Have you been thinking that you might need oral surgery? Oral surgery is a treatment option used to address a variety of oral health problems, such as tooth decay, trauma to the teeth or the jaw, missing teeth, misaligned jaws, and oral cancer. Most procedures require that the patients is put under general anesthesia, to limit the amount of discomfort.
At your oral surgery consultation, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and talk to your dentist about whether oral surgery would be the best option for you. The decision to seek oral surgery should always be made in close consultation with your dentist and based on the empirical evidence from your exam results.
If it’s your first time with this particular provider, you will need to do more preparation before your appointment to make the most of your time together. Your dentist will ask you questions regarding your dental and medical history, so it’s important to bring any relevant documentation to your appointment.
If you have ever undergone dental surgery in the past, you should bring the records so that your dentist will know exactly what was done and why. Even if you haven’t had surgery, you should come prepared to answer questions about any other dental procedures (crowns, fillings, etc) and the last time you visited a dentist for a routine cleaning.
If you don’t know or you aren’t sure, let your dentist know this. Sometimes it is impossible to provide accurate information about your history due to life changes or lost records, but your dentist needs to ask so that all relevant factors are taken into consideration.
You should also come ready to tell your dentist about any medical conditions you may have, as well as the specific details of the medications you are currently taking. For example, you should be able to answer questions about the dosage, often measured in milligrams, and frequency.
It is very important to tell your dentist about any medications and honestly answer the questions about alcohol and smoking habits. This information will be used by your dentist to plan for a safe oral surgery procedure. Remember, all information shared at a doctor or dentist’s office is privileged and confidential under US law.
At an oral surgery consultation, your dentist will do four things:
A physical examination will typically involve a visual check of your mouth and the surrounding structures. The dentist will ask questions about when the pain started and where you feel it most. This will also be an opportunity for the dentist to evaluate your overall oral health: an important step to ensure that all contributing problems are being addressed through treatment. Your current oral health can also affect your eligibility for different treatments. For example, severe gum recession would make it impossible to receive a dental implant until you have a bone graft.
You should not expect to receive a definitive diagnosis about whether you are eligible for surgery during this first consultation. The decision for oral surgery, like any surgery, must be backed up by findings from radiographs and/or other exams. It is most likely that your dentist will ask you to do testing after your consultation in order to determine and/or confirm a diagnosis as well as to provide more specific information about the location of the problem, which helps to enhance surgical precision.
If your dentist orders tests, you should try to schedule them as soon as possible if you’d like to expedite your diagnostic process. Ask the person administering the test when it will be ready so that you can schedule a meeting with your dentist after that date. At your follow-up appointment, you can expect to receive more definitive answers about a treatment plan.
If you are seeking quality and affordability in oral surgery, we encourage you to schedule an oral surgery consultation at Penn Dental Medicine. We are a teaching practice that operates in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Our school is committed to providing comprehensive, patient-centered dental care. Because we are an educational institution, we are able to provide services at reduced cost for our patients. The fees we charge cover our operating costs and services.
During your first consultation at Penn Dental Medicine, you will be evaluated by a faculty dentist to determine your eligibility for our program. An oral cancer examination will be completed and radiographs may also be taken. If you are eligible to participate, you will be assigned to a student dentist for treatment. All treatment is overseen by our experienced faculty professionals to guarantee the highest quality of care. Please note that this may result in longer treatment lengths as compared to that in private dental practices.
If you’d like to explore the possibility of receiving oral surgery for a discounted price at Penn Dental Medicine, please schedule your appointment by calling us at 215-898-8965.