Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

Click on a question below to see the answer.

A dentist can be viewed as your oral health primary care provider, while an oral surgeon can be viewed as a specialist, with the ability to surgically extract teeth and install replacements. While dentists are universally known to clean teeth, promote good oral hygiene and preventative oral care, oral surgeons are specialists who extract teeth surgically, under anesthesia, in order to alleviate pain and discomfort or to help a patient obtain their dream smile, with the use of implants and bridges. Although their professional skills may be different, the end goal of both dentists and oral surgeons is the same: to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile.
It really depends on your insurance policy, but Three Rivers Oral and Maxillofacial accepts most insurances. Please call us to confirm that we do accept your insurance, or to discuss other payment options. As your trusted local oral surgery practice, we try to accept the vast majority of insurances and payment options.
Most times, a dentist referral is required to plan and proceed with treatment. As we treat every patient in a case-by-case basis, and no two patients require the same treatment, a dentist referral can help us by pinpointing the issues and by giving us a more in-depth history of your oral health. Again, as we work in a case-by-case basis, please contact your dentist and schedule an appointment with them in order to get a referral to bring to us.
wisdom_teethIn most people, there are four wisdom teeth that typically come into place at around age 17 to 21 (when a person is old enough to have gained some wisdom). However, in some cases, patients will only have one, two or three wisdom teeth. This is perfectly normal as not every person will grow all four wisdom teeth. In these cases, we will only extract the wisdom teeth present. It is also possible to have more than four wisdom teeth, which are called supernumerary teeth. These teeth are typically extracted along with the four wisdom teeth.

Remember, that each person is different! So if you feel pain in the corners of your mouth and think you might be getting your wisdom teeth, request an appointment with your dentist and get a referral. We’re happy to help you out with your smile!

You will receive preoperative instructions on the day of your consult, depending on the treatment plan that Dr. Khan will present you with. We will remind you on the day of your consult what you should bring on the day of your surgery.
If your insurance has a deductible or copay, that will be paid on the first visit. Otherwise, you will not owe anything.
No. The first visit you make to Three Rivers Oral and Maxillofacial will be a consultation visit wherein Dr. Khan will conduct an examination, read your referral and put together a treatment plan that best suits your individual needs.
We strongly recommend that you bring two responsible adults along with you on the day of your surgery. We ask that you bring two people so that one person can drive the vehicle and the other can take care of you in the backseat. Please try to not bring more than two people, as our waiting room, though nice to look at, isn’t too big.
We request that patients coming in for IV sedation please fast (i.e. no food or drink) for at least 8 hours before the procedure. For example, if your surgery is scheduled for 6 AM, please do not eat or drink from 10 PM onwards.

This is because if your stomach is full, there is a small chance that you could vomit the contents up and then suck the contents into your lungs. This proves to be a very dangerous situation, that can be easily avoided by fasting. If you have not adequately fasted, we may need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, in the interest of your personal safety.

Please remember, however, that small amounts of water may be had in order to take any medications such as cardiac medications, steroids, anti-seizure medications, etc.

Your recovery time will depend on what type of procedure you will undergo. Extractions completed under local anesthesia do not have any side effects other than numbness due to anesthetics, and require little to no time to recover from, aside from pain management for a couple of days.

Extractions completed under IV sedation, however, are a completely different story. After a procedure completed under IV sedation, you will be under the influence of the drugs for most of the day. Afterwards, you may experience soreness, but pain should not be felt as long as you follow our pain management instructions and prescriptions. After the procedure, we strongly recommend no work or school for two days, followed by another 5 days of no strenuous physical activity.

Pain management plans differ from case to case, and can be affected by age, health and allergies. For the most part, for extractions completed under local anesthesia, simple Tylenol or ibuprofen may be enough.

However, for more serious or complex procedures completed under IV anesthesia, a combination of antibiotics, steroids, painkillers and narcotics are usually prescribed, provided there are no health problems.

After an extraction, we recommend you eat cold, soft and bland food, such as ice cream, milkshakes, applesauce and pudding. Similarly, we recommend drinking cold or room temperature drinks. Although nothing can beat water, all other drinks are fine, provided they are not hot (no hot coffee, sorry!). In addition, alcohol is not recommended for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Please remember also to not use any straws (even for milkshakes) as straws use a sucking mechanism that can cause a dry socket (see below). After 48 hours of cold and soft food, you may be able to graduate to soft, warm food, such as pasta, mashed potatoes and soups.
painA dry socket can occur up to 3 days after an extraction after a blood clot falls out of the socket. When teeth are pulled, the socket is left open. This opening is eventually filled by a blood clot, a coagulation of blood in the socket, which stop the areas from bleeding as well as promoting the healing of bone.

You can think of blood clots like scabs on your body when you get hurt or cut. If the scab comes off too early, it hurts a lot and there is bleeding from the underlying injury. A dry socket is the same way: if the blood clot comes out too soon, the underlying socket will hurt and potentially bleed more.

Dry sockets cause a radiating pain up and down the side of your face and will hurt more when drinking cold water or breathing in cold air. This is due to the exposure of the bone of the socket.

To avoid a dry socket, it is important that you avoid the following for at least 3 days following your extractions:

    • -Drinking from a straw, smoking or any other sucking action
    • -Spitting, rinsing or swishing actions
    • -strenuous physical activity
    • -carbonated beverages may also cause dry socket, which is why water is always recommended
You’ll be glad to know that we only use dissolving sutures, also known as stitches. By using dissolving stitches, you will not have to worry about coming back in to get the stitches cut and removed. Dissolving stitches may take anywhere between one week to a few weeks to dissolve. When you come in for your post-op appointment, Dr. Khan will examine the stitches to ensure a speedy and healthy recovery.
bridge-vs-implantThis is a very important question, and one that truly is frequently asked. Implants and bridges both have the same end goal in mind: helping your smile look complete and beautiful. However, the methods in which this is accomplished is very different between these two treatments.

Implants and bridges are recommended when a tooth extraction has resulted in a missing space in your smile. The alternative to implants and bridges is to leave the space as it is, resulting in a gap in your smile. Bridges are two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap and a false tooth/teeth in between, filling in the gap and making your smile full again. The downside of bridges, however, is that the two adjacent teeth will have to be shaved down in order for the crowns to rest on top.

Implants, on the other hand, are false teeth that are placed directly into the jawbone, without causing any damage or shaving down any other teeth. For this reason, implants are the preferred method of replacing teeth, for either cosmetic or functional uses. Dental implants have a success rate of about 98%.

Yes! Dr. Khan and his team have a lot of experience working on children, in a safe and quick manner, making the entire process easier for children to sit through. We always ensure the patient’s safety during IV sedation. While sedated, the patient’s blood oxygen level, blood pressure and heart rate are closely monitored, in addition to close attention to the patient’s airway. Simply put, your child is safe and sound in our office.
Dr. Khan will accept most patients, young and old, depending on health and other factors. However, the youngest patient that we will accept is 3-4 years old, depending again on health and other factors. Oral surgeries on patients younger than 3 should be done through hospitals, with medical doctors on board in order to ensure the safety of the toddler.

As we work on a case-by-case basis, please contact us and let us know about your situation and how we can help.

Yes. Go to our Forms page to download and fill out the necessary paperwork, so that you won’t have to spend time filling out forms in our office.