Preparing for Oral Surgery

Posted on: June 16, 2018

How to Prepare for Oral Surgery

Knowing how to prepare for oral surgery and what to expect during the procedure will help you be able to relax before the big day. It will also shorten the recovery period. Most dental surgeries are outpatient procedures that often involve the use of general or local anesthesia. That means the patient is free to return home when the operation is completed.

What to do the night before oral surgery

It is often best for patients to finalize their transportation needs the night before the operation. While patients are typically allowed to return home shortly after the procedure is completed, it is not always safe to drive yourself from the dental office. Some anesthetics have lingering effects that can inhibit a patient's ability to drive a vehicle or operate machinery. Patients should ask their surgeon about the type of painkillers that will be used, and if driving home afterward is recommended.

Also, some surgical treatments require patients to avoid eating the night before the surgery. This impairment is usually the case when general anesthesia is administered. Most surgeons give their patients the exact length of time fasting is recommended.

If the patient has other issues like diabetes, eating the day of the surgery is typically allowed.

The recovery period

Patients should plan when it comes to the after-care after oral surgery. Some surgeries require patients to spend extended amounts of time resting in bed, so it is a good idea for the person to set up their bedroom or area of resting for the recovery period. You do not want to be moving your entertainment system to your bedroom after spending hours on the operating chair. It is recommended to stock up on magazines, DVDs, and other things that will keep you busy during the recovery period.

Patients who smoke are advised to avoid it while recovering from the operation. The sucking motion could lead to excessive bleeding from the operated area, and nicotine increases healing times.

Most patients deal with some level of swelling after getting a surgical procedure done, so ice packs should be frozen and prepared for use. Icepacks should be applied for 15 minutes, followed by a 15-minute resting period.

Brushing and flossing should be avoided for a week after surgery. Instead, saltwater should be used to clean the mouth after 24 hours has passed. It is also vital that patients take all medications prescribed by the surgeon as recommend.

Eating after dental surgery

Soft foods like dairy products and soups are recommended for the first two days after surgery. Patients should stay away from hard, crunchy foods like pretzel sticks and popcorn. It is also best for patients to wait until their meals reach room temperature before consuming them as it could lead to pain or sensitivity. Avoid eating anything that requires a sucking motion to swallow like spaghetti. It is also highly advised to stay away from straws. Most patients can get back to eating regular foods once a few days have passed.

Want to learn more about preparing for maxillofacial surgery? Schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today!

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