Oral Surgery: What to Expect, How to Prepare

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Okay, so you’ve been told that you need oral surgery. You probably have so many questions racing through your head. Will it be painful? Will I need to go under anesthesia? What do I need to do to prepare? How long will it take to recover? These questions and more are only natural. But we’ve made it easy for you to know what to expect and how to prepare for your upcoming oral surgery.

Preparing for Oral Surgery

Now that you know you will be undergoing oral surgery, it is time for you to prepare. In most situations, oral surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and will involve either a local or general anesthetic. Getting your questions answered upfront and taking a few steps to prepare for your oral surgery procedure will help ensure that there are no complications and you can recover quickly at home.

1. Don’t leave anything unspoken.

If you have questions about your oral surgery, be sure to ask those questions at your consultation or your dental appointment before surgery. Though you must listen to your dentist or oral surgeon as they provide you with crucial details about the procedure, anesthesia, and recovery time, it is just as important that you ask your own questions. Be sure to share critical medical information, such as illnesses, health concerns, medications, etc. The more open your conversation is with your dental provider, the smoother the entire oral surgery process will be.

2. Go shopping.

This might sound like a strange thing to do before surgery, but patients often do not have the appropriate post-surgical foods at home. And, we highly advise against a trip to the grocery store on your way home from your surgery. Some of the best foods to eat after oral surgery include jello, soft or frozen yogurt, applesauce, eggs, mashed potatoes, pasta, soft cheeses, cottage cheese, avocado, hummus, or soft bread. Be sure to follow your dentist’s specific instructions on what to eat or what not to eat, based on the type of oral surgery you are having.

3. Dress comfortably.

We have found that patients who dress comfortably in loose-fitting clothing are the most comfortable during their oral surgery procedure. Button-down shirts are often the best and most comfortable, especially when layered with a tank top or T-shirt underneath. We often remind patients that your oral surgery is not the day for a fashion show. While the dental team will work to protect your clothing, blood and saliva are potential staining hazards. Wear something to the procedure that can get a bit dirty and won’t be challenging to clean. Leave your jewelry at home and avoid clothing that needs to be removed over the neck.

4. Arrive at your appointment early.

Aiming to be a bit early helps lessen the anxiety that you might be running late and helps avoid delays from traffic jams you might hit on your way to the office. We recommend that patients arrive at their oral surgery procedure about 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time. Not only that, but getting there early can ensure you have enough time to ask any last-minute questions and complete any remaining paperwork.

5. Know what to expect after your oral surgery.

At Dallas Cosmetic Dental, we’ll do our best to keep you as comfortable as possible before, during, and after your procedure. If you receive dental sedation, such as general anesthesia, for your procedure, you will most likely wake up in the dental chair or in an adjacent recovery room. Many patients tell us that they don’t think they were ever asleep and actually question if the procedure even took place—that’s how easy it is!

As soon as you wake up, you will begin to regain the feeling in your mouth. You should, however, expect some pain and swelling. We will provide you and the person driving you (you will not be able to drive immediately following your procedure) with clear instructions on taking your medications, whether over-the-counter (OTC) or prescribed painkillers. Once you feel ready and the dentist clears you, it will be time to head home.

6. Relaxing at home after oral surgery and anesthesia.

Now that you are home, it is time to begin your oral surgery recovery. After your appointment, you should plan to spend the rest of the day relaxing and recovering. Avoid strenuous activities such as bending or lifting anything that could dislodge your blood clots and lead to unnecessary bleeding. Prop yourself up in your bed or on your couch with extra pillows to keep your head elevated.

Follow instructions provided by your dentist for a saltwater rinse (½ teaspoon of table salt mixed with 8 ounces of lukewarm water) and ice application (apply for 30 minutes, remove for 15 minutes, then repeat). Heeding your doctor’s advice is one of the best ways to get you back on your feet and ensure your mouth heals successfully.

Come to the best cosmetic dentist in Dallas for your oral surgery.

Whether you need oral surgery or seek a smile makeover, Dr. Alhadef is the best cosmetic dentist in Dallas. Request an appointment via our easy-to-use online form today. We look forward to meeting you and showing you how easy your oral surgery can be.