What complications might there be with oral surgery?

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Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Typical complications from oral surgery can range from infections, swelling, bruising and prolonged bleeding to damage to the neighboring teeth, trismus (lockjaw), non-bony healing, and other conditions.
If you are having extensive oral surgery, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection. To help the healing process, keep your blood glucose levels under control before, during and after surgery.

Since diabetes compromises your immune system, you may be prone to developing fungal infections. Symptoms include painful sores and difficulty swallowing. If you develop a fungal infection, see your dentist.
Stacy A. Geisler, DDS
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Patients having routine oral surgery should expect to encounter mild swelling of the face, minimal bruising and some discomfort following their procedure. Fortunately, a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon can minimize all of these complications by their surgical technique and experience. Medications can also be given which reduce the likelihood of swelling, nausea and pain following surgery. Be sure and discuss your fears and concerns related to post-operative complications with your surgeon prior to your scheduled procedure so that an action plan can be developed. Preparation helps in healing and will make for a positive post-operative experience.

Patients having complex oral/maxillofacial surgical procedures may experience numbness of the lip, tongue and/or chin which may be permanent, prolonged bleeding, infections and/or need for additional procedures. Another complication, dry socket, can also occur. Again, the skill of the surgeon matters in minimizing complications following surgery. Advances in imaging techniques such as the use of CT scans helps in identifying patients at risk of nerve injury due to anatomy. Antibiotics help with prevention of post-operative infection and special tests can determine if there will be problems with bleeding. Again, make sure and discuss your concerns with your oral surgeon prior to your procedure. Make sure that all your questions are answered to your satisfaction prior to your surgical appointment. If you are uncomfortable, seek a second opinion.
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Poorly controlled diabetics are at increased risk of infection and delayed healing. These risks are minimised by good self care and professional help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.