Granted, when they hear the word ‘surgery’, most people automatically start thinking of cold and sterile rooms, general anaesthesia and spending a few days in the hospital recuperating. However, you will be happy to learn that oral surgery is a procedure performed in the general dentist’s office and that it only requires local anaesthesia. Sometimes, you don’t need more than a few hours to get back to your normal routine.In case you require dental surgery, then here are some tips on how to prepare and go through the experience as smoothly as possible.
• Find out if you need special medication
If this is your first oral surgery, then chances are you hold certain fears and concerns regarding the procedure. Rest assured that your dentist is more than happy to answer any questions you might have in this sense. Keep in mind that you can use this opportunity to discuss sedation and distraction methods that can get you through the surgery. In addition, inquire on whether you need post-procedure medication and arrange for someone to pick it up for you, since it’s probable you won’t be able to do this yourself after the surgery.
• Arrange for post-surgery transportation and care
Depending on the sedation method you selected, you might not be able to operate your car after the oral surgery. In this case, it’s best to have someone accompany you to and from the dentist’s office to ensure you reach your destination safely. If you have small children, then you can ask a close friend or relative to look after them during the recovery period.
• Consider the optimal diet before and after the procedure
In the event that your dentist informs you he is going to use intravenous anaesthetics, then you should follow his pre-operative instructions to the letter. In most cases, this means that you should refrain from eating or drinking anything 8 hours before the surgery. If he intends to use a local sedative, then you shouldn’t eat anything for 1 or 2 hours before the procedure.
Following the oral surgery, your diet should include mostly soft foods that require little to no biting. It might also be helpful to avoid spicy or acidic dishes during recovery, as they may cause gum irritations. As far as beverages are concerned, it’s for the best to avoid drink them via a straw; this is especially important if you had a tooth extraction, because it triggers a condition known as dry socket.
• Dress comfortably for your appointment
While the dentist and staff will do their best to avoid staining your garments, it would be wise to dress in something you wouldn’t mind being ruined. Wear comfortable or loose-fitting clothing, and refrain from putting on jewellery, as you could be asked to remove them prior to the oral surgery anyway.
• Prepare your recovery space
Your dentist will advise you to sit in a reclined position during the recovery period and you’re not allowed to sleep flat on your side or back. Therefore, don’t forget to spread several pillows and sheets on your bed. In case you enjoy watching TV or playing video games, then arrange to have them relocated to your room to help tide you over the recovery period.