Are you experiencing a toothache? Whether it’s a dull ache or sharp stabbing pain, a toothache can be one of the most uncomfortable and frustrating things to experience. Dental surgery is one of the best ways to relieve discomfort and improve the visual appeal of your teeth; however, going for surgery can be nerve-racking.
If you are nervous about dental surgery and are wondering what to expect and how long the procedure will take, we thought we would look closer. Here at Next Smile™ Wollongong, we pride ourselves on giving our patients the very best experience possible, and our experienced dentists are on hand to help you throughout the procedure.
Why Do You Need Dental Surgery?
There are many reasons why a patient might require dental surgery. Most commonly, it will be due to some form of pain or discomfort likely due to
Trauma is one of the most common requirements for needing dental surgery. This could include damage to the teeth directly or to the surrounding tissue, bones and ligaments.
Disease, infection and severe decay are also very common causes of requiring dental surgery.
Gum disease is a severe gum infection that damages the soft tissue and can destroy the bone that supports your teeth.
In most instances, your dentist will try to save the tooth before extracting it; however, this might not be possible depending on the severity of the disease.
Common Types of Dental Surgery
When it comes to answering how long dental surgery will take, it will depend on the procedure. Some of the most common types of dental surgery include:
If your dentist thinks that the structure of the tooth is still strong, then they may recommend that the patient has a root canal. While this term might send a shudder of fear down your spine, it is actually one of the most common types of dental surgery worldwide. Millions of patients undergo a root canal each year, and the process is the most effective way to save your tooth.
The surgery is designed to relieve pain and sensitivity of teeth, commonly caused by extensive decay into the tooth’s nerve. This process will see the dentist remove the tooth’s nerve, protecting it from any further pain while keeping the tooth in place.
On average, a root canal will take between 30 minutes to an hour, although this could take around 90 minutes for molars. Should the patient need a dental crown, they would need follow-up appointments, often around an hour.
Another very common type of dental surgery is periodontal surgery. This is a treatment for patients with severe periodontitis, and during this process, the dentist will make incisions along the gumline to temporarily move the tissue back. This will allow them to clean the tooth's roots, removing any plaque and bacteria before repositioning the gum tissue.
This is quite a complex and time-consuming type of dental surgery, and patients can expect to be in the dentist’s chair for up to two hours.
Corrective jaw surgery
For patients finding that their teeth are misaligned, have facial imbalances or are struggling with chewing, then a dentist might recommend that patients undergo corrective jaw dental surgery. This lengthy operation will require the patient to be fully asleep, and the surgeon will then reposition both the upper and lower jaw.
The procedure will usually take several hours, but follow-up appointments are often needed every few weeks. The recovery period can also be quite lengthy.
This is a relatively simple procedure, and the time it takes to complete the surgery will depend on the tooth being extracted and the complexity of the roots.
On average, though, the procedure should take between 20 and 40 minutes for a single tooth (with each additional tooth adding several minutes on). This includes the required pre-operation duties such as numbing the tooth, the extraction, and the post-op duties.
However, in the case of wisdom tooth removal, then the dental surgery can take longer. The process will depend on the current state of the teeth and how many you need to have removed. Wisdom teeth are also in a more challenging position, making the extraction hard, so patients can expect this form of dental surgery to take around 45 to 90 minutes.
Once a tooth has been removed, dental implants are a popular way to restore your smile and functionality. This is a very reliable procedure and involves embedding an implant into the bone which will support a single crown, or with the All-on-4® treatment, four implants support a full arch of teeth.
The surgery for single dental implants will take in the region of one to two hours. The patient will then need to wait for the implant to integrate into the jawbone before it has the strength to support the final restoration.
Here at Next Smile™ Wollongong, we can offer our patients an innovative method of restorative dentistry known as All-on-4®. This pioneering approach will see our expert dentists ensure our clients can enjoy an entirely new set of permanent teeth that look and feel just like natural teeth.
All-on-4® is a permanent, fixed alternative to dentures and requires just four titanium dental implants to support the teeth. With fewer implants required, dental surgery has a far higher success rate, and it is also far easier to clean and maintain the teeth. The process can be used for a complete set of teeth, and with the implants capable of being inserted at an angle, it ensures our dentists can avoid sections of poor jawbone quality.
Thanks to our innovative approach, patients can enjoy their new smile within 24 hours of surgery, and the dental surgery itself can be completed on the same day. Once fitted and with good oral hygiene, you can have complete peace of mind that your implants will last a lifetime.
Things to Remember Post-Surgery
While there is the time for the actual procedure, it is important to also factor in the recovery time. Whether it's tooth removal, a root canal, or dental implants, there are several things to remember to minimise the risk and boost recovery time:
Dental surgery, just like any surgery, can be a major shock to your body. That is why you should make sure that you give yourself time to rest and recover post-surgery.
Follow all instructions
Another important tip to remember to speed up the recovery time is to make sure you follow your dentist’s advice. They might advise against using traditional mouthwash for the first few days, avoid brushing certain areas or rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
Whatever it might be, following their advice is essential to reduce the risk of developing an infection and prolonging your recovery period.
Swelling is a very common occurrence after dental surgery, and it can take several days for it to begin to subside. Adding an ice pack to it, particularly during the first 24 hours, can help to reduce inflammation and recovery time.
Be careful with what you eat and drink
Finally, you should be careful with the foods and drinks you eat in the first few days after dental surgery. You should stick to soft foods for the first 48 hours, as this will prevent placing any unnecessary force or pressure onto your gums and teeth.
You should also be careful with the drinks you are consuming. You might notice that you are quite sensitive to hot and cold beverages.
Looking to Transform Your Smile?
If you want to transform your smile, then Next Smile™ Wollongong is here to help you. Our innovative All-on-4® was developed by Dr Paulo Malo, who personally trained our experienced dentists to ensure we can deliver the very best level of care possible.
Led by Dr Barry Phelan, our Next Smile™ Centre is based just outside of Wollongong, and it is equipped with the latest technology, guaranteeing a truly gold standard experience. Want to find out how we can help you? Get in touch today!