An estimated 10 million wisdom teeth are removed from patients every year via oral surgery. While that figure might sound scary, these are mostly cases where removal is recommended or even necessary.
Dental intervention can present risks, but what kind of surgery complications should patients expect? In most cases, the benefits outweigh the risks. But, it’s still a good idea to know what can happen.
Risk factors play an important role. A patient’s age has a significant impact on the potential results, as surgery in older adults is usually slightly more complicated. If you want to know more about oral surgery and its associated risks, consider reading ahead.
Reasons for Oral Surgery
The most common form of oral surgery is tooth extraction. But, there are plenty of other reasons why patients might need surgical intervention. Other habitual reasons include:
- Impacted teeth
- Periodontal disease
- Extensive tooth decay
- Sleep apnea
- Bone loss
- Oral cancer
- TMJ disorder
Oral Surgery Complications in Adults
Oral surgery complications can vary greatly, but they usually occur more often in older patients. As people age, the body’s capacity to heal properly and adjust to medical interventions decreases. There are preventative measures that patients and dentists can keep in mind to help, though.
Common oral surgery complications include those that generally impact the local intervention area. After a tooth extraction, for example, a patient can suffer from dry socket, an infection, or a canal that connects with the sinus in an upper tooth extraction. There might also be intense swelling or soreness of the adjacent tissue.
Rare oral surgery complications involve more severe symptoms and often affect more than just the local tissue. This can include damage done to adjacent teeth, a fractured jaw, and an incomplete extraction.
Additionally, over long periods of time patients can suffer from tooth misalignment. This is often caused by a lack of lateral support from removed pieces.
Avoiding Oral Surgery Complications
There are three strategies that patients can use to prevent or avoid oral surgery complications. These include strictly following post-op instructions, utilizing ice packs, and taking necessary medication for potential infections. The most important part of the entire process, though, is following the proper post-op instructions.
The medical staff will indicate exactly what patients should do during the hours and days that follow after the surgery. They’ll usually detail whether or not you should brush or floss certain areas in the mouth, which foods and drinks are allowed, and how frequently you should apply ice packs to the affected area.
Dealing with the Risks of Oral Surgery
Odontophobia, the fear of dentists, is quite common. And, when patients learn that they need oral surgery, they tend to get even more scared of scheduling an appointment. But, even with quite a few possible oral surgery complications, patients need to understand that undergoing surgery can be the most important part of a long-term treatment.
Get in touch if you have any doubts surrounding oral surgical interventions. We’re more than happy to provide all the guidance you need!