Dental surgery can be a daunting experience for numerous people, given the apprehension and ambiguity surrounding the prospect of undergoing a surgical procedure within the oral cavity. Nevertheless, effective planning and preparation can mitigate these apprehensions and facilitate a successful procedure and recovery.
This blog will explore the important questions and tips you should know before dental surgery. Here’s what you need to know:
What is dental surgery?
Dental surgery, often called oral surgery, encompasses any surgical procedure involving the teeth, gums, or jawbone. There are various reasons why individuals may require dental surgery, including:
- Protruding wisdom teeth
- In cases of severe tooth decay, damage, or overcrowding
- Dental Implants
- Jaw-related Issues
- Corrective jaw surgery
Things to do before surgery
Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist if you have any lingering concerns about your upcoming procedure. They’ll provide you with the answers you need. Whether you’re curious about the specifics of the procedure, potential risks or side effects, or what to expect during your recovery, your dentist is there to guide you every step of the way.
Jaw surgeries in particular, can be quite complicated and may result in unanticipated fractures, bleeding, and postoperative infections. Don’t let unanswered questions dally in your mind – seek clarity and put your mind at ease. For more information, read this jaw surgery FAQ list.
Read your pre-op instructions
When scheduling your oral surgery, it is crucial to thoroughly read and understand the pre-operative instructions provided by your surgeon. These instructions serve as a comprehensive guide that outlines the measures you must take before your procedure. By carefully reviewing the instructions, you will gain valuable insights into the specific actions your surgeon requires from you and what you can expect on the day of your surgery.
Keep your medication ready
Get your medication ready before your surgery to ensure a hassle-free recovery. After your procedure, you’ll want to focus on resting and recuperating without the added stress of going out to the pharmacy. So, make a trip to the pharmacy beforehand and stock up on all the medications you’ll need during your recovery process. Request your dentist to give you your prescription beforehand so that you can procure it before your appointment.
Ask for a ride
Some complex dental surgeries are carried out by administering anesthesia. This means you’ll be out of your senses for a while and won’t be able to drive yourself. So, it’s time to call in the troops! Reach out to your pals or family and ask if anyone can accompany you or drop you back home. Having a person you trust by your side will ensure a safe journey back and provide you with much-needed support during your recovery.
Hopping on public transport immediately after oral surgery isn’t safe, so ensure you have a reliable ride arranged.
Stock up on your groceries
Following your procedure, you may experience discomfort and swelling, making it challenging to chew or consume certain foods. This is where a well-stocked pantry can be helpful. Stock your pantry with soft, nourishing, and easy-to-eat options such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, applesauce, and soups. These choices will provide essential nutrients while being gentle on your healing gums. Don’t forget to include protein-rich foods like scrambled eggs and cottage cheese in your diet to maintain a balanced intake.
Moreover, consider grabbing some ice packs to alleviate swelling and reduce pain in the affected area. Treat yourself to some ice cream or gelatin for a delicious and soothing dessert if you have a sweet tooth.
Fast the day before surgery
Fasting the day before surgery may not be the most enjoyable prospect, but it’s a crucial step to ensure a safe procedure. When anesthesia is involved, your dentist will likely advise you to abstain from eating or drinking anything for at least eight hours before surgery. It’s essential to follow these instructions diligently to prevent any complications. If you absolutely need to take medication, take it with just a sip of water.
Smoking and dental surgery simply don’t mix! If you’re a smoker, it’s crucial to understand the detrimental impact smoking can have on your surgical outcome and overall oral health. Lighting up before or after dental surgery can significantly impair the healing procedure and increase the risk of complications.
Smoking reduces blood flow, inhibits oxygen delivery, and compromises the immune system, all of which are vital for successful healing. It can also lead to dry sockets, delayed wound healing, and an increased chance of infection.
Wear the right clothes
Choosing appropriate clothing may not come across your mind, but it can make you feel comfortable during the procedure. Opt for loose, comfortable attire that allows easy access to your upper body. Avoid wearing tight shirts or dresses that might restrict movement or cause discomfort. You should be able to relax and move freely during the surgery, with your arms available for monitoring vitals, administering an IV, or measuring your blood pressure.
Furthermore, consider wearing something you don’t mind getting stained, as there is a chance of minor spills or splatters during the procedure.
Arriving early allows you to settle in, complete the necessary paperwork, and prepare yourself mentally for the upcoming dental journey. It also allows you to discuss any last-minute concerns or questions with your dental team, ensuring you are fully informed and ready for what lies ahead.
Preparing for dental surgery is pivotal to ensure a successful operation and a smooth recovery. Understanding your procedure, planning logistics, following your dentist’s advice, and maintaining your health can set you up for a seamless surgery and a comfortable postoperative healing process.