It can be intimidating. It can provoke anxiety. It can even be scary. For most people getting oral surgery is a daunting prospect. We don’t want to downplay that: That’s a normal reaction. It’s perfectly natural to have some anxiety at the thought of having surgery performed on your mouth.
When your dentist or doctor recommends oral surgery, it’s because it’s necessary for your health. Whether you’re getting treatment for gum disease or pulling a tooth, these procedures can improve the quality of life and free you from pain and discomfort. It’s much easier going through this whole process if you have oral surgery expectations. At Dental Specialty Associates, we make it a point to prepare our patients by letting them know what to expect at every step during their procedure. Knowledge is power, after all. So if you wonder what your oral surgery expectations should be, read on.
Before Oral Surgery
In the weeks leading up to your surgery it’s important that you give your dentist a full accounting of your dental and medical history. Let them know about recent past surgeries and any current health problems you might have. Notify them of any medications you’re taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements. Also be sure to let them know if there are any medications that you are allergic to.
You’ll want to fast the night before your surgery. You’ll also want to make arrangements for transportation to and from your dentist’s office. Most oral surgeries are outpatient procedures in which you’ll be given anesthesia or painkillers that could affect your ability to drive afterwards. It’s best to get those details figured out ahead of time so you won’t be worrying about it on the day of your surgery.
During The Surgery
Getting oral surgery can be stressful but it’s important to remember that these procedures are both safe and vital for your health. So long as you follow your surgeon’s pre-surgery instructions, you should be fine. On the day of the surgery, you’ll be given a local anesthetic that will numb the area the surgeon will be operating in. The anesthetic will also often numb surrounding areas, like your jaw and other parts of your mouth.
You shouldn’t be feeling any pain during the procedure. If you do, notify the doctor immediately. You may feel pressure if you’re getting a tooth removed. Don’t panic, that’s a normal sensation. The pressure shouldn’t hurt, though, so if it does you need to communicate that.
After The Surgery
Recovery times and post-surgery care can vary depending on the procedure you’ve undergone. Depending on how extensive the surgery is, the recovery time can be just a few days or take several weeks. It isn’t uncommon to have a small amount of bleeding happen up to 24 hours after surgery.
Make sure to take any antibiotics or pain medications prescribed to you by your doctor as you recovered. Ask them if taking over the counter anti-inflammatory like Advil or Motrin is okay with the medication you’re on. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help you manage your pain during your recovery process. You can also an ice pack on your jack to reduce any swelling. Doing it for 10 or 20 minutes at a time is a good standard, especially during your first day post-surgery. If your jaw is still sore after the swelling has gone down, you can use a warm compress to ease the soreness.
Food & Oral Hygiene
Eat soft and cool foods for the first few days after surgery. Steer clear of hot foods & drinks, as well as alcoholic beverages, for the first 24 hours. Chew your food away from the extraction site. Avoid spitting or using a straw. These activities could cause blood clots to dislodge, which can greatly delay and complicate your healing.
It’s important to maintain your oral hygiene routines as you recover. You just have to make a few adjustments. Avoid brushing the area around the affected site for the first 24 hours. Don’t use antiseptic or commercial mouthwashes for a few days. They could irritate extraction sites and other sensitive parts of your mouth. You can rinse your mouth out 24 hours after surgery using a warm salt water solution. Use a ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. This will help stimulate saliva production and wash out mouth bacteria.
If you have any questions about oral surgery expectations or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists, give us a call today! Our staff at Dental Specialty Associates would be happy to assist you. Call us at 602-795-5995.