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Oral Surgery: Tips for a Speedy Recovery
Oral surgery is not something that the average person would volunteer to undergo. It becomes necessary when less invasive treatment options simply will not get the job done.
Thanks to skilled dentists, oral surgeries are usually outpatient affairs that almost always go smoothly.
However, even the best procedure may come with some pain or soreness. You can help your healing process along by making some useful preparations.
Recovering after oral surgery
Here are some tips to speed up your recovery after undergoing oral surgery.
Ask questions and share information
You need to know what to expect before, during and after the surgery. You should speak with your dentist about concerns over preparation, the surgery itself and postop care.
No question is too silly or trivial.
You should also share your medical history. This includes any medication you are on, allergies you may have, underlying health conditions and whether you have recently had a surgical procedure. This information helps the dentist plan out the procedure in a way that accommodates your needs.
Prepare the medication and after-care supplies
Some people with underlying health conditions may need to start a course of antibiotics or some other kind of medication before the surgery. They may need to continue taking the medication after the surgery.
If you undergo oral surgery, you will likely need pain medication. A doctor will give a prescription before the procedure. Be sure to take it to the pharmacy to have the medication ready immediately following the surgery.
You should also get all the supplies needed for aftercare. The oral dentist might give you a list of these items and instructions on how to use them.
Arrange for time off
The effects of a general anesthetic will leave you unable to drive home. Be sure to find someone to drive you to and from surgery.
Oral surgery is not as minor as a tooth filling. You may need extended rest when you get home. Speak with your employer to schedule a day or two away from the office.
Arrange for someone to help with childcare and chores for a few days. If you live alone, try to find someone to stay with you for the first day and night.
Cut out alcohol and tobacco
If your dentist plans on using general anesthesia, you will need to fast and stop smoking for eight to twelve hours prior to the surgery.
After the surgery, you should stay away from alcohol and tobacco until fully healed. It best to give up these habits altogether.
Take good care of the site of the surgery
The dentist wil advise you on how to manage the pain and keep the wound clean. They will give you tips such as:
- Stay hydrated but stay away from soda, coffee and of course, alcohol
- Keep the mouth clean by practicing good oral hygiene
- Take pain medication as per the doctor's instructions
- Use a cold compress to numb the site of the surgery
- Sleep with the head elevated above the body
- Do not use a straw to drink things
Prepare your meals
You will need time to heal after oral surgery. To keep the sutures in place, you will need to eat soft foods for a while.
For minor surgery, like the extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth or dental implant surgery, you should stick to soft, preferably liquid foods like oatmeal or mashed food.
For more involved oral procedures like corrective jaw surgery, you will have to adopt a clear liquid diet. Broth and juices will become your best friends.
Plan for this change in diet ahead of the surgery to make things go smoothly.
Do you feel prepared for your oral surgery?
There are dentists who perform oral surgeries all the time. The healing time is not as long as many people fear.
If you follow the dentist's instructions for pre-op and post-op care, you will be well enough to go about your daily life in a short while.
For any other concerns about your procedure, please call our office.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Surgery.
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