Like most other surgeries, oral surgery can often lead to mild to moderate anxiety. That’s why it’s important to know what you need to prepare. For example, it’s important to ask your dentist regarding medications to stop before surgery or ask if surgeries like dental implants can be covered by your insurance.
Consultation is where the dentist will tell you what to expect from the surgery. It’s also the time to ask questions you may have about the procedure.
Food and Drinks Before and After
Depending on the surgery, the dentist may ask you to fast the night before, especially if you’re going to be put under general anesthesia. Make sure to clean your teeth before the operation, as this cuts down on the bacteria that can get into the surgical wound.
Post op, the dentist will put you on a soft diet where you won’t have to do any hard chewing or biting. The food should be bland as well as soft, and you may want to try protein powder shakes or nutritionally enhanced liquids for a few days. Don’t drink them through a straw, because this may lead to dry socket. Don’t drink alcohol for at least 24 hours after the operation. You shouldn’t eat anything at all until your anesthesia wears off, and you can feel your cheek and your tongue. If you eat while they’re still numb, you may bite them by accident.
It’s best to wear old, loose, comfortable clothing to the surgery. Makeup, jewelry or contact lenses are strongly discouraged. You may also want to bring some lip balm to soothe your lips after the operation.
The dentist may ask you to stop taking blood thinning medications a couple of weeks before the surgery. These medications, which include aspirin, can prolong the healing process. Some dentists start their patients on antibiotics and pain meds before the surgery to make sure they’re comfortable.
Preparing for Recovery
You will want to start preparing your home for recovery well before the surgery. Change your bed linens into those that are clean but expendable, as they are likely to be stained. Find plenty of pillows to keep your head propped up during the postoperative period.
Consider placing needful things such as reading materials and games on the nightstand, and keep your phone nearby in case you need to call for help. Don’t wait to buy soft foods such as yogurt and ingredients for smoothies on the day of the surgery, but have them ready in the fridge. You will also want to have ice packs ready to go.
Recovery for a one-stop oral surgery such as wisdom tooth extraction or root canal therapy may take about two weeks. Jaw surgery can take as long as five hours, and it may take about a month to a month and a half to heal.
If you need oral surgery, it’s important to find a certified oral surgeon to perform the procedure. By taking into consideration your oral surgeon’s advice, and the above tips for preparing for oral surgery, you can position yourself for a quick and smooth recovery from surgery.