008: My Oral Surgery Top 10

In my oral surgery practice, I frequently use 10 things that help me on a daily basis. I'll share them rapidly, not in any particular order:

1. C sponges/throat screens: I use these constantly whenever I put instruments in a patient's mouth. They prevent dropped instruments from going down the throat.

2. Hemostatic gauze: I put this in most extraction sites. It helps stop bleeding and oozing, especially for patients who can't go off blood thinners pre-surgery.

3. Disposable #15 blade scalpels: safer for me, staff, and patients than reusing blade handles. The extra cost is negligible compared to the risk reduction.

4. Russian forceps: better than hemostats for retrieving fragments, teeth, etc. Wide tips and teeth grasp securely.

5. Diode laser: originally for soft tissue procedures but now invaluable for getting control of bleeding vessels that can't be managed otherwise.

6. Surgical time out: We cover patient details, planned procedure, location, allergies, etc. pre-surgery. Gives staff permission to stop me if anything seems off.

7. PRF (platelet-rich fibrin): I add this to bone grafts and use membranes for coverage. Speeds healing, reduces swelling and discomfort.

8. The CBCT scanner: changed my surgical decision-making. Let's me see the pathology I'd miss on panorex and avoid unnecessary extractions near nerves.

9. Surgical headlight: Augmented vision is non-negotiable for me, and overhead lights just don't cut it. I use this for every surgery.

10. Side cutting burs: Contrary to training, I often use these to remove root tips in lieu of elevators. You have to be careful with pressure, but it works well.

I'd love to hear your top 10 instruments, products, or techniques too; please email me! I'm always trying to improve.