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Medically reviewed by Dr Jerry Jesin — By Andrea Galick

Dental Surgery 101

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Your dentist tells you that it's time to undergo some form of dental surgery. What does that mean? You have a lot of questions and the dentist has the answers. Here are some of the fundamentals you should understand about dental procedures and why you should not delay them.

Understanding the Basic Types

Dental procedures may be performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis. This means some of them can be done in a clinic and you can go home the same day. Others will require you to remain in a facility for a day or two. Your dentist will always talk with you about how long you should plan remaining under the direct care of a medical staff.

What are the types of dental surgery? There are several that may apply to you. Prosthodontic procedures have to do with installing some type of dental prosthetic like veneers or crowns. They can also involve installing bridges that take the place of teeth you’ve lost.

An orthodontic treatment could involve teeth extractions and installing individual dental implants in the empty sockets. An All on Four implant procedure would involve sinking the supporting implants into the bone and attaching a dental plate.

Periodontics treatments focus on dealing with conditions that have compromised gum tissue and could cause problems with the teeth. If you have been in some type of accident and damaged the teeth and lower face, oral and maxillofacial surgery may be necessary to restore the teeth and the jaw line.

How Does the Dental Professional Determine What Needs to Be Done?

Your dental professional will evaluate your condition carefully before recommending a procedure or a series of procedures. In some cases, there may be more than one solution that would work. If this is the case, the professional will talk with you about each of the possible approaches, the benefits associated with each, and the risks involved. The goal is to ensure you know what to expect in terms of an outcome. Once you understand your options and choose the right solutions, the dental professional will prepare an oral surgery procedures list and ensure that all the arrangements for your dental surgery are made.

How is the Expense Covered?

So how much does it cost for dental surgery? What are your payment options? There are several that you will want to consider.

If you have dental insurance, always find out of the procedure or series of procedures are covered in the terms and conditions. This will you determine if the policy will cover most of the cost and make it easier to project how much you will pay out of pocket.

People who do not have dental insurance but do have health savings accounts should check and see if those funds can be used to cover part of all of the dental work. This approach will also keep your out of pocket expenses relatively low.

You can also apply for loans from medical lenders. Many will offer loans to cover the cost of any type of dental surgery. The payment plans used to settle the loans are usually easy to fit into the budget and may even come with a rate of interest that keeps the total dental surgery cost a little lower.

What Should I Do Prior to the Surgery?

There are definitely ways you can prepare for the dental surgery. One of the first things you want to do is go over any prescription or over the counter medications that you take with the surgical team. If you also take nutritional supplements of any kind, it also helps to mention those. The goal is to determine if you are taking anything that has a slightly sedative effect or that would cause your blood to thin. Depending on what you are taking, it may be necessary to discontinue the use for at least a day or two before you undergo the dental surgery in Toronto, Ontario.

Remember to arrange for someone to transport you to and from the procedure. If the dental professional plans on preparing a subscription for pain that you will take after the surgery, see if you can have it filled in advance. You also want to buy any foods or beverages that the dental team recommends for your recovery period. All these preparations ensures you can focus more on the recovery and less on dealing with details.

Will I Be Sedated?

Some forms of dental surgery require nothing more than administering a local anesthetic. Others will mean receiving some form of sedation. With the latter, you may or may not be unconscious. If the procedure would require you to still be able to respond to simple questions with a nod of the head or to move slightly when requested, the sedation will be lighter. If a response on your part is not necessary or the damage that the surgery is intended to repair is significant, you may be fully a sleep.

Your dental professional will be happy to talk with you about sedation and what to expect. Most people remember nothing about the actual procedure even if they are only lightly sedated. The right approach will definitely ensure you are not aware of any pain. See the use of sedation as one of the factors related to the overall dental surgery cost that provides an immediate benefit.

How About After the Procedure?

Once the procedure is over, expect the surgical team to monitor your vital signs for a period of time. They will also take the steps necessary to gradually restore you to consciousness. Even so, you will still be somewhat groggy for a time. That’s one of the reasons why you want someone on hand to take you home.

In the days following the dental surgery, follow the instructions provided to the letter. That includes not attempting to chew anything that’s not on an approved list, take your pain medication according to the instructions, and apply ice to help keep the swelling at bay.

If you do notice anything that seems outside of what the dental team told you to expect, report it immediately. This will provide them with the chance to deal with any infection or other issue that may arise.

Is Dental Surgery Risky?

Is dental surgery dangerous? Any type of surgery involves some risk. The nice thing about most dental procedures is that they are among the safest types of surgery one can imagine. From the preparation to the actual procedure and even through the recovery period, it’s important to follow the instructions provided. Doing so helps to keep the risk at a minimum and increases the odds that your recovery will advance without any complications.

Do you have other questions about dental surgery? Your dental professional will be happy to help. Once you understand what will be done, the things you can do to prepare, and what the recovery will involve, it will be a lot easier to relax and look forward to all the benefits that the surgery will bring.

At Smile By Design Clinic, your safety and well-being are our top priorities. We understand that dental surgery can raise questions and concerns, and we're here to provide you peace of mind.

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.


North York Smile Centre
5 Park Home Ave #130,
North York,
ON M2N 6L4