Preparing For Your Upcoming Oral Surgery

Each year, people suffering from impacted wisdom teeth, in need of bone grafts, or interested in having dental implants find themselves visiting a dentist for oral surgery.   

Although the prospect of a prolonged dental visit causes many patients some anxiety, oral surgery is a relatively common procedure carried out by dentists – a 2013 study found that one dental hospital in Croatia performed more than 11,000 procedures in a single year. Most procedures that fall under the umbrella of oral surgery are simple and without great risk, and you should be on your way back home within a few hours of your arrival at the dentist's office.

However, you can increase your chances for rapid healing and problem-free recovery by taking the time to prepare for the procedure.

  1. Educate yourself about the procedure. No matter what type of surgery you need, you'll feel better about it if you learn what to expect beforehand. Ask the dentist to explain the basic steps involved in the procedure, review any literature he or she provides you with, and be sure to ask questions about anything you don't understand.
  2. Go shopping the day before the procedure. You'll want to ensure you have easy-to-eat foods (ice cream, yogurts, soups, etc.) in the house in case your mouth is sore. Additionally, be sure to have an over-the-counter pain killer