How to Prepare for Oral Surgery
Oral surgery may seem like a scary proposition, especially if you have never undergone a similar procedure. However, most oral surgeries are completed within a few hours and in an outpatient setting. This means that patients can return home to begin recovering within a few hours after surgery.
A little preparation is necessary before surgical procedures such as dental implant placement, bone grafting, or impacted wisdom tooth extraction. While it’s always best to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon about how best to prepare for your appointment, we’ve compiled a few useful tips to help you get ready for oral surgery.
Gather the Necessary Information
You should have a full understanding of what the procedure entails and all pre-operative instructions that go with it. Your oral surgeon will educate you on the steps you should take to prepare for your surgery. When you know what to expect before, during, and after the surgery, it’s easier to feel confident and calm about your procedure. Some important questions to ask include:
- How long will the surgery take?
- Will you require local or general anesthetic?
- Will you drive yourself home after the procedure?
- Are there supplements or drugs you should stop taking before the operation?
- How long is the recovery period?
- Are there special instructions you should follow before your appointment?
- Are there any potential risks or complications you should know?
Stock Up on Soft Foods
Before your oral surgery, it’s a good idea to stock up on soft foods such as soups, oatmeal, protein shakes, applesauce, and yogurt. You should purchase soft, healthy foods that you can easily prepare and eat. Avoid foods that need lots of chewing to avoid irritating your tender jaws and gums. Steer clear of spicy, hard, acidic, and crunchy foods for the first week after your surgery, as they are more likely to cause discomfort. Your oral surgeon will let you know exactly when you can resume your regular diet.
Plan for Recovery
Your oral surgeon will provide aftercare instructions and may prescribe medication for pain management. In many cases, you’ll need to arrange a ride home from the dental clinic, especially if the procedure involves general anesthesia. Ensure that your home is comfortable and well-prepared before the surgery so that you can rest after the procedure. You should also save the contact information for your dentist and oral surgeon in case you have any concerns or follow-up questions.
Fast (as Directed by Your Dentist)
Based on the type of oral surgery you need, you may be required to fast before your scheduled procedure. Your dentist will discuss all pre-operative requirements with you before the surgery, including whether you need to refrain from eating. Ensure that you adhere to your dentist’s instructions, because eating during the fasting window may result in your surgery being rescheduled.
Sometimes, oral surgery may be the only way to fix problems affecting your teeth, gums, and jaws. It’s always best to take measures before your surgery to support a more comfortable recovery period. Do not hesitate to call your oral surgeon if you have any questions on what to do or avoid when preparing for your oral surgery. Your dental team will be happy to address any concerns you may have.