who are missing a single tooth opt for a fixed bridge; but a bridge may require the cutting down of healthy, adjacent teeth that may or may not need to be restored in the future. Then there is the additional cost of possibly having to replace the bridge once, twice or more over the course of a lifetime. Similarly, a removable partial denture may contribute to the loss of adjacent teeth. Studies show that within five to seven years there is a failure rate of up to 30% in teeth located next to a fixed bridge or removable partial denture.
Fixed bridges may require the shaping or cutting down of adjacent healthy teeth.
Bone is maintained by the presence of natural teeth or implants (a). Bone loss occurs with the loss of teeth (b).
Further, conventional dentures may contribute to the loss of bone in the area where teeth are missing. As illustration (a) indicates, the presence of natural teeth preserves the jawbone. When a tooth is missing, as in illustration (b), the bone may erode and weaken until it may be necessary for your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to graft bone to the area to strengthen it for placement of a dental implant. When a missing tooth is replaced by a dental implant, the fusion, or osseointegration, of the implant and bone provides stability, just as the natural tooth did.
If you are missing several teeth in the same area of your mouth, you may still enjoy the confidence and lifestyle benefits that come with dental implants. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will place two or more dental implants, depending on the number of teeth that are missing. Your replacement teeth will be attached to the implants to allow excellent function and prevent bone loss. The implants will serve as a stable support that tightly locks into your replacement teeth and dentures to prevent slipping and bone loss.
With an overall success rate of about 95% and almost 50 years of clinical research to back them up, dental implants are frequently the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth.
Dental Implants vs. Conventional Dentures
Implants can be used to replace one missing tooth so that the replacement looks and feels natural (a). Also, two or more implants can serve as a stable support for the replacement of many teeth (b).
Many patients who have selected dental implants describe a quality of life that is much more comfortable and secure than the lifestyle endured by those with fixed bridges or removable dentures. Dentures often make a person feel and look older than they are, cause embarrassment in social situations when they slip and click, and restrict the everyday pleasure of eating comfortably.
When they count the benefits they enjoy as a result of their dental implants, patients say their implants eliminate the day-to-day frustrations and discomfort of ill-fitting dentures. They allow people to enjoy a healthy and varied diet without the restrictions many denture wearers face. With a sense of renewed self-confidence, many people rediscover the excitement of an active lifestyle shared with family and friends and the chance to speak clearly and comfortably with co-workers. For all these reasons, people with dental implants often say they feel better... they look better... they live better.
Dental Implants are a Team Effort
Dental implants combine the best of modern science and technology, including a team approach spanning several disciplines.
A successful implant requires that all parties involved — the patient; the restorative dentist, who makes the crown for the implant; and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who surgically places the implant, follow a careful plan of treatment. All members of the implant team stay in close contact with each other to make sure everyone clearly understands what needs to be done to meet the patient's expectations.
The team is organized as soon as the decision for placing a dental implant is reached. Following an evaluation that includes a comprehensive examination, x-rays and a consultation with the patient and members of the implant team, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically places the posts, or implants, in the patient's jaw.
When the implants have stabilized in the jaw, the restorative dentist prepares an impression of the upper and lower jaws. This impression is used to make the model from which the dentures or crowns are created.
The teamwork continues long after the implant and crown have been placed. Follow-up examinations with the oral and maxillofacial surgeon and restorative dentist are critical, and progress is carefully charted. Both the oral and maxillofacial surgeon and the restorative dentist continue to work together to provide the highest level of aftercare.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Whether you are a young, middle-aged or older adult; whether you need to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all your teeth, there is a dental implant solution for you. With the exception of growing children, dental implants are the solution of choice for people of all ages, even those with the following health concerns:
Existing Medical Conditions. If you can have routine dental treatment, you can generally have an implant placed. While precautions are advisable for certain conditions, patients with such chronic diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implant treatment.
Gum Disease or Problem Teeth. Almost all implants placed in patients who have lost their teeth to periodontal disease or decay have been successful.
