Frequently Asked Questions

A: We are in-network providers with a number of different dental insurance plans. However, because plans regularly change and one insurance provider can have multiple plans within their company, it is not practical to try to publish an exhaustive, up-to-date listing of all insurances. For the most accurate answer, please call us directly with your insurance information so we can verify in-network status.

A: In most cases, a referral from your dentist or physician is required. However, exceptions may be made, in certain circumstances. Please call us to discuss your specific needs.

A: The short answer is: most likely, yes. Most people will need to have their wisdom teeth removed at some point, and there are advantages to early removal. Other dental treatment, especially orthodontic treatment, will often necessitate removal of wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth, whether they are visible or not, can often cause damage to adjacent teeth and gums. Since there are many factors to consider regarding removal of wisdom teeth, your best option is to schedule a consultation so we can determine what is best in your individual situation.

A: Timing of wisdom teeth removal, if necessary at all, is determined by many factors. We want to avoid waiting until pain, infection, or destruction of other teeth has occurred. Sometimes timing will be determined by things such as the need for braces or adult adjacent teeth that are coming in. Other times, symptoms like gum soreness, headaches, or pressure in the jaw can be signs of problematic wisdom teeth. Age is not necessarily an accurate predictor for determining timing of wisdom teeth removal. A clinical exam and review of X-rays is the best way to determine when to remove your wisdom teeth, so please call us to set up your consultation appointment today.

A: The ideal dental implant candidate has good dental hygiene, with otherwise healthy teeth and gums. Candidates should also be non-smokers, or be able to quit smoking during the implant process (several weeks). The quantity and quality of the jawbone will need to be evaluated prior to implant placement.

A: Presently, we do not offer in-house financing. However, we have teamed up with CareCredit, a healthcare credit card company, that helps you pay for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for you and your family. Please go to CareCredit.com to learn more.

A: Many oral surgery procedures can be performed with local anesthesia, which is simply numbing the gums and jaw. For most cases, general anesthesia or IV sedation is an option, depending upon your health status and specific needs. We are certified and trained to provide multiple types of anesthesia, including local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), IV sedation, and general anesthesia, all in the comfort and safety of our office. Part of your initial consultation will involve discussing anesthesia options, to determine the best plan for you.

A: If you receive general anesthesia or IV sedation, you must have a driver bring you and take you home. This person needs to be someone you trust, someone who will be able to help you get settled in at home afterwards, and be able to stay with you while you recover (which can be several hours). Your driver will also need to be present in our office during your procedure. If you have only local anesthesia, you may be able to drive yourself.

A: Not all surgeries require antibiotics. An active infection and/or a history of recent infection are probable indications for necessitating antibiotic use.

A: If your child is very young, we do allow parents to be present before the procedure in order to ask the surgeon any questions. During the surgery, however, we cannot have any non-patients or non-staff in the surgical area.

A: Bone can be harvested from elsewhere in the mouth, from the iliac crest (hip bone), or from the leg below the knee. Today, newer technologies allow us to use banked bone, which is donated by organ donors, then stored and distributed by tissue banks regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This banked bone makes bone grafting much more economical, and eliminates the need for a second surgical site.

A: If you are planning on IV sedation or general anesthesia, it is best to discuss medications with the surgeon during your consultation. With procedures that simply require local anesthesia, you should take your usual medications according to your usual routine. Please do not stop taking blood thinners before surgery unless you have been specifically instructed otherwise by the surgeon or your health care professional; in most cases, you will continue taking your blood thinners. If you are on Coumadin or Warfarin, we will need a recent INR test prior to surgery. For specific questions before your surgery, please call us.

A: You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for eight (8) hours prior to your procedure. Do not consume alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours prior to surgery. If you were so instructed by your oral surgeon, you may take your regular medications. You may take small sips of water only to swallow these pills. If you are diabetic or have any questions about your medications, please call us.

A: Most oral surgery procedures can be performed while patients are on blood thinners. Unless the surgeon has given you specific instructions to do otherwise, please continue to take your medications as prescribed. If you are on Coumadin or Warfarin, we will need a recent INR test prior to surgery. For specific questions before your surgery, please call us.

