Best Post-Oral Surgery Care Routine

If you’re reading this, you probably just had a form of oral surgery, or you’re planning on having surgery sometime soon. Naturally, you most likely have many questions about oral surgery recovery, if so, you’ve come to the right place!

At the Oral & Facial Surgery Institute, we’re your St. George oral surgery recovery experts. It’s absolutely crucial to take great care of your oral health following surgery and we’ve compiled some of the most proven tips and tricks to help you have the fastest recovery possible!

Oral Hygiene After Oral Surgery

The first 24 hours

It is critical to be fully aware of what you can and cannot do in terms of oral hygiene directly following surgery. Most oral surgery operations involve some form of stitching to help heal the surgical site. Due to the nature of stitches, you should try to avoid vigorous rinsing and spitting for the first 24 hours following your oral surgery.

If rinsing is necessary, use warm water and gently swish it around in your mouth. When it comes time to spit, simply let the water fall out of your mouth into the sink, don’t force it out.

Brushing your teeth can also become a little tricky following surgery. Try your best to only brush your teeth gently, and steer clear of the actual oral surgery site if at all possible. 

Flossing may also be considered in the first 24 hours, but only do so gently. If you are unable to open your mouth wide enough to floss effectively, simply wait a day or so to be able to floss normally.

Mouthwash should also be avoided within the first 24 hour period following your oral surgery. 

After the first 24 hours

After the first 24 hours following surgery, it is time to begin escalating the healing process. This can be done by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater or saline solution. The purpose of doing this is to help keep the surgical site clean and it will also aid with the healing process in a natural way. 

Keep a close eye on your surgical site and watch for any abnormalities in the surrounding tissue. If you notice discoloration or rapid swelling, contact your doctor immediately. 

We hope some of these ideas help ease your mind and any pain you may experience following oral surgery.


Call the team at the Oral & Facial Surgery Institute to schedule your next oral surgery appointment today! (435) 628-1100

Teeth Extraction Survival Guide (What to Expect)

There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.

When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, your dentist may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may schedule another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with your doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.

Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth, especially a front tooth replacement.

Now that you know a little about what to expect, here are some tips to keep in mind.


  • Do not eat or drink anything (including water) for eight hours prior to your appointment. If you take medications, you should take them with a small sip of water no later than three hours prior to your appointment.
  • A responsible adult must accompany you to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive you home.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing with sleeves that can be rolled up past the elbow.
  • Remove contact lenses, dental prosthetics (dentures), and jewelry.
  • Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
  • Fill any prescription pain medications and antibiotics before the day of your surgery.
  • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, or stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.


  • Never drive an automobile or operate dangerous machinery on the same day as your surgery or procedure.
  • Avoid any heavy lifting and strenuous physical activity for several days after your surgery.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, but do not suck on a straw, because this can dislodge a clot and lead to bleeding.

We are in the business of giving smiles. Call us today to get your smile feeling right again!


Comparing Bridges with Dental Implants

Have you or are you considering a bridge or dental implant? We’ve covered dental implants before but here’s a comparison of the two to help you know what would be best for you. First things first, what are bridges? Bridges get their name because they bridge the gap caused by a missing tooth. Why a dental implant over a bridge? How do bridges look?

Dental Bridges

According to Health Line, “A dental bridge is a false tooth (called a pontic) that is held in place by the abutment teeth on either side of the gap. Although pontics can be made from a variety of materials such as gold, typically they’re made from porcelain to aesthetically blend in with your natural teeth.”

Dental Implants

What about an implant? An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal that is well-suited to pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.

Why Dental Implants Instead of a Bridge?

Why a dental implant over a bridge? Conventional bridges are not fixed to the bone and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Dental implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. And because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don’t compromise the health of your natural teeth. In fact, bridges are only expected to last seven to ten years, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime.

Have more questions about what is best for you? Need more replacements than just a few? Contact us today to ask any questions you may have and set up a consultation to find out if dental implants or even Teeth-In-A-Day are right for you.


Do I Need to Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are molars found in the very back of your mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. The most common type of impacted wisdom tooth removal is “mesial,” which means the tooth is angled forward toward the front of your mouth.

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it will need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.

Each patient’s situation is unique. Our doctors will usually take a panoramic X-ray to determine whether your wisdom teeth will need to be removed. If they recommend the removal of your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them removed sooner rather than later.

