As with any other medical specialist, you should feel comfortable asking your oral surgeon any and all questions you may have about your treatment. Although there is no reason to feel anxious about receiving oral surgery, understandably, many people do have concerns. Those people also tend to find that they’re much more comfortable with the entire experience if they can easily and openly communicate with their oral surgeon.
Of course, everyone will have their own specific questions they’d like to ask their oral surgeon. However, there are a few questions that all patients should ask. Consider these queries the next time you need oral surgery, and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed about your care:
What education, training, and experience do you have?
If you’re in the hands of a certified oral surgeon, you can generally trust that he or she is competent. Still, it helps to know the specifics of any medical specialist’s background. When you know exactly where a surgeon went to school, where he or she completed his or her residency, and how long he or she has been practicing oral surgery, you’ll find yourself trusting the surgeon much more easily. This, in turn, makes it easier to ask other questions in the future.
What professional organizations do you belong to, and what professional development opportunities do you participate in?
It’s important to understand that oral surgery treatment methods are constantly developing. Although most oral surgeons acquire the vast majority of their knowledge and skill during their time as students, they should also make an effort to stay abreast of new developments in the field. Doing so allows them to offer optimal care. Thus, you may want to ask if a surgeon belongs to professional organizations or takes any opportunities to enhance his or her own skills. This solidifies the trust established with the first question.
Are you experienced in this particular procedure?
Oral surgery covers a wide range of treatments, from wisdom teeth extraction to treatment of TMD. Some oral surgeons may be more experienced in certain treatments than others. While you shouldn’t reject an oral surgeon simply because the procedure you’re about to undergo isn’t one of his or her main specialities, it is helpful to know that he or she at least has prior experience performing it.
How do you keep patients safe and comfortable?
During certain oral surgery procedures, it is possible for a patient to experience some discomfort. That’s why oral surgeons often use anesthetics to ensure that the treatment is as pain-free as possible. You want to know that your oral surgeon will take steps to reduce your discomfort if necessary.
However, you also want to know how your surgeon plans to keep you safe during the procedure. Some patients worry that anesthetics are dangerous. If you’re such a patient, you’ll generally be far more comfortable if you know the specific ways in which your oral surgeon and his or her staff ensure your safety.
How can I contact you?
An oral surgeon is a busy professional. That said, surgeons should also prioritize making sure that patients have ways of getting in touch with them when they have concerns. This is especially important after treatment. Many oral surgery treatments involve a recovery period, during which patients may have to follow certain instructions, take particular medications, and/or monitor their own condition. If you have any questions at all during this period, you should be able to contact your oral surgeon quickly to get an answer.
How do you keep your facilities safe?
Oral surgery clinics are unique. Treatments performed in them do involve some degree of surgical work. This makes them different from general dental clinics. However, oral surgery offices are not always based in hospitals. Thus, patients may be curious about the degree to which an oral surgeon can ensure that his or her facilities are clean and safe. Patients might also want to know what general rules surgeons enforce among their staff to ensure all members of the team practice effective hygiene and proper safety techniques.
This is definitely a question worth asking. It’s important to know that you’re in the care of an experienced and trained professional and that the place where you’ll be receiving treatment is clean and equipped with quality, functioning tools.
Although the initial consultation may be the ideal time to ask these types of questions, you should feel comfortable communicating with your oral surgeon throughout the treatment process. Certain procedures, like receiving dental implants, can involve a longer period of treatment than others. This gives you many opportunities to ask questions. Doing so will help you relax as you prepare for surgery.