If you’ve got oral surgery coming up on your calendar, it’s important that you’re fully prepared for the procedure. If you are, then you’re more likely to have a smooth operation and a speedy recovery. These types of surgeries are generally done on an outpatient basis and tend to involve either local or general anesthetic.
From the perspective of a patient, oral surgery should be viewed like any other surgery. That means following many of the same preparations and post-surgery instructions so that you minimize the chances of getting an infection.
Interested in learning the most important steps for preparing for oral surgery? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
1. Go Over Your Oral Surgery in Detail
When you meet with your oral surgeon to discuss the upcoming surgery, it’s important that you listen very carefully and take notes if you have to. But you shouldn’t just listen. You should also make sure to ask questions about anything that you’re confused about or want to know more about.
Make sure that you don’t leave anything unspoken. If you’re undergoing any other medical procedures or have a medical condition, even if it seems unrelated, you must make sure that the surgeon knows about it. This includes any prescription or over the counter drugs that you’re currently taking.
The more your surgeon knows, the more likely they can avoid any issues and potential drug interactions. And if you’re at all anxious about the surgery, express those concerns so you can learn more. For example, if the type of anesthesia that’s going to be used makes you nervous, ask your doctor how safe it is and if there any potential alternatives.
Lastly, you want to make sure that your insurance will cover the procedure. You don’t want to get any unexpected bills in the mail while recovering from oral surgery. Work with the doctor’s office on this and, if necessary, ask for a written description of the operation to confirm with your insurance company that you’re covered.
2. Figure Out Transportation and Post-Procedure Care
Although it should seem obvious, some people don’t fully understand the impact that some oral surgeries can have on the body. To be safe, it’s a good idea to have a family member or a friend go with you to the surgeon’s office and take you home. If there’s no one available to take you home, that doesn’t mean that you should simply drive yourself home.
Even just getting local anesthesia can be enough to affect your reflexes and impair your ability to drive a car. Consider using a ride-share app like Uber or taking a taxi. But don’t do so until a staff member has told you that it’s okay to leave.
And if you’re going through a complicated procedure and live by yourself, you should try to find someone who can stay with you through the night – or at least be able to check on you. And if you have children, you should arrange for someone else to watch them and even pre-prepare their food so you don’t have to focus on cooking while you’re recovering.
And if you were given general anesthesia for the operation, then you should not drive for the next one or two days following the surgery.
3. Know the Rules About Smoking, Drinking, and Eating
If you’re given a general or intravenous (IV) anesthetic, then you’ll have to follow the same preparations as anyone else who undergoes surgery. This means that you shouldn’t drink or eat anything, including having water, for 8 to 12 hours before the operation.
You might be allowed to eat a light meal a few hours before the surgery if you’re just getting a local anesthetic but you should make sure to floss and brush your teeth after. It’s also very important that you don’t smoke for at least 12 hours before your operation and one week after the operation.
4. Dress Appropriately
You should dress comfortably and practically for the procedure. It’s a good idea to wear clothes that are short-sleeved and loose-fitting. This is especially helpful if you’ll be getting an IV drip.
Other important things to remember include:
- Don’t wear contact lenses because your eyes will stay closed for an extended period of time
- Pin or tie your hair back if it’s long
- Don’t wear jewelry
- Don’t wear lipstick or makeup but it would be helpful to bring lip balm for after the surgery
- Avoid wearing any body sprays, colognes, or perfumes out of courtesy to the doctors
And even though the doctors will do their best to make sure they don’t stain your clothes, it’s still a good idea to wear something that you wouldn’t mind getting ruined.
5. Plan Your Post-Surgery Diet
You want to plan as much as possible so you can avoid stress after the surgery. When you go home following the procedure, you will only be allowed to eat foods that are soft and don’t require much chewing. You should also avoid acidic and spicy food as they can irritate your gums.
Protein drinks are generally good to have around the house as they can help speed up your recovery. And even though it may seem like a good idea, you should never drink through a straw in the days following your surgery.
The Importance of Preparing for Oral Surgery
Undergoing operations is something that can cause people to stress. But, by preparing for oral surgery, you can ensure that you’ll be worrying about less so that you can focus on your recovery more.
Do you think you might need to get oral surgery? Contact us today and see how we can help you!