Wisdom teeth are typically removed during the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make wisdom tooth extraction easier, as well as the recovery time much shorter.

To remove a wisdom tooth, the doctor first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. They use additional medication, such as nitrous oxide, IV sedation, or general anesthesia, to sedate you safely during the extraction, if you are feeling nervous about the procedure.

Since the impacted wisdom tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your jaw bone, the doctor will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To minimize the amount of bone removed with the tooth, your wisdom tooth may be “sectioned” (cut into pieces) so each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.

Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Healing time varies, depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction. Our doctors will let you know what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.


How to Overcome Your Fear of Oral Surgery

We are not your everyday practice; we genuinely care about our patients and relate to each one on a personal level. At our office you aren’t just a patient—you are family. We take great pride in having our patients leave happier than when they arrived. We understand oral surgery can make people feel uneasy so we have put together a list of ways you can overcome your fear of oral surgery. These ways are all related to pre-surgery steps we take to help you feel comfortable moving forward.

Open and Honest Communication

First, understand our team members are experts at managing the health, emotions, and expectations of our patients throughout each and every interaction. We strive to always communicate clearly with our patients by discussing their options, reviewing their treatment plan, and answering any questions or concerns they may have. We want them to feel calm and comfortable every time they visit our office.

State-of-the-art Facilities

Second, know that because of our state-of-the-art facilities in St. George, Cedar City, Delta, and Kanab, UT, and Page, AZ , our patients know are going to receive the finest care possible.


Third, we are always available to answer any questions or concerns our patients may have. Drs. Davis is also available after hours for emergency care.

As a courtesy to our patients, we call on their insurance before their first appointment. By doing so, we ensure they have a shorter wait time, and we are able to provide them with a more accurate financial estimate.

Sedation Options

One of our main goals is to provide you with a surgical experience that is as comfortable as it is effective. That’s why we offer several methods of sedation. Your oral surgeon will work with you to decide on a personalized sedation plan that will give you the care you need while ensuring your comfort and safety every step of the way. The following are our options:

  • Local Anesthetic
  • Nitrous Oxide Sedation with Local Anesthetic
  • In-office IV Sedation or General Anesthesia
  • Hospital-Based General Anesthesia

To learn more about what each of the options includes, click here.

We hope this information has given you the comfort you need about oral surgery. If you still have concerns please don’t hesitate to call. We will walk you through everything you need to know to feel confident.

What are My Sedation Options?

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Sedation Options

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With so many different sedation options and techniques, it can become overwhelming to try and understand which option will be best for you. Your oral surgeon will work with you to decide on a personalized sedation plan that will give you the care you need while ensuring your comfort and safety every step of the way.

Local Anesthetics

  • The most common type of local anesthetic is lidocaine, which is administered by injection.

  • Often used for simple surgeries, such as gum treatments and tooth extractions. 

  • There are two kinds of numbing injections. A block injection numbs an entire region of your mouth, such as one side of your lower jaw. An infiltration injection numbs a smaller area. This is the area near where the injection was given.

Nitrous Oxide with Local Anesthetics (“Laughing Gas”)

  • Used for simple oral surgical treatments, such as extractions, wisdom teeth removal, and implant replacements.

  • When Nitrous Oxide is used with local anesthetic, patients won’t feel pain or anxiety.

  • Administered through a small mask that fits right over your nose.

In Office IV Sedation or General Anesthesia

  • Patients who receive this option go between consciousness and unconsciousness throughout their procedure and typically don’t remember the procedure.

  • Recommended that patients who receive deep sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off.

Your oral surgeon is also licensed by the state to administer general anesthesia, so you can receive the care you need in the comfort of our office. We provide general anesthesia for patients who need all types of oral surgery. Because of the anxiety related to dental procedures, you may choose general anesthesia for procedures as simple as wisdom tooth removal and implant placement, or as complex as full-mouth reconstruction.

Hospital-Based General Anesthesia

  • Used when oral surgery is performed at a hospital.

  • Administered by an anesthesiologist who will monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure.

  • Most commonly used for facial reconstructive surgery and jaw reconstruction, TMJ, and patients who have complex medical conditions.

Because general anesthesia causes drowsiness for several hours after it is administered, you will be required to have a family member or friend drive you to and from your appointment. After your treatment, you should not drive, drink alcohol, or operate machinery.