Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give us a call and our team at South Pasadena Oral Surgery will be happy to assist you.
How much will my surgery cost?
Every person is unique, and so are their teeth. The only way to get an accurate cost for your particular treatment, is to come in for a consultation. At your consultation appointment, you will get a detailed breakdown of the fees associated with your procedure as well as an estimate of insurance coverage.
I have insurance, do I still have to pay for my surgery?
Payment is expected when services are provided. If you carry insurance, we will bill the insurance on your behalf.
In most cases, insurance companies pay a portion of your dental procedures. We do our best to provide you with an estimate of insurance coverage and ask you to pay for your "Co-pay" at the time the services are rendered.
In some instances, an insurance company may pay less than we estimated. In that situation, you will receive a bill for the balance that was not covered by the insurance.
Additionally, an insurance company may pay more than we estimated. That will result in a refund for you.
Do I need to be referred to your office in order to make an appointment?
No, a referral is not required to make an appointment, however, if you were referred by your general dentist, please bring all x-rays or referrals that were given to you.
Can I be asleep for my surgery?
Yes! We offer general anesthesia, or conscience sedation, to most patients. If you are having a large procedure or a small procedure and are very nervous, general anesthesia will provide a comfortable and relaxing experience.
How long do I have to wait before I can eat after my surgery?
Most patients can eat soft, cold food a few hours after their surgery. It is normal to have numbness for a few hours, so it is always a good idea to eat foods that do not require any chewing until all of the numbness wears off.
Bleeding is also very normal after a surgery, especially an extraction of a tooth. Cold foods and drinks will help lessen any bleeding.
How long will it take for me to heal after my surgery?
Healing times vary depending on the surgery that was performed. Additionally, every person heals at different rates as well as every surgery site can heal at a different rate.
At your surgery appointment, you will be given prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics. These medications will help you feel better during your healing time.
It's been a few hours since my surgery and I'm still bleeding.
It is common to have bleeding after a dental surgery, especially an extraction of a tooth. You will be given gauze to bite down on to place pressure on the surgery site or extraction socket. This gauze can be changed every 1-2 hours, or as necessary and will only need to be used for the first day.
It is recommended to have plenty of cold foods and drinks for the first 24 hours after a surgery. The cold food and drinks will help any bleeding stop faster. You will be given a sheet of post operative care instructions at your surgery appointment that will give you more detailed ways of caring for your surgery site.
It is normal to have some spotting of blood from the surgery site after eating or brushing teeth for the first week or two. Any abnormal amount of bleeding after 24 hours should be reported to our office immediately.
I wear a retainer. When can I start wearing it again after my extractions?
A retainer can be worn again 24 hours after any extraction so long as it is not causing any discomfort. In some instances, your retainer may not fit properly after having extractions. If this is your case, a visit to your orthodontist for a retainer adjustment will be necessary.
What mouthwash should I use after my surgery?
We do not recommend using any mouthwash for the first week after an oral surgery procedure, however, If you are interested in using mouthwash, we recommend using a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol. Any strong tasting mouthwashes may irritated your surgery site and cause stinging.
Rinsing with warm salt water a few times a day will help your gums heal quickly and will not cause any irritation to the surgery sites.
For some patients, a medicated mouthwash is prescribed. Please use this mouthwash as directed on the prescription label.
I just had a surgery on my mouth, can I still brush my teeth?
Yes, brushing, flossing and keeping your mouth clean is important at all times. A healthy, clean mouth heals quickly.
Brushing can be completed with or without toothpaste for the first day after a surgery. After the first day, you can start using toothpaste. Make sure to not brush over the surgery site, as this may cause some bleeding.
Strong tasting mouthwash or mouthwashes that contain alcohol, may cause some stinging. Rinsing with warn salt water will help your gums feel better and will not irritate the surgery sites during healing.
I felt stitches in my mouth after my surgery, but I don't feel them anymore.
Some patients require sutures, or stitches, in the surgery sites during healing. Most sutures are made to dissolve after a few days. This may be the reason why you are no longer feeling them in your mouth. If sutures are still in place at your one week follow up visit, they will be removed.
My face is swollen, when will it go away?
Expect swelling to start improving by the end of the second post operative day.
Swelling is normal after any oral surgery procedure. Placing an ice pack on your face in 20 minute intervals is recommended for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, moist heat is recommended. When lying down, placing a few pillows under your head to elevate yourself is also recommended for the first three days.
If swelling increases rather than decreases after three days, call our office immediately.
I want to be asleep for my surgery, do I need to prepare in any way?
For those patients who are having their surgeries under general anesthesia, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Do not have anything to eat to drink, not even water, for 6 hours before your appointment.
However, it is critical to take any prescribed medications with a minimal amount of water, even if it is within 6 hours before your surgery.
You will also need to have someone who will drive you home after your surgery. We will not release you to any taxi or bus and you cannot walk home.
It is also a good idea to have someone stay with you until you are feeling awake and alert. It is normal to feel drowsy or sleep for a few hours after having general anesthesia
I had my wisdom teeth extracted a few days ago and my mouth is still numb.
Numbness can linger for a few days up to a few months after extraction of a lower tooth. If there is swelling, the nerve that provides feeling to your lips, gums, cheek and tongue can remain compressed, resulting in prolonged numbness. Once the swelling deceases, the numbness should also decrease.
If the numbness is due to nerve involvement during the extraction, it may last for a few months. Very rarely can this numbness be permanent. This is considered a risk with any extraction of teeth that extend to the inferior alveolar nerve, but especially with lower wisdom teeth. If you are at high risk for this complication, it will be discussed with you during your consultation.
I didn't have any pain after my extraction. It's been a few days and now I'm in a lot of pain.
The first three days after an extraction of a tooth, your body produces a blood clot to protect the bone and nerve. If this blood clot does not form properly or is dislodged, it will result in what is called alveolitis, or dry socket.
A dry socket is very painful and generally pain medications do not relieve this pain. If this has occurred, a dressing will be placed inside of the socket to help with the pain and discomfort and will need to be replaced every few days until the pain has decreased.
To avoid getting a dry socket, we ask that you do not cause any negative pressure in your mouth for the first three days. Avoid rinsing vigorously, smoking or drinking through straws.