Like most other surgeries, oral surgery can lead to feelings of nervousness and anxiety. This is completely normal. At Toothworks, we believe one of the best ways to alleviate these feelings is through proper knowledge of the surgery. In today's post, our dentists at Toothworks Sterling Dental discuss how to prepare for oral surgery to eliminate any stress you might have due to the procedure.
People who take the time to prepare for oral surgery are more likely to have a smoother recovery. You might also want to do some independent research to prepare for your surgery. Here's what you need to know about preparing for oral surgery.
The first step in oral surgery is to meet with your dentist. This is where the dentist will tell you what to expect from the surgery and take your medical history. Ask your dentist about any specific fears you have about the surgery. The best way to make sure you don't forget any questions is to write them down ahead of time.
If you smoke, now is a good time to quit. Smoking can cause dry sockets, which happen when the blood clot that forms in the surgical wound breaks off, exposing the wound. A dry socket is a painful condition that needs to be treated right away by a dentist. The sucking motion of smoking can keep your oral surgery from healing.
Most oral surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures, which means you will be released from the hospital shortly afterward. You'll need to plan your return home because you won't be able to drive due to the long-term effects of anesthesia. It's a good idea to have someone stay with you for a few days after surgery. This person can keep an eye on you, call the doctor if something goes wrong, and assist with the care of any children or pets.
Eating & Drinking
It's normally best not to eat or drink anything for at least eight hours before surgery. If you're having local anesthesia, you might be able to eat a light meal before the procedure. It's also a good idea not to drink alcohol for at least 24 hours after the procedure. The dentist will most likely put you on a soft diet that requires no hard chewing or biting.
Prescription pain relievers and antibiotics should be obtained ahead of time so that they are ready for you when you arrive home. A few weeks before the surgery, your dentist may advise you to stop taking blood-thinning medications. Pain relievers are typically non-narcotics, such as acetaminophen, which can be obtained with a prescription. Dentists typically prescribe antibiotics such as penicillin VK, erythromycin, clindamycin, ticarcillin, and metronidazole.
Prepping Your Home for Recovery
You should begin preparing your home for recovery well in advance of the surgery. Check to see if you need anything on your nightstands, such as reading materials or games. Keep your phone nearby in case you require assistance. Before the surgery, buy soft foods like yogurt and smoothie ingredients and keep them in the fridge so you can eat or drink them right away.
General Tips for Recovery
Cold compresses or a bag of frozen peas can help ease some of the pain and swelling caused by the surgery. After the surgery, you should take it easy and not do anything too strenuous for a few days. You can start rinsing your mouth with salt water 24 hours after surgery, most of the time. As you should, brush and floss your teeth every day, but do it very gently.