CONSULTATIONS AND X-RAYS
Q: If my dentist took x-rays recently, do I need a panoramic x-ray at your office?
A: A panoramic x-ray is a traditional surgical screening x-ray examination of the entire upper and lower jaw structures. On occasion, more detailed imaging in the form of a cone beam CT may be required. Dental x-rays are for the teeth and often do not show all of the related root, bone and nerve structures, which is particularly important when planning for oral surgery.
Q: Why do I need to schedule a consultation when my dentist referred me to you?
A: We believe that a consultation (or pre-surgery evaluation) appointment guarantees a better overall experience for our patients because it provides the following:
- An Assessment
In addition to performing a comprehensive examination, a review of your radiographs and an overall evaluation of your specific dental and oral surgical needs, the doctor will address your general health to determine what impact that may have on your surgery and recovery.
- A Plan
In order to achieve the results you desire, you and your doctor will develop a surgery and treatment plan so you will be able to make informed decisions. For example, you will discuss and choose between local and general anesthesia. In the case of an extraction, you may wish to discuss restoration options and address questions regarding implant options and requirements.
- Pre and Post Operative Instructions
One of our surgical assistants will meet with you to discuss detailed pre-surgery preparation instructions as well as what you can expect after your surgery. You will be given post surgery instructions again on the day of your surgery.
- Financial Expectations
After you have met with the doctor and the surgical assistant, our business office personnel will meet with you to review fees, your possible insurance coverage, and payment options and expectations.
Q: Can I have both the consultation and surgery in one visit?
A: Under some circumstances, the consultation and surgery may be performed on the same day. However, we do not guarantee that we will be able to perform same-day surgery as this determination will be made by the doctor based on his or her evaluation of your specific situation and your overall health. Since most of our surgeries are elective, that is, non-emergency, we encourage our patients to schedule a separate consultation (or pre-surgery evaluation) appointment to guarantee the best possible experience for the reasons shown above.
Q: Why is there a charge for the consultation?
A: The consultation, or pre-surgery evaluation, appointment has several components. A fee is charged for your exam and x-ray if you have it taken at our office. Your time with the doctor includes a comprehensive oral examination, a diagnostic review of your panoramic x-ray, an evaluation of your general health and a resulting diagnosis and surgical plan. The doctor may also need to confer with your general dentist, your medical physician or other specialist either during or following your appointment.
INSURANCE AND BILLING
Q: Will my insurance company cover my additional (nitrous oxide or general) anesthesia?
A: Local anesthesia is included in the cost of our procedures. Generally, your specific insurance plan was chosen from an array of options by taking cost and benefits into consideration. We have found that some plans, in an effort to keep premium costs down, have specific and rather restrictive guidelines regarding payment for the use of additional anesthesia.
We will make a courtesy call to your insurance company prior to your visit to determine what your specific insurance plan dictates regarding additional anesthesia and will review that with you at your appointment. We encourage our patients to call their insurance company directly to verify benefits as well. If anesthesia (nitrous or general) for your surgery is not covered by your insurance, and you desire it anyway, we ask that you assume that cost.
Q: If I don’t have insurance, can I make payments?
A: We do not offer direct payment plans. However, because we want to make oral surgery affordable for everyone, we have contracted with CareCredit. You can find the CareCredit link on our site by clicking on the “Finance” tab. The link is at the bottom of the CareCredit page.
POST OPERATIVE CARE
Detailed instructions regarding your post operative care are covered under your particular procedure in the “Procedures” tab.
Q: How soon can I eat after an extraction?
A: When you arrive home after surgery, we encourage you to start drinking some clear liquids such as 7-Up, Ginger Ale, apple juice, etc. You will likely be tired, especially if you had a general anesthetic. However, try to drink or eat something before reclining. It is best to stay away from milk products until you are taking clear fluids well. Also, you may soon need some pain medication and it is preferable to have something in your stomach before taking medication to avoid nausea.
Q: What should I do if food gets in the extraction site the day of surgery, since I shouldn’t rinse the first day?
A: Don’t be alarmed. Your active rinsing will begin tomorrow and this will remove any food debris that might be present. Before bedtime you may brush your teeth and when you gently rinse out the toothpaste this will likely dislodge any food from the extraction areas.
Q: If I feel nauseated after surgery, what should I do?
A: Post-operative nausea and vomiting can occur due to the after-effects of the general anesthesia as well as the prescribed medications. Treat the situation as though you have the flu; for example, start with sips of clear liquids like 7-Up, Ginger-Ale, apple juice. If those stay down, then continue these fluids until the nausea has fully subsided. Also, it is best not to take any of the prescribed medications including the antibiotic until the nausea has passed. If after the first few sips the vomiting returns, then wait two (2) hours and start the fluids again. Remember, take no medications during this time. If the pain is quite intense it is OK to try Tylenol or Ibuprofen as these are much less likely to precipitate nausea. If this is not resolved within the next 12 to 24 hours, please call us.
Q: How long does somebody have to stay with me after surgery?
A: We strongly recommend that the patient have someone with him/her throughout the day and night of the surgery. This is particularly true if the patient has had a general anesthetic. Until these medications are fully metabolised (12-24 hours), a patient may become nauseous, dizzy and even faint.
Q: Should I still be swollen after the 3rd or 4th day?
A: Swelling is a common part of any surgery. The swelling of the mouth and face will generally be at its peak in the first two days. After that, the swelling will slowly go down. Generally, the swelling will be 80% gone in five to seven days. Remember, keep using the ice packs for the first two (2) days and then you can apply heat after that. This is also covered under your procedure in the “Procedures” tab.