Currently Wearing Partials or Dentures. Implants can replace removable bridges or dentures, or they can be used to stabilize and secure the denture, making it much more comfortable.
Smokers. Although smoking lowers the success rate of implants, it doesn't eliminate the possibility of getting them.
Bone Loss. Bone loss is not uncommon for people who have lost teeth or had periodontal disease. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained and experienced in grafting bone to safely and permanently secure the implant.
Implant tooth replacement in children is usually deferred until their jaw growth is complete. There are, however, some instances when a dental implant may be appropriate, such as when it is part of the child's orthodontic treatment plan. Your family dentist or orthodontist can guide you in this instance.
What is a bone graft?
Bone grafting is the replacement or augmentation of the bone around the teeth.
Why is a bone graft needed?
Bone grafting is performed to reverse the bone loss / destruction caused by periodontal disease, trauma, or ill fitting removable dentures. It is also used to augment bone to permit implant placement, such as augmenting bone in the sinus area for implant placement, or augmenting bone to enhance the fit and comfort of removable prostheses, or to enhance esthetics of a missing tooth site in the smile zone. When one loses a tooth, as in an extraction, the surrounding bone collapses. To preserve this bone for future implant placement or for esthetics, a bone graft is used.
What are the types of bone graft?
1. autogenous - bone taken from one area of the patient and transplanted to another area requiring such grafting
2. allograft - either synthetic bone or bone from a bone bank (cadaver bone)
3. xenograft - bovine /cow bone
Which graft is used and when and why?
Autogenous bone is the "gold standard" and oftentimes has the most predictable results. This is described as the best type of graft because such bone is live bone with live active cellular elements that enhance bone growth, whereas other types of grafts are devoid of any active cellular material.
Allografts and Xenografts both do not require a second surgical site as does the autogenous bone. Ample amounts can be easily obtained.
Barrier membranes - Guided Tissue Regeneration
In conjunction with bone grafting, membranes are often used to help stabilize the bone graft as well as displace the gum tissue from invading the healing bone graft. Gum tissue grows at a much faster rate than bone, therefore, membranes are used to prevent gum tissue from growing in and displacing the bone graft before it matures.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery is performed by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth, which, in turn, can improve chewing, speaking and breathing. While the patient's appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.
Following are some of the conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery:
- difficulty chewing, or biting food
- difficulty swallowing
- chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
- excessive wear of the teeth
- open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
- unbalanced facial appearance from the front, or side
- facial injury or birth defects
- receding chin
- protruding jaw
- inability to make the lips meet without straining
- chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth
- sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)
Who Needs Corrective Jaw Surgery?
People who may benefit from corrective jaw surgery include those with an improper bite resulting from misaligned teeth and/or jaws. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. Injuries and birth defects may also affect jaw alignment. While orthodontics can usually correct bite, or "occlusion," problems when only the teeth are misaligned, corrective jaw surgery may be necessary to correct misalignment of the jaws.
Evaluating Your Need for Corrective Jaw Surgery
Your dentist, orthodontist and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will work together to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery. The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon determines which corrective jaw surgical procedure is appropriate and performs the actual surgery. It is important to understand that your treatment, which will probably include orthodontics before and after surgery, may take several years to complete. Your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and orthodontist understand that this is a long-term commitment for you and your family.They will try to realistically estimate the time required for your treatment.
Corrective jaw surgery may reposition all or part of the upper jaw, lower jaw and chin. When you are fully informed about your case and your treatment options, you and your dental team will determine the course of treatment that is best for you.
Correction of Common Dentofacial Deformities
Correcting an Open Bite: Some of the bone in the upper tooth-bearing portion of the jaw is removed. The upper jaw is then secured in position with plates and screws.
Correcting a Protruding Lower Jaw: The bone in the rear portion of the jaw is separated from the front portion and modified so that the tooth-bearing portion of the lower jaw can be moved back for proper alignment.
