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Extractions and Other Oral Surgeries

Dentoalveolar Surgeries

Dentoalveolar surgeries are the procedures most often performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. These are a group of procedures that involve adding, reshaping or removing hard and soft tissues supporting teeth.  

Types of dentoalveolar surgeries include: 

  • Extraction of a tooth (such as removal of wisdom teeth
  • Complicated tooth extractions (such as impacted teeth) 
  • Removal of noncancerous lesions, tumor or cysts 
  • Recontouring or enhancement of the alveolar bone to support placement of a dental implant  
  • Preparing gum and bone for implant, crown or denture placement 
  • Exposure of teeth for orthodontics 

An OMS may perform dentoalveolar surgery to manage: 

  • Odontogenic infections (infections that originate in or around the tooth) 
  • Periradicular pathologies (pathologies around the root of the tooth) 
  • Erupted, unerupted or impacted teeth 
  • Third molars (wisdom teeth) 

Although extracting one or more teeth is the most common dentoalveolar surgery, any surgery that manages or treats the conditions listed above is known as a dentoalveolar procedure. Dentoalveolar surgery may be performed to eliminate acute or chronic infection, limit or eliminate pain, restore anatomical form or chewing ability, aid in other restorative procedures or remove an existing pathology. 

Preparing for Dentoalveolar Surgery 

Patients should follow their OMS’s instructions to prepare for dentoalveolar surgery. In most cases, patients should: 

  • Bring a list of all medications.  
  • Ensure they have soft foods to eat during recovery
  • Make arrangements for care with family or friends. 
  • Prepare a recovery bed, couch or recliner. 
  • Select comfortable clothes for the day of the surgery. 
  • Follow the OMS’s instructions about eating or drinking before the procedure. 
  • Discuss any potential questions or worries with the OMS.  

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Last updated April 2020

The information provided here is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or dental advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is provided to help you communicate effectively when you seek the advice of your oral and maxillofacial surgeon.