What is an oral surgeon?
An oral surgeon is a specialist surgeon who has completed a five year dental degree and then undertaken a further three years of specialist training in oral surgery. This recognised speciality of dentistry involves hard and soft tissue surgery of the mouth and jaws. Common procedures include removal of teeth, removal of wisdom teeth, exposures of eye teeth, placement of implants, bone grafting, and removal of cysts or biopsies of tissue in the mouth.
Dentists also carry out extractions but you may be referred to an oral surgeon if the tooth is badly broken down or buried, if you need sedation, or any other type of complex surgery.
Depending on the complexity of the case, surgery can be carried out under local anaesthetic - with or without sedation.
Why do some people need their wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth may need to be removed if they are partially erupted and causing infection, if there is decay in the wisdom tooth or the tooth beside it, if there is any pathology present or if they are part of a larger dental or orthodontic treatment plan.
What is sedation?
Sedation is a process where a drug is given in an intra-venous form to relax and calm a patient. One of the effects of the sedative drug used (midazolam, a benzodiazepine) is that the patient may not remember the full operation, and they will also feel quite drowsy. This makes longer and more complex procedures more comfortable for the patient. It is also a very safe method of relaxation. It is not the same as a general anaesthetic.
Instructions for sedation
Eat your breakfast or lunch as normal on the day of the procedure.
Take all routine medications as normal on the day of the procedure (unless instructed not to by the surgeon).
Please remove all nail varnish from fingers.
An escort must be available to take the patient home (by car - public transport is not allowed) and stay with them for twenty four hours.
Sedation will NOT be undertaken if there is no escort available.
The sedated patient must NOT cook, drive, operate heavy machinery, sign legal documents etc., in the twenty four hours after the procedure.
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