oral surgery Richmond, Indiana

Oral Surgery Complications: Avoiding Postoperative Problems

Are you scheduled to have oral surgery in Richmond, Indiana? As with all surgeries, oral and maxillofacial procedures carry a risk of complications. Whether you’re coming in for a tooth extraction, bone grafting or some other type of surgery, you need to know what to expect.

At Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we believe in helping our patients feel comfortable with their treatment plans. To that end, we’re sharing information on the complications that can occur after oral surgery and advice on how to reduce the chance of postoperative problems.

oral surgery Richmond, Indiana

Common Aftereffects of Oral Surgery

The anesthesia used for your procedure will wear off gradually, and as it does, you’ll begin to feel some soreness. How much discomfort and how long it lasts will depend upon the nature of your surgery.

Some bleeding at the surgical site is normal, but for most patients, the bleeding stops within eight hours. As your oral surgeon will no doubt mention, applying pressure by biting down on a gauze pad can help.

Swelling is another common aftereffect of oral and maxillofacial surgery, and it may last for several days. You might also notice some bruising around the surgical site, either immediately or after the swelling starts to go down.

Rare Oral Surgery Complications

Infections after oral and maxillofacial procedures are rare. Diabetics and people with compromised immune systems are at a greater risk of infection, but oral surgeons often prescribe antibiotics as a preventive measure. The signs of an infection include persistent pain, increased swelling, oozing at the surgical site, fever and excessive bleeding.

Another uncommon complication is a reaction to anesthesia, which typically lasts no longer than 24 hours. Symptoms are generally mild and may include muscle aches, itching, nausea and vomiting.

For patients undergoing a tooth extraction, dry socket is a possible complication. This painful condition develops when the blood clot that protects the surgical site is dislodged. In most cases, dry socket is identifiable by worsening pain in the days following tooth extraction.

A perforation or exposure of the sinus cavity membrane, known as a sinus exposure, can also occur with some oral and maxillofacial procedures. Unusual drainage, bleeding and sinus pain are indicators of this postoperative problem.

Can You Prevent Complications After Oral Surgery?

No oral surgeon in Richmond, Indiana, or elsewhere can guarantee that you won’t suffer any complications — but you can take steps to minimize your risk. At Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we tell our oral surgery patients to:

  • Take medication as prescribed
  • Refrain from using tobacco products
  • Forgo alcoholic beverages
  • Steer clear of drinking straws
  • Stick to a liquid or soft diet

Above all, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions and keep your follow-up appointment — by doing so, you’ll greatly reduce the likelihood of postoperative complications. And before your procedure, be sure to talk to your surgeon about your risk factors and how to give yourself the best chance at an easy, problem-free recovery.

For more information — or to schedule an appointment to discuss oral surgery at our Richmond, Indiana, office — contact us today.