Oral Surgery: An Overview of Common Procedures and What to Expect


Sometimes, your dental problems may need minor oral surgery to cure them. Unlike in the old days, surgical procedures are not painful due to the wide availability of anaesthetics. Most can be done on the dental chair as with any other general dental treatment.

Here are some of the most common oral surgical procedures:

  1. Surgical tooth extractions

A simple dental extraction involves only a local anaesthetic and a dental instrument to remove the tooth.  However, at times, you may need surgical removal of a tooth in which your dentist may have to incise your gums to take the tooth out. The dental surgeon may recommend a surgical removal when your tooth is impacted or grossly decayed.

  1. Dental implant placement

Dental implants have gained much popularity over the years as one of the best tooth replacement methods. A titanium or ceramic implant could be placed inside your jawbone. Your dentist will make an incision in the gum, drill the bone, place the implant within the bone, and finally suture the incision. The implant then requires about two to six months to get integrated into the surrounding bone before a dental crown is fabricated and mounted on top of the implant.

  1. Bone grafting

Jawbone is an integral tissue in the oral cavity essential to hold our teeth in place. There should be enough bone for implant placement and for the maintenance of good periodontal health. When you lack bone, your periodontist or dentist may recommend that you undergo bone grafting surgery. Here, they will expose the underlying bone by incising the soft tissues and placing bone graft next to the existing bone. At the end of the healing phase, you will have sufficient bone to receive dental implants.

  1. Corrective jaw surgery

Corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery is performed to correct the profile of an adult by setting the upper or lower jaw front or back relative to the opposite jaw.

  1. Sleep apnea treatment

Sleep apnea is a condition which leads to airway obstruction during sleep. While most sleep apnea conditions can be corrected with simple treatment strategies like night guards or splints, some may need surgical attention as a permanent solution. Proper breathing is restored after the surgical removal of excess soft tissues in the patient’s airway.

What to expect after oral surgery?

Though the expectations are different for each surgery, they generally include the following.

  • You might start to feel pain or discomfort once the anaesthetic faded away.
  • Take painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antibiotics as the dental surgeon recommends to avoid discomfort and potential complications.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption before and after the surgery for at least two weeks to ensure fast and proper healing.
  • Arrange transport beforehand so that you can arrive home safely.
  • Accompany a bystander to support you after surgery.
  • Refrain from strenuous activity for at least three days.