Oral Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

Oral surgery refers to any surgical procedure that is performed on the mouth, teeth, jaw, and face. These procedures are typically performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons who have specialized training in surgery of the mouth and face. Oral surgery can range from simple tooth extractions to more complex procedures such as jaw reconstruction. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about oral surgery, including the types of procedures performed, the benefits and risks, and what to expect before, during, and after surgery.

Types of Oral Surgery Procedures

  1. Tooth extractions
  2. Dental implants
  3. Jaw surgery
  4. Wisdom teeth removal
  5. Biopsy of oral tissues
  6. Treatment of jaw deformities
  7. Cleft lip and palate repair
  8. Removal of oral tumors
  9. Reconstruction of the jaw
  10. Treatment of facial injuries

Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions are one of the most common types of oral surgery procedures. They are usually performed to remove a tooth that is causing pain, infection, or other complications. The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia and can be completed in a single visit.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are used to replace missing teeth. They are a popular alternative to dentures or bridges and are surgically implanted into the jawbone. The procedure requires multiple visits over several months to allow the implant to fuse with the bone before attaching the replacement tooth.

Jaw Surgery

Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a corrective procedure that is used to treat a variety of conditions, including malocclusion (misaligned teeth), TMJ disorders, and sleep apnea. The procedure involves cutting and repositioning the jawbone to improve its alignment and function.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically emerge in the late teenage years or early 20s. Many people do not have enough room in their mouth to accommodate these teeth, which can lead to pain, infection, and other complications. Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure that is typically done under local or general anesthesia.

Biopsy of Oral Tissues

A biopsy of oral tissues may be recommended if there is a suspicious lesion or abnormality in the mouth that requires further examination. The procedure involves removing a small sample of tissue for laboratory analysis.

Treatment of Jaw Deformities

Jaw deformities can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, injury, and birth defects. Treatment may involve orthodontic appliances or surgical procedures to correct the alignment and function of the jaw.

Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

Cleft lip and palate are birth defects that occur when the tissues that form the roof of the mouth and upper lip do not fuse properly during fetal development. Surgery is often required to repair these defects and restore normal function and appearance.

Removal of Oral Tumors

Oral tumors may be benign or malignant and can occur in any part of the mouth. Surgery is often required to remove the tumor and prevent further spread.

Reconstruction of the Jaw

Reconstruction of the jaw may be necessary after a traumatic injury or as a result of a congenital defect. The procedure involves replacing missing or damaged bone with grafts from other parts of the body.

Treatment of Facial Injuries

Facial injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe fractures and dislocations. Oral surgeons are often called upon to repair these injuries and restore normal function and appearance.

Benefits and Risks of Oral Surgery

As with any surgical procedure, there are both benefits and risks associated with oral surgery. The benefits may include improved oral health, relief from pain and discomfort

, and improved function of the mouth and jaw. However, there are also risks involved, including bleeding, infection, nerve damage, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.

Before undergoing oral surgery, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your oral surgeon and to follow all pre-operative instructions to ensure a successful outcome.

What to Expect Before, During, and After Surgery

Before surgery, your oral surgeon will conduct a thorough examination and may order imaging tests to assess the condition of your mouth, teeth, jaw, and face. You will also be given specific instructions to follow before the procedure, such as avoiding food and drink for a certain period of time before surgery.

During the surgery, you will be given anesthesia to ensure your comfort and safety. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the complexity of the procedure and your individual needs.

After surgery, you will be given specific instructions for post-operative care, including how to care for the surgical site, what to eat and drink, and how to manage pain and swelling. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications.


Oral surgery is a specialized field that encompasses a wide range of procedures, from simple tooth extractions to complex jaw reconstruction. If you are considering oral surgery, it is important to work with a qualified and experienced oral surgeon to ensure a successful outcome. By understanding the types of procedures available, the benefits and risks involved, and what to expect before, during, and after surgery, you can make an informed decision about your oral health and well-being.



  1. Is oral surgery painful?
  • Oral surgery can be uncomfortable, but anesthesia is used to ensure your comfort during the procedure. Your oral surgeon will also provide medication to manage pain and discomfort after surgery.
  1. How long does it take to recover from oral surgery?
  • Recovery time depends on the type of procedure and your individual needs. Most people can return to work or school within a few days to a week after surgery.
  1. Are there any foods I should avoid after oral surgery?
  • You should avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods for a few days after surgery to prevent damage to the surgical site. Your oral surgeon will provide specific instructions for post-operative care.
  1. Will I need to take time off work or school after oral surgery?
  • Depending on the type of procedure, you may need to take a few days off work or school to allow for proper healing and recovery.
  1. Is oral surgery covered by insurance?
  • Oral surgery may be covered by your dental or medical insurance, depending on the type of procedure and your individual policy. It is important to check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage.