Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery

Oral surgery refers to any surgical procedure performed in or around the mouth and jaw, usually by a dental specialist trained in surgery. This specialty focuses on diagnosing and treating a wide range of conditions affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions. Oral surgery encompasses various procedures, from simple tooth extractions to complex reconstructive surgeries.

Types of Oral Surgery

Oral surgery encompasses a wide range of invasive procedures, each designed to address specific dental and oral health issues. Here are some of the most common types of oral surgery performed at Woodard Family Dentistry:

Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions are one of the most common oral surgeries. This procedure involves the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. There are two main types of extractions:

  • Simple extractions: These are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth. They are usually done under local anesthesia and involve loosening the tooth with an instrument called an elevator and removing it with forceps.
  • Surgical extractions: These are more complex and are required when the tooth is not easily accessible, such as when it has broken off at the gum line or has not fully erupted. Surgical extractions often involve making an incision in the gum and may require removing some bone around the tooth.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last set of teeth to develop. They often cause problems because there is not enough room in the mouth for them to emerge properly. Wisdom teeth can become impacted, meaning they are trapped in the jawbone or gums, leading to pain, infection, and other complications. Removing wisdom teeth is a common oral surgery to prevent or alleviate these issues.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for replacing missing teeth. The procedure involves placing a titanium post into the jawbone, which acts as an artificial tooth root. Once the implant is integrated with the bone, a crown is attached to provide a natural-looking and functional replacement tooth. Dental implant surgery can restore the appearance and function of your smile, prevent bone loss, and improve overall oral health.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure used to rebuild or augment bone in the jaw. It is often necessary for patients who have suffered bone loss due to periodontal disease, trauma, or long-term tooth loss. Bone grafting is commonly performed to prepare the jaw for dental implants or to stabilize teeth that have lost supporting bone.

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Also known as orthognathic surgery, corrective jaw surgery is performed to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth. This surgery can improve chewing, speaking, and breathing, as well as enhance facial appearance. Corrective jaw surgery is often done in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.

Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery

Cleft lip and palate are congenital deformities that occur when the mouth and facial structures do not form properly during fetal development. Surgery to correct these deformities involves closing the cleft, improving function, and achieving a more normal appearance. This surgery is typically performed in multiple stages, starting in infancy and continuing through childhood.

Treatment of Facial Trauma

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are skilled in treating facial injuries, including fractures of the upper and lower jaws, cheekbones, and eye sockets. Surgical intervention may be required to realign the bones, restore function, and achieve an acceptable cosmetic result. Call us to learn more.

Conditions Treated by Oral Surgery

Oral surgery is used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Impacted teeth: Teeth that are trapped in the gum or bone and cannot emerge properly.
  • Tooth decay and infection: Severe cases that require extraction or root canal therapy.
  • Periodontal disease: Advanced gum disease that may require surgical intervention to restore oral health.
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders: Conditions affecting the jaw joint and muscles that control jaw movement.
  • Oral cancer: Surgical removal of cancerous growths in the mouth and surrounding areas.
  • Sleep apnea: Surgical procedures to remove or reposition tissues that block the airway.

Benefits of Oral Surgery

Oral surgery can provide numerous benefits, including:

Relief from Pain and Discomfort

Procedures like tooth extractions and TMJ surgery can alleviate chronic pain and discomfort, improving the patient's quality of life.

Improved Oral Function

Surgical treatments can restore the ability to chew, speak, and breathe properly, enhancing overall oral function.

Enhanced Aesthetics

Oral surgery can correct deformities, replace missing teeth, and improve the appearance of the smile and facial features.

Prevention of Future Problems

By addressing dental and oral health issues promptly, oral surgery can prevent more severe complications and the need for more extensive treatment in the future.

Preparing for Oral Surgery

Initial Consultation

The process begins with an initial consultation, during which Dr. Woodard will evaluate your condition, review your medical history, and discuss your treatment options. This is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and express any concerns you may have.

Preoperative Instructions

Before your surgery, you will receive detailed preoperative instructions. These may include guidelines on eating and drinking, medications to avoid, and what to expect on the day of the surgery. It is important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure the best possible outcome.

Sedation and Anesthesia

Depending on the complexity of the procedure and your level of anxiety, different types of sedation and anesthesia may be used. Options include local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedatives, and intravenous (IV) sedation. Dr. Woodard will discuss the best options for your needs.

The Oral Surgery Procedure

Day of Surgery

On the day of your surgery, you will be greeted by the friendly team at Woodard Family Dentistry. You will be made comfortable in the treatment room, and any necessary sedation or anesthesia will be administered.

During the Procedure

The specific steps of the procedure will depend on the type of surgery being performed. Dr. Woodard will use advanced surgical techniques and technology to ensure precision and minimize discomfort. Throughout the procedure, your vital signs will be monitored to ensure your safety.

After the Procedure

Once the surgery is complete, you will be given postoperative instructions to help you recover smoothly. These may include guidelines on pain management, diet, oral hygiene, and activity restrictions.

Recovery and Aftercare

Managing Pain and Discomfort

It is normal to experience some pain and discomfort after oral surgery. Dr. Woodard will prescribe pain medication to help manage this. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may also be recommended.

Reducing Swelling

Swelling is common after oral surgery and can be managed with ice packs applied to the outside of the face for short intervals during the first 24 hours.

Diet and Nutrition

Stick to a soft diet for the first few days after surgery. Avoid hot, spicy, or crunchy foods that could irritate the surgical site. Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid using straws, as the suction can dislodge blood clots and delay healing.

Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for preventing infection and promoting healing. Brush your teeth gently, avoid contact with the surgical site, and rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution several times a day.

Follow-up Appointments

Dr. Woodard will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns. It is important to attend these appointments to ensure a successful recovery.


Oral surgery is a vital component of dental care that can address a wide range of conditions, from impacted teeth and dental implants to corrective jaw surgery and treatment of facial trauma. At Woodard Family Dentistry in Spokane Valley, WA, Dr. Christopher S. Woodard, DMD, and his team are dedicated to providing safe, effective, and compassionate care.

By understanding the various types of oral surgery, the conditions they treat, and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure, patients can approach their treatment with confidence and peace of mind. If you have any questions or need to schedule a consultation, please contact Woodard Family Dentistry. Our dentist in Spokane Valley, WA and his team are here to help you achieve optimal oral health and a beautiful smile.

Are you ready to experience top-quality dental care for your entire family? Visit Dr. Christopher S. Woodard, DMD, at Woodard Family Dentistry, conveniently located at 1020 S Pines Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206. Don't wait any longer to take care of your oral health. Call us today at (509) 924-8585 to schedule your appointment or to learn more about our comprehensive dental services.

Visit Our Office

Spokane Valley, WA

1020 S Pines Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206

Email: medicalrecords@drwoodard.com

Book Now

Office Hours

  • MON - WED8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • THU7:00 am - 2:30 pm
  • FRI - SUNClosed
(509) 924-8585