Correcting a Receding Lower Jaw or "Weak Chin": The bone in the lower portion of the jaw is separated from its base and modified. The tooth-bearing portion of the lower jaw and a portion of the chin are repositioned forward.
What Is Involved in Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Before your surgery, orthodontic braces move the teeth into a new position. Because your teeth are being moved into a position that will fit together after surgery, you may at first think your bite is getting worse rather than better. When your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon repositions your jaws during surgery, however, your teeth should fit together properly.
As your pre-surgical orthodontic treatment nears completion, additional or updated records, including x-rays, pictures and models of your teeth, may be taken to help guide your surgery.
Depending on the procedure, corrective jaw surgery may be performed under general anesthesia in a hospital, an ambulatory surgical center or in the oral and maxillofacial surgery office. Surgery may take from one to several hours to complete.
Your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will reposition the jawbones in accordance with your specific needs. In some cases, bone may be added, taken away or reshaped. Surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands may be used to hold your jaws in their new positions. Incisions are usually made inside the mouth to reduce visible scarring; however, some cases do require small incisions outside of the mouth. When this is necessary, care is taken to minimize their appearance.
After surgery, your surgeon will provide instructions for a modified diet, which may include solids and liquids, as well as a schedule for transitioning to a normal diet. You may also be asked to refrain from using tobacco products and avoid strenuous physical activity.
Pain following corrective jaw surgery is easily controlled with medication and patients are generally able to return to work or school from one to three weeks after surgery, depending on how they are feeling. While the initial healing phase is about six weeks, complete healing of the jaws takes between nine and 12 months.
The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer. The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth.
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body's most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we may help.
Facial cosmetic surgery has long been the solution of choice for the correction of physical malformations resulting from aging, disease, injury and birth defects. In recent years, however, a growing number of men and women of all ages are choosing facial cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance and reduce the signs of aging.
Is Cosmetic Surgery for You?
Thanks to the development of advanced medical devices and biomaterials, many of today's facial cosmetic procedures are minimally invasive and can be performed in an office setting using local and/or intravenous anesthesia. Some procedures may require use of an outpatient or same day surgery center, or hospital.
Because of their surgical and dental background, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are uniquely qualified to perform cosmetic procedures that involve the functional and aesthetic aspects of the face, mouth, teeth and jaws. Extensive education and training in surgical procedures involving soft tissue (skin and muscle) and hard tissue (bone and cartilage) finely attune the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to the need for harmony between facial appearance and function.
Following are some of the procedures available to you. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon may perform other surgeries not listed here. Make an appointment to discuss your personal situation.
Cheekbone Implants (Malar Augmentation) create the appearance of higher, more prominent cheekbones and better facial balance.
Chin Surgery (Genioplasty) increases or reduces the length and projection of the chin.
Ear Surgery (Otoplasty) is usually done to set prominent ears back closer to the head, or to change the shape or reduce the size of large ears.
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) removes fat and excess skin from the upper and lower eyelids, and can be done alone or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift.
Facelift (Rhytidectomy) provides a more youthful appearance by tightening facial skin, muscles and removing excess skin. A mini facelift is a minimally invasive technique involving only small incisions.
Facial and Neck Liposuction can help sculpt the face by removing excess fat. Neck liposuction is often performed in conjunction with such procedures as genioplasty and corrective jaw surgery.
Forehead/Brow Lift is often done in conjunction with blepharoplasty to improve brow positioning, minimize frown lines and reduce forehead wrinkles.
Lip Enhancement can reshape the upper and lower lip to give a more aesthetic or youthful appearance. Augmentation of the lips is accomplished using various materials that help "plump" the lips, creating fullness and decreasing vertical lines.
Nasal Reconstruction (Rhinoplasty) can reduce or increase the size of your nose, change the shape of the tip or the bridge, narrow the span of the nostrils, or change the angle between your nose and your upper lip.
