Dental Guides

4 Tips for a Speedy Recovery and No Complications after Oral Surgery

You need to prepare well for oral surgery to ensure a quick recovery with no complications. Typically performed on an outpatient basis, oral surgery involves local or general anesthetic. Preparations for oral surgery are no different from those of other surgeries. Here are a few things to remember to help you get ready for your procedure.

  1. Have a detailed discussion with your surgeon

Many people are afraid to ask their oral surgeon questions when they meet them before the surgery because they feel uncomfortable or think they’ll sound silly. So they sit quietly and listen attentively as the surgeon explains the anesthesia, operation, and recovery processes.

Don’t be shy to ask questions. If there is a detail about your medical history that you feel the surgeon should know, speak up. These details can be prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking. The more information the dentist has about your case, the less likely complications such as adverse drug interactions will occur.

If you’re anxious about something related to the procedure, such as how safe the anesthesia used is, ask about it and find out if alternatives are available. You have a right to ask about these things. If you’re unsure whether your insurance covers the procedure, established dentist’s offices such as Healthy Smiles Stuart will prepare for you a description of the procedure (including ICD-10 codes) to verify with your insurance provider.

  1. Arrange for transport and post-surgery care

Obvious as this tip may seem, many patients overlook the impact of certain procedures. It’s a good idea to have a family member or friend accompany you to the clinic and take you home after the surgery. Driving yourself home after any surgery involving anesthesia is perilous because your reflexes may be diminished.

Don’t be quick to call an Uber until the clinic confirms that it’s safe to leave. If you’re undergoing a more impactful procedure and you live alone, arrange for someone to take care of your needs such as childcare and cooking for at least 24 hours following the surgery. This step is especially important for oral surgeries involving general anesthesia.

  1. Learn about the rules for eating and drinking

There are certain guidelines to follow for oral surgeries that involve general or intravenous (IV) anesthetic. It’s generally recommended to not eat or drink anything 12 hours before surgeries involving general anesthetic. You might be allowed one light meal in cases that involve local anesthetic but make sure you brush your teeth and floss thoroughly before the procedure. Do not smoke 12 hours before surgery.

  1. Plan your post-surgery diet

Eat soft foods after oral surgery. Your meals should need little to no chewing. Steer clear of acidic or spicy foods as they result in gum irritation. Early in your recovery, get your nutrients from proteins drinks and quick-cook foods such as oatmeal. Avoid hot foods and beverages as they can affect the surgical site.

Counterintuitive as it may sound, avoid drinking beverages through straws, especially after tooth extraction. The sucking action may lead to the extremely painful dry socket infection which often requires further treatment.

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