Frequently Asked Questions

What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

Oral and Maxillofacial surgery is a dental specialty which relates to the treatment of disease and disorders of the mouth, teeth and facial structures. This includes the removal of teeth, placement of dental implants, biopsy and removal of cysts and lesions of the mouth and jaws, and reconstructive facial surgery.

What does maxillofacial mean?

Maxillofacial refers to the face and jaws.

What does it mean to be Board Certified in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery?

In addition to dental training, Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons must complete years of intensive hospital-based surgical residency training. Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons also have thorough and comprehensive anesthesia training; therefore, procedures may be performed with the comfort of oral sedation, nitrous oxide sedation, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.

Dr. Widner is a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, meaning he has graduated from an accredited dental school and has completed an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program approved by the American Dental Association. (One must pass a both a thorough written qualifying examination and a rigorous oral certifying examination to become a board certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.)

Do I need to be referred by a dentist to schedule an appointment?

No.

What insurance do you take?

We are providers on many plans; please refer to your individual insurance plan for individual providers. Keep in mind that we will gladly file all insurance claims, as well as assist with insurance verification, pre-certification and/or pre-determination of benefit needs. Please refer to our financial options section for more information.

What if I have an after hours emergency?

Please call our office immediately and Dr. Widner or a surgical assistant will promptly return your call.

Where is surgery performed?

With the exception of extensive jaw surgery, all surgeries are performed in our office conveniently located in central Austin. Our office offers a comfortable, safe, state-of-the-art facility for your oral surgery needs.

If I’m not in pain why do I have to return for a follow-up appointment?

A follow-up appointment ensures that proper healing is taking place. Of course there is no charge for this appointment and we always enjoy seeing our patients.

May I eat before I come in for surgery?

If you are having any form of sedation, such as nitrous oxide or IV sedation, no food or drink 8 hours prior to your appointment, except regularly taken or prescribed medication.

Can I take my routine prescriptions the morning prior to surgery?

Yes, with a sip of water.

I’m a little dental phobic, what kind of sedation can I receive?

Procedures may be performed with the comfort of oral sedation, nitrous oxide sedation, and intravenous sedation depending on the patient’s individual needs.

Why do I need someone to drive me home following IV sedation?

Following IV sedation or nitrous oxide you may feel a little drowsy. You will need a responsible adult to drive you home and stay with you a few hours following surgery. Patients receiving local anesthetic can drive home or have a driver, whichever is preferred.

Why does nail polish have to be removed?

We have special monitors called “pulse oximeters”; these non-invasive instruments are able to monitor important vital signs like pulse and breathing by the color of the nail bed.

What is the typical recovery time after having a wisdom teeth extraction?

Although no two patients are the same, typically most patients make a full recovery 3-7 days after a wisdom teeth extraction. Please refer to wisdom teeth extraction for more information.

What is a dry socket?

A dry socket is an inflammation of the bone which causes a dull throbbing pain and may not be relieved by normal pain medication.

This condition exists when a blood clot is dislodged from the surgery site prematurely, thus exposing the bone and fine nerve endings to the oral environment. If you suspect that you may have a dry socket, please contact us immediately. Follow the post-operative instructions to minimize possible complications.

How long do I have to wait after wisdom teeth surgery to have my teeth cleaned?

Two weeks allows plenty of time for comfort and normal opening.

Will stitches have to be removed?

No, dissolving sutures are usually used.

Will I get a prescription?

Yes. We normally provide pain medication, antibiotics if indicated and sometimes anti-swelling and anti-nausea medication.

What is a dental implant?

Simply, a dental implant is an artificial permanent tooth. A dental implant may be used for single or multiple tooth replacements. Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Dental implants are changing the way people live! See dental implants for more information.

What is orthognathic surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is needed when jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t seem to fit with jaws. Please refer to orthognathic surgery for more information.

How long does it take to remove wisdom teeth?

The procedure of removing wisdom teeth usually takes less than an hour. If your tooth is erupted (through the gum tissue), it may be removed without an incision in your gum by loosening and lifting the tooth with special instruments.

Occasionally, to ease removal, a tooth is sectioned and removed in two or more pieces. If your tooth is impacted (covered by bone), an incision will be made in the gum. The incision may include removal of a thin layer of bone to create a small window for the removal. Dis solvable sutures may be used to close the incision.