Several techniques exist for treating skin that is wrinkled, scarred or otherwise damaged. The amount of improvement varies and depends upon the initial condition of the patient's skin and the procedure.
Botox® Injections can reduce the signs of aging by reducing the muscle activity and wrinkles of the eyebrow and forehead. It is especially effective in reducing frown lines.
Chemical Peel involves the application of a solution that causes the wrinkled or damaged top layers of skin to peel, revealing new, healthier skin after healing.There are several types of chemical peels: a light peel to remove superficial wrinkles, a medium depth peel, and a deep peel for more severe conditions.
Dermabrasion smoothes surface irregularities to produce a more uniform appearance.
Laser – Through the use of a special laser, the outer layers of the damaged or wrinkled skin are removed.The new skin appears healthier and smoother, giving a rejuvenated, more youthful appearance.
Injectable Fillers (Restylane®, Collagen, etc.) are synthetic or naturally occurring materials that are placed with small needles to plump wrinkles, furrows or grooves in the skin.The results are instantaneous although the duration varies with the material chosen.
Facing the Facts
Facial cosmetic surgery may refine, enhance and/or rejuvenate existing features. It will not give you a new face or a new life. How much or how little change is realized depends on the individual and the extent of the surgical procedure. Your age, health, skin texture, bone structure, healing capacity and personal habits, such as smoking or alcohol consumption, are all factors that may affect the results of your surgery.
Each procedure outlined in this brochure entails a reasonable recovery period during which you may experience some swelling, bruising and discomfort. These are part of the normal healing process.
If you are interested in learning more about these procedures and determining whether you are a candidate for cosmetic surgery, please schedule a consultation with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Anesthesia & Sedation
A child wonders what the first day of school will be like. Someone is about to start a new job. A young couple is about to be married.
Each of these situations is a classic anxiety producer. What they have in common is that each involves the unknown. And that's what anxiety is: the fear of a specific upcoming event that, in all likelihood, you've never before experienced.
The Less You Worry, the Easier it Will Be
An upcoming visit to an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is another potential anxiety producer. In this case, the patient is typically most concerned about possible pain — whether the procedure is going to hurt.
The good news is that whether your procedure requires local or intravenous anesthesia, today's technology makes it possible to perform complex surgery in the oral and maxillofacial surgery office with little or no discomfort for the patient. Knowing this should start to reduce your level of anxiety.
Extensive Training and Experience in the Control of Pain and Anxiety
The ability to provide patients with safe, effective outpatient anesthesia has distinguished the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery since its earliest days. As the surgical specialists of the dental profession, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are trained in all aspects of anesthesia administration. Following dental school, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons complete at least four years of training in a hospital-based surgical residency program alongside medical residents in general surgery, anesthesia and other specialties. During this time, OMS residents must complete a rotation on the medical anesthesiology service, during which they become competent in evaluating patients for anesthesia, delivering the anesthetic and monitoring post-anesthetic patients.
As a result of this extensive training, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons are well-prepared to identify, diagnose and assess the source of pain and anxiety within the scope of their discipline, and to appropriately administer local anesthesia, all forms of sedation and general anesthesia. Further, they are experienced in airway management, endotracheal intubation, establishing and maintaining intravenous lines, and managing complications and emergencies that may arise during the administration of anesthesia.
Putting Your Mind at Ease
The best way to reduce anxiety is to make certain you know what to expect during and after surgery. As with most anxiety-producing situations, the more you know, the less you have to be anxious about. Prior to surgery, your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will review with you the type of anesthetic to be used, as well as the way you're likely to feel during and after the operation.This is the time to discuss any concerns you may have about any facet of the operation.
During surgery, one or more of the following may be used to control your pain and anxiety: local anesthesia, nitrous oxide-oxygen, intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Commonly, patients describe their feelings during surgery as comfortable and surprisingly pleasant.
After surgery, you may be prescribed a medication to make you as comfortable as possible when you get home.