Oral Surgery FAQ

Here at Eastern Shore Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery Center, we are dedicated to helping you understand your oral health needs and treatment recommendations. Our dentist and team have provided this page of answers to frequently asked questions to help you learn more about oral surgery in Fairhope, Alabama. If you have additional questions or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Richard Cordero, please contact our team at 251-333-1700.

What is an Oral Surgeon?
An oral surgeon is dental professional who specializes in the treatment of disease associated with the jaws, teeth, mouth and face. The services provided by an oral surgeon vary from simple tooth extractions to jaw reconstructive surgery. Some oral surgeons go to medical school, then residency to further develop their education and skills.
Can my procedure be performed by a dentist or an oral surgeon?
This depends on the procedure and the dentist. Oral surgeons have extensive training far beyond dental school. This allows them to perform more complex procedures in a more comfortable fashion. You should discuss this with your general dentist.
Do I need a consultation before my treatment?
In general, a consult is required for patients undergoing anesthesia and in some instances your insurance requires a consultation or a predetermination. In some instances, we are able to accommodate consults and surgeries on a single visit. However, a patient’s medical history, type of insurance or the type of procedure may require a consultation first.
Will my dental insurance cover my oral surgery?
Many oral surgery procedures are covered by dental insurances; however, it really does depend on the procedure and your specific insurance policy. The best thing to do is to get a pre-estimate of the procedure from your oral surgeon’s office. Our office is contracted with several insurance companies, for a list of insurances we are in network with please contact our office.
Do I need to be under anesthesia?
Although anesthesia is not required for every oral surgery procedure, your surgeon may recommend it. The degree of difficulty or anxiety level will help the surgeon determine if anesthesia is needed. If you have any concerns about being under anesthesia during a procedure, discuss your options with your oral surgeon. It may be possible to only use a local anesthetic to numb the area instead of general anesthesia. However, if there is an infection or abscess in the area, there is a good chance the area will not be able to get numb.
How long will my surgery last?
Oral surgery time length is based on the individual procedure. For more information, please ask our office for more information regarding your surgery.
How long should I keep pressure on the gauze?
Try to keep the gauze in place over your surgery site for at least 30 minutes after you get home, biting down on the gauze with firm pressure. When you gently remove the gauze, if bright red blood comes from the surgery site, place a new, clean piece of gauze back over the site and bite down for 30 minutes. Continue this process until you only see a pink tint to the gauze. You may experience this tint to your saliva for a couple days.
How long is my recovery from oral surgery?
While the complete process may take a few weeks, the post oral surgery recovery period is relatively short. Our office recommends to rest 2-3 days after your surgery, avoid any physical or strenuous activities , however you will get more detailed instructions based on your particular procedure.
How long does the pain last after oral surgery?
Many patients biggest fear about oral surgery is the pain after the surgery. How much pain you can expect after surgery depends on the how extensive the procedure you had done. For extractions, day 3-4 are the typically the hardest when the pain level might increase more on those days than previous days. After the first 4 days you pain will improve gradually, but if you are concerned, please contact the office.
What kind of foods can I eat after my oral surgery?
On the day of the surgery, soft foods are recommended, such as applesauce, cottage cheese, yogurt, broth, soft pastas and mashed potatoes. It’s best to avoid crunch foods such as popcorn, nuts and chips. If you had dental implants placed, please avoid chew hard foods with the implant area for 3 months or the healing of the implant may be compromised.
What should I do if the pain medication is not helping after my wisdom tooth removal?
The best regimen for acute pain control after wisdom tooth removal is non-narcotic pain medications, specifically Ibuprofen and Tylenol combination. Please follow the post operative instructions you were given after your surgery appointment. By following these instructions will reduce the pain and swelling in the area and less likelihood of having to use narcotic medications for pain control. Please follow the regimen whether you are having pain or not. This will assure that you are always ahead of the pain and not catching up.
What is a “Dry Socket” and how do I know if I have one?
The term “dry socket” refers to a condition called alveolar osteitis or premature breakdown of the blood clot present in an extraction site. Smoking, poor oral hygiene and over excursion in the post operative period can contribute to this condition, but sometimes there is no obvious cause. Typically, “dry socket” presents itself 3-5 days after surgery with increased pain, foul odor or taste, and bad breath. This condition is very easily treatable and requires that we wash out the socket and place medication dressing, which provides pain relief usually within an hour after placement. If you are experiencing symptoms of a “dry socket” the best solution is to call our office.