Oral surgery is no fun. But, if it is a necessary course of action, getting prepared for oral surgery is advisable. We can offer you some valuable suggestions for that process.
Get a Consultation
Monica Eaton-Cardone says, “Getting a consultation with my surgeon calmed my nerves prior to oral surgery after a really bad car accident when I was 16.” Sitting down with those performing the surgery allows you to ask questions about the process and the medications associated with the procedure. This can help alleviate stress as it did for Eaton-Cardone. At that time you will be able to talk about your concerns and fears. Your surgeon or dentist will gladly answer all your questions and explain the entire course of events for you. Don’t forget to use this opportunity to talk about your options for sedation.
Arrange for Care and Transportation
Oral surgery is still surgery. So, it’s imperative that you arrange for someone to take you to and from the procedure. Your ability to operate a car after the event may be impacted by the medications administered during the process. Additionally, the pain medicines prescribed following the surgery will require that someone be available to help you until you are back to functioning at optimal levels.
Plan Prior to the Surgery
Most surgeons will advise you not to eat or drink prior to the surgery (this includes water). In fact, you should fast for about 8 hours before receiving anesthetic sedation due to the potential side effects. However, if you are having minor surgery with a local anesthetic you can have a light meal before going. Just be sure to brush and floss your teeth afterward. If you’re a smoker, you should abstain for at least 12 hours prior to oral surgery of any kind. And, since you’re already taking a break from it, you might want to use this as a catalyst to quit the habit completely. Especially since you’re not allowed to smoke for another 24 hours after the surgery.
Know What to Wear
You will want to ensure that whatever you choose to wear that day is comfortable. We specifically recommend wearing loose-fitted, short-sleeved clothing. While the doctors and staff will do their best to keep your clothing stain-free, it’s probably best to wear something that’s not of great value or sentiment. Leave your jewelry at home because you’ll have to take it off anyway. And, if you usually wear contact lenses, the day of surgery will be a glasses only event. Also, leave the make-up off. Of course, some form of lip balm is advisable as your lips can become chapped during surgery.
Create an After Surgery Diet
We’d be remiss if we didn’t admit that oral surgery can cause some eating complications after completion. Therefore, it’s a good idea to plan the meals you’ll be enjoying after surgery. Chewing is probably going to be an issue, so soft foods are advisable. Also, stay away from acidic and spicy foods that could lead to gum irritations. You may want to consider adding drinks with supplemental nutritional value like Ensure, Slim Fast, or Boost to help you remain well-nourished in the days following the surgery. Drinking with a straw is prohibited. The sucking motions necessary can create a very painful malady: dry socket. This will send you right back to the dentist requiring further treatment. So, even if milkshakes are the meal of choice, use a spoon!
Establish Your Recovery Location
You are going to need to rest after the oral surgery. Make sure your recovery location is prepared before you even go to the procedure. Stack pillows to allow yourself to be reclined on the bed or couch. You probably won’t want to sleep on you back. Consider changing out your sheets and pillowcases for older ones that you don’t mind staining. And, be certain to add books, crosswords, and magazines to your resting area to keep yourself busy. While the recovery process might not be an enjoyable one, the benefits initiated by the oral surgery will surpass the short-lived pain that proceeds it. Remember, your dentist or surgeon, is there to provide you with the reassurance you need to make this as smooth as possible. Don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns with him/her.