A: On the day of your surgery, your diet should consist of cool liquids and foods you can swallow without chewing. First day foods can include Jello, applesauce, smoothies (no straws), and things of that consistency. Avoid hot foods, as they can increase your bleeding. Advance your diet on day two to softer foods like scrambled eggs, steamed vegetables, or pasta. Stay away from hard or crunchy foods for three to four days, at a minimum.

A: You should have something to drink within an hour or two of your procedure; increased fluid intake is very important following your surgery. You should remove the gauze pads (if you are still using them) prior to eating or drinking, but you should replace the gauze if you continue to bleed after drinking. The gauze pads are for biting down on to keep pressure on the surgical site, rather than simply for soaking up blood.

A: Post operative nausea can sometimes be caused by the medications used during general anesthesia, or from the pain medication your are prescribed. Try drinking clear fluids like water and Gatorade, and after you are able to tolerate this for a few hours, you may advance your diet to soft foods. Avoid dairy products on the day of surgery if you are feeling nausea. Also, avoid taking medication on an empty stomach. If the nausea does not subside, we can prescribe an antiemetic medication (anti-nausea) that may help you feel better, so please give us a call if nausea continues.

A: A dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis, is a condition that can occur typically within two to five days after surgery. It is a rare occurrence, happening in about 2%-5% of extraction cases. A dry socket happens when the remnants of the blood clot inside the socket become dislodged or break down prematurely. This results in increased pain (often radiating to the ear), a foul odor (even after brushing the teeth), and sometimes a bad taste in the mouth. If you think you may have dry socket, please call us to set up a follow-up appointment.

A: Bleeding may take several hours to stop, but you should see a decrease in bleeding hour by hour. The key to stopping bleeding is pressure. Changing the gauze too frequently, talking too much, and over-exertion will prevent clot formation and stabilization. If simple pressure with gauze pads is not stopping the bleeding, you can bite down on moistened tea bags for about 45 minutes. If bleeding still persists, please call our office.

A: Timing for returning to work is determined by both the nature of your procedure, as well as the demands of your job. Generally, it is a good idea to go home and rest after your surgery. Forming a stable blood clot is the first step of the healing process, and this happens best when we are at rest. For simple procedures, most people are able to return to work within a day or two. With more involved procedures, like impacted teeth, more time is needed to recover, so anticipate that three to four days may be needed.

A: Exercising is a great way to stay healthy, but rest is what the body needs when it is recovering from surgery. Avoid all exercise for a minimum of 24 hours following surgery. Do not exercise if you are still experiencing swelling or bleeding. When resuming your exercise routine, start slowly. Then, if you start to experience pain, throbbing, shortness of breath, or become light headed, stop immediately and give yourself another day or two of rest before trying again.

A: Because your health and safety are our highest priorities, our team at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery takes infection control very seriously. Our state-of-the-art sterilization practices are just one more example of our team’s dedication to your total well-being.

We have specific sterilization procedures in place with multiple steps that ensure that the environment where you receive your care meets the highest standards of cleanliness and sterilization.

Following your treatment, all used surgical instruments are processed in our state-of-the-art, automated instrument washer to thoroughly clean and disinfect them. Then they are inspected and placed in a protective wrap, before being sterilized with a combination of high heat, steam, and pressure in our autoclave. This process allows us to ensure our equipment meets the same sterilization standards as a hospital operating room.

Our professional team also disinfects the treatment rooms between each surgery in a process consistent with all ADA, CDC, and OSHA regulations.

A: After completing four years of dental school to become a dentist and receiving a doctorate degree, oral surgeons go on to four to six more years of intensive training to become specialists. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association who are surgically trained in a hospital-based residency program for a minimum of four years. They train alongside medical residents in internal medicine, general surgery and anesthesiology, and they also spend time in otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), plastic surgery, emergency medicine, and other specialty areas. This training focuses almost completely on the bone, skin, and muscle of the face, mouth and jaw. In other words, oral and facial surgeons have knowledge and expertise that uniquely qualify them to diagnose and treat a number of functional and esthetic conditions in this anatomical area.

A: After obtaining a bachelors degree at Utah Valley State College, Dr. Best attended Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, receiving his DMD in 2007. Following his dental training, he completed a year-long internship in oral surgery at Christiana Health System in Wilmington, Delaware, followed by residency training in oral surgery at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.