Oral Surgery

Dr. Patrick has gained invaluable experience in oral surgical procedures during his career in the Army. He has been able to learn from some of the best oral surgeons in the military. He has removed thousands of teeth, including impacted third molars. Dr. Patrick believes in achieving optimal patient comfort, and therefore offers a variety of sedation options.

Why do teeth need to be extracted?

Certain circumstances necessitate the extraction of a tooth — for example, decay, infection, or trauma that has damaged the tooth beyond repair. If you find yourself needing a tooth extraction, rest assured that Dr. Patrick will expertly handle your case. He and his knowledgeable staff will patiently answer all of your questions and address any anxiety that you feel about the tooth extraction procedure. Dr. Patrick is very skilled at removing teeth as gently and atraumatically as possible. After your tooth has been extracted, you may want to replace it with a beautiful dental restoration, such as a dental implant or a dental bridge.

What are wisdom teeth and why do they need to be removed?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars to “erupt” (i.e., grow in to the back of the mouth), usually appearing in the late teen years. Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed; some can grow in normally and with enough space to thrive. Often, however, they fail to erupt properly because of their angle of entry, or because the jaw does not have enough room to accommodate them. It’s not uncommon for a wisdom tooth to become impacted, swollen and painful. Impacted wisdom teeth must be removed by Dr. Patrick before they put you at risk of gum disease, tooth decay or infection. Wisdom tooth removal with Dr. Patrick is a smooth and generally complication-free experience.

What should I expect during my tooth extraction appointment?

Dr. Patrick is highly experienced with the simple tooth extraction as well as complex cases where teeth are impacted in the bone. He uses X-rays and other diagnostic tools to examine the teeth and surrounding bone, and determine the complexity of the procedure.

The mouth will be completely numbed during the tooth extraction for the comfort of the patient and sedation medications may also be administered. The gum tissue will be gently pushed back, the tooth will be loosened and then removed from its socket. Dr. Patrick may need to smooth and recontour the underlying bone, or add bone, depending on the case, but this is not typical. The surgical area will be closed with a stitch. Stitches may be absorbable and disintegrate on their own, or the patient may need to visit Dr. Patrick’s office after the area has healed for the removal of the stitches. If the patient received an oral sedative medication prior to surgery, he or she will need to be escorted home by a loved one after the procedure. If nitrous oxide was used, the patient can usually drive themselves home.

What do I do to take care of my mouth after an extraction?

Dr. Patrick and his staff will provide detailed post-operative instructions, but here are some general guidelines:

  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco for several days following tooth extraction
  • Avoid rinsing the mouth rigorously
  • Avoid drinking hot liquids
  • Avoid drinking through a straw
  • Keep the extraction site clean
  • Take the prescribed medications to ease any discomfort and prevent infection
  • Contact Dr. Patrick immediately if severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever occurs

What is dry socket?

One of the notorious complications of tooth extraction is called dry socket. This occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket after the tooth has been extracted, or the blood clot that has formed becomes dislodged, leaving the socket exposed to air and food particles. Dry socket is more often associated with people over 30, those who have poor oral hygiene habits, smokers and people who have their lower wisdom teeth removed. Increase in discomfort on the 3rd or 4th day accompanied with foul taste or smell are symptoms associated with dry socket. These symptoms will resolve with time but Dr Patrick may place a medicament on a resorbable gel into the socket to relive pain.