COVID-19 and treatment at Bath Oral surgery Clinic
The arrival of COVID-19/coronavirus in the UK has inevitably brought about changes as regards the management of patients referred to Bath Oral Surgery Clinic. We are very concerned to ensure that both patients and members of the team are safe and protected at all times during treatment sessions at Saltford.
All consultation appointments with Tim Milton will now take place remotely via Zoom with reference to the description of the various surgical procedures and intravenous sedation already provided in the patient information section of the Clinic’s website. Each consultation will include the recording of a full medical history together with a separate COVID-19 assessment.
Surgical appointment times will be arranged such that only one patient will be in the Clinic at any one time. We would ask that on arrival patients and any accompanying escorts remain in their car in the parking area outside the front of the Clinic and notify us by calling 01225 874444/07968 971899.
Patients will then be collected by a member of the Clinic team and escorted to the waiting room; all accompanying persons must remain in the car and not enter the Clinic unless specifically asked to do so.
Whilst the patient is in the waiting room any outstanding preoperative paperwork will be completed together with a further COVID-19 assessment and temperature check.
Surgical treatments such as those carried out at Bath Oral Surgery Clinic are regarded as being aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) and therefore all members of the Clinic team directly involved with the procedure will be wearing enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE). We will therefore appear quite different during the treatment session compared with the pre-COVID-19 era but do be reassured that the surgical care demonstrated by the Clinic team will not have changed.
This means that your tooth has been prevented from coming through correctly by bone, fibrous tissue or another tooth. Upper canine teeth are some of the last to come through and therefore have more potential to become impacted and fail to reach their correct position within the upper jaw.
How common are impacted canines?
About 2% of the population have an impacted upper canine, usually affecting one side only. Most of these impact towards the roof of the mouth (the ‘palate’) but some impact towards the cheek.
Why does it happen?
A variety of factors can reduce the space available for a canine to come through, contributing to it becoming impacted. Commonly, there may already be a degree of teeth crowding in the upper jaw due to a shortage of space. In some cases, there is a family history of canines being impacted.
What happens if it is left untreated?
If the canine is left in its impacted position, a cystic lesion can develop around the crown of the tooth, which can become infected and can also cause damage by putting pressure on the roots of adjacent teeth.
Treatment for an impacted canine is usually part of a course of orthodontic therapy and so you should seek the advice of your orthodontist regarding your particular circumstances.
Impacted Upper Canines
Radiographic images of impacted upper canines indicating possible areas of cystic development and root resorption of adjacent teeth.
How will the tooth be exposed?
First, x-ray images are used to locate the position of the canine. The overlying tissues are then surgically raised away from the tooth to allow for sufficient soft tissue and bone removal to expose the tooth adequately.
Stitches are used to put the raised tissue back in place (these are usually dissolvable). A healing pack is then placed over the exposed tooth and non-dissolvable stitches may be used to secure this. The pack and stitches are quick and easy to remove and an appointment will be arranged for this, usually one week after surgery.
How long will the operation take?
This depends on the position of the impacted canine and whether the operation is being carried out with local anaesthesia alone or with additional intravenous sedation.
An appointment for surgery under local anaesthesia usually lasts 60 minutes. When intravenous sedation is used, an appointment usually lasts 90 minutes. The longer time allows for the recovery period needed before you can be discharged home.
Will I be in pain afterwards?
You should not feel any pain immediately after the operation as the area of surgery will be numb from the local anaesthetic.
As the numbness wears off, the area might become uncomfortable and then you should take painkillers. We will supply you with these, with information about doses.
Could there be any after-effects?
This depends on the operation. If there are any issues in particular to be aware of, they will be discussed with you beforehand.
There may be swelling and bruising in the area of surgery, as well as some discomfort. Bruising is usually at its most obvious two to three days after surgery and varies between patients. It normally resolves itself after 10 to 14 days.
Once the pack and stitches have been removed and the impacted tooth is exposed in the mouth, healing usually progresses quite quickly. We advise that a review appointment is arranged with your orthodontist a week to 10 days after your operation.
When can I return to work?
This depends on your occupation and how you are after your treatment. It may be possible for you to return to work the next day. Some people need to take some time off work, especially if the operation has been carried out under intravenous sedation. We will give you appropriate advice for your particular circumstances.
Find out how to help bring about a quick recovery after an operation.