More than five million people have their wisdom teeth removed every year. Others undergo other common oral maxillofacial surgery procedures like jaw surgery and implant dentistry. Oral surgeries clock in as some of America’s most common surgical procedures.

If you’re here, you’re probably considering some sort of surgery. You might need your wisdom teeth removed, or you need some reconstructive surgery. We’ll outline what to expect, with a focus on dental surgeries.

Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Basics

OMS procedures offered at Knoxville OMS include:

  • Wisdom tooth removal
  • Tooth extraction
  • Expose and bond impacted tooth
  • Alveoloplasty
  • Apicoectomy
  • Palatal and lingual tori excision

Each maxillofacial surgery procedure comes with its own expected recovery time.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

This represents the most common form of oral surgery but actually encompasses multiple diverse surgeries. Some wisdom tooth removals can be performed as simple extractions, while others require penetration of the gums or even the bone.

Wisdom tooth removal takes about two weeks to recover from. It prevents a variety of other dental problems.

Tooth Extraction

Tooth extractions comprise any surgical process that removes a tooth from the mouth. Oral surgeons try to avoid removing teeth, and will only do so if the tooth has been compromised beyond repair.

Recovery times for tooth extraction tend to be short, with most of the discomfort lasting only a few days and full recovery within two weeks. During recovery, patients should avoid using straws or otherwise sucking, as this can cause a painful condition called dry socket.

Other Oral Surgery Procedures

Other oral surgery procedures address less common problems. Teeth can come in at awkward angles or fail to grow in. Removals and adjustments can cause their own secondary problems, too.

As these procedures address specific problems at many stages, they tend to be personalized. As part of the process, your surgeon will discuss the specifics of your situation and appropriate interventions. 

Reconstructive Surgery

Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will have experience with many forms of reconstructive surgery. Reconstructive surgeries can improve the look or function of your face, jaw, and teeth after an event.

Some of these surgeries make up a simple, routine element of practice, while others must be approached with an eye toward the individual.

Facial Injury Reconstructive Surgery

An injury to the face can leave gouges or even tears in the cheek and lip. A maxillofacial surgeon will work to restore the natural look of your face.

Injuries like lacerations and bone fractures can have functional downsides as well as cosmetic ones. Broken facial bones can change the ways you breathe, speak, and eat, and lacerations can lead to infection. These surgeries improve quality of life and prevent infection.

Make sure to discuss your goals with your oral maxillofacial surgery practitioner before this kind of treatment. The more information you share, the easier the process will be.

Reconstructive Surgery After Medical Treatment

Some medical treatments create a need for reconstructive surgery after the initial treatment. These include tumor removals, other cancer treatments, and wisdom tooth removals.

The overall process looks a lot like that for trauma-related reconstruction. Oral surgeons pair a sense of aesthetics with medical and dental knowledge to restore the face’s original look and function. These surgeries happen after healing from the treatment process.

Procedures involved vary from patient to patient, but abnormal nasal/sinus communications happen fairly frequently. This happens when a hole, sometimes called a fistula, connects the nose and mouth, leading to an unusual flow of fluid. Surgeons have several ways to close such a hole.

In cases like cancer, where the patient has tissue removed, the surgeon will also place reconstructive plates. These provide short-term support for the remaining tissues of the face and mouth. They also make it easier to perform subsequent bone or gum grafts to counteract the negative effects of tissue removal.

Implant Dentistry

Implant dentistry provides an alternative to dentures for patients with healthy gums and bones. Different types of implants have different requirements, but all work to strengthen the remaining jawbone and provide a scaffold on which permanent false teeth can be placed.

Traditional dental implants replace a single tooth with an implant and a cap, similar to a crown. Other models use a smaller number of implants and better suit patients who have significant bone and tissue loss.

Oral surgeons can address significant bone and tissue loss. Knoxville OMS also performs other surgeries like bone and soft tissue grafts as well as sinus lifts. These provide the opportunity for most patients to receive the benefits of implants.


Depending on the procedure, many of these procedures come with the expectation of sedation. The preferred method in use at Knoxville OMS, IV sedation, connects you to the source of the medication for the whole procedure.

Also known as twilight anesthesia, IV sedation allows you to respond to verbal commands while suppressing pain and memory formation. The surgeon can monitor your awareness and adjust medication to keep your levels solid. The team can also bring you back up using an antidote.

After sedation dentistry or oral surgery, you will need someone else to drive you home. While you may feel more alert, your motor skills and cognitive functions will remain impaired.

Handle Long-Term Problems Before They Get Worse

Oral maxillofacial surgery can address most problems within the mouth and face. Whether your goals deal with improved quality of life or a better look, we want to help you get there.

Already know what you’d like to address? Contact us to schedule a consultation.