Surgery is a serious procedure that requires specific preparation, and oral surgery is no different. It is important to approach oral surgery with the same gravity as you would any other surgery. Preparing properly for your oral surgery can help you navigate the procedure with as little difficulty as possible and avoid complications.
Make Plans Before the Procedure. Find out if you need someone to drive you home, and make it in advance. Find out if you will need to be away from work for a few days and notify your employer. Shop for any foods you might need during recovery and make sure you have ibuprofen, ice packs, and any other items you might need for pain and recovery. If your surgeon is planning to prescribe medication, ask if they can call in the prescription so that you can pick it up before the surgery. Don’t wait until the last minute – use the time before your surgery to set yourself up for a successful recovery.
Listen To Your Dentist. Listen carefully to your dentist’s suggestions and ask questions about the surgery: How should you prepare? What should you expect during recovery? If you are given instructions, follow them carefully and keep them in a safe place or have a copy emailed to you so they will be available when you need them.
Find Out About Restrictions. It’s generally a good idea to avoid smoking at least 12 hours before your procedure and plan to not smoke for several days after surgery. If you need to be anesthetized, find out if you need to fast beforehand and be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions. You may not be allowed to eat crunchy or acidic foods after your surgery, and you will likely need to avoid alcohol as it can dry out the tissues in your mouth and prevent clotting.
Keep an Eye on Your Health. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before, and avoid alcohol the day before the surgery. Let your surgeon know about any health conditions and medications you are taking that may affect your surgery or recovery. If you are feeling sick or think you may have a fever before your scheduled procedure, call your dental office and inform them of your symptoms. You may need to reschedule until you feel better.
Dress Appropriately. Ask your surgeon about what sort of things you should not wear during the procedure. Do not wear jewelry or contact lenses, and do not apply any makeup (although you may want some chapstick or lip balm for after the procedure). Wear something that is comfortable and loose-fitting with short sleeves so that if you need emergency treatment, it will be easy to access your arms to take your blood pressure or place an IV.
Stay in Touch. Before you leave the dental office, make sure you understand all the instructions you have been given and how to identify symptoms that signal complications. Find out who to contact if you have any side effects or complications, and what to do in an emergency. Don’t be afraid to call your dentist the next day just to check in – your dentist will be able to help you understand what is normal and when you need treatment.
Communication and preparation can ensure proper recovery and help you avoid complications, so ask questions and make a plan in advance. If you are in need of, or have an upcoming oral surgery, contact us and ask how we can help you have a better experience!