Like most other surgeries, oral surgery can lead to feelings of nervousness and panic. This is completely normal. One of the best ways to alleviate these feelings is through proper knowledge of the surgery. In today's post, our Sydney dentists 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 specific surgery. We do recommend if you are researching your surgery turn off images if you can, online searches of medical issues with images can be unpleasant. 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 concerns 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 done as outpatient procedures, which means that you will be released soon after the surgery. You'll need to figure out how you're going to get home because you won't be able to drive due to the long-term effects of anesthesia. It's a good idea for someone to stay with you after surgery for a few days. This person can keep an eye on you, call the doctor if something goes wrong, and help look after 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 since it can interfere with or cause complications with pain medication or the anesthetic. The dentist will most likely put you on a soft diet that requires no hard chewing or biting. You will also most likely not be allowed to use straws for a period after the surgery.
Prescribed painkillers and antibiotics should be obtained beforehand, so they will be ready for you when you get home. Your dentist may ask you to stop taking blood-thinning medications a few weeks before the surgery, make sure your GP knows about this change in your medication beforehand. Painkillers are usually non-narcotics, like acetaminophen that can be acquired with a prescription. Penicillin VK, erythromycin, clindamycin, ticarcillin, and metronidazole are normally some of the antibiotics prescribed by dentists.
Prepping Your Home for Recovery
You should start setting up your home for recovery well before the surgery. Check to see if there are things you need on your nightstand, like reading materials and games. Keep your phone nearby in case you need to get help. Shop for soft foods like yogurt and smoothie ingredients before the surgery and have them ready 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. Have your preferred cold compress waiting for you in your freezer or if it is a significant ride to get back home see if your ride can bring it with them. 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.