Types of Oral Surgery and What to Expect

March 10, 2021 | Dental Surgery

Oral surgery can be daunting for a dental patient. Knowing what to expect from your upcoming oral surgery, however, can help put your mind at ease and relinquish unfounded fears. If you have questions about a specific oral surgery that are not answered here, please contact Dental on Central to speak to a friendly and knowledgeable representative.

Root Canal

A root canal is a common procedure to preserve a damaged tooth. A root canal may be necessary if there is a severe infection on the inside of the tooth, infecting the pulp and the nerve. Your mouth will be anesthetized during a root canal so you will not feel any pain.

The dentist will remove the decayed area of the tooth, clean it out and flush away any remaining debris with water or sodium hypochlorite. Then, you will receive a filling to seal the tooth. Most dentists can complete root canals within 30 minutes to an hour, although you may need to return for a second appointment for the filling.

Although root canals have bad reputations, they are fast and relatively painless. Most patients can immediately return to work or their daily activities after a root canal, although the mouth will be numb for a few hours.

Tooth Extraction (and Wisdom Teeth Removal)

You may need a tooth extracted if it is damaged by disease or trauma, or if you have an overcrowded mouth. One common tooth extraction surgery is the removal of wisdom teeth.

When you go in for tooth extraction, a dentist or oral surgeon will place you under either local, general or intravenous anesthesia depending on the complexity of your case. You may be awake and numb during the procedure, or unconscious.

The dentist will remove the tooth using either forceps or surgical extraction, depending on the case. You may need to attend a follow-up surgery for a dental implant to fill the gap later, if desired.

Impacted Tooth

An impacted tooth means the tooth is trapped between the jawbone and the gum tissues. This can result in pain, swelling and infection, especially in impacted wisdom teeth. This dental problem requires oral surgery to remedy.

A dentist will remove an impacted tooth the same way he or she extracts other teeth. However, the use of general anesthesia and surgical removal is more likely with a tooth that is impacted due to complications involving the surrounding nerves and tissues.

Dental Implants

A dental implant replaces a lost tooth with a prosthetic that is attached to the jawbone for maximum strength, durability and functionality. The procedure for a dental implant starts with placing a tooth root implant (a small titanium post) into the bone socket. You will then wait several weeks for the post to osseointegrate into your jawbone.

On your follow-up appointment, a dentist will attach a connector post, make impressions of your teeth, create the replacement tooth and attach it to the post. Due to the use of anesthesia during the procedure, most patients report that dental implant procedures come with very little pain and discomfort.


A dental implant surgery falls under the category of prosthodontics. Prosthodontics is an aesthetic area of dental practice, although prosthetics can also help restore the functionality of the mouth. Other procedures within prosthodontics are crowns, veneers and bridges. Most oral surgeries for prosthetics follow the same or similar steps as dental implants.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

These describe complex types of oral surgeries, performed by specialists. They can include corrective surgery performed on the jaw, bone augmentation and nerve repositioning prior to prosthetic implantation, maxillofacial dental implants, and dentoalveolar surgery. These surgeries typically use general anesthesia, so you will not feel or remember anything during the procedure. The exact procedure will depend on the type of surgery necessary.

For more information about an upcoming oral surgery, including how to prepare for your appointment, consult with a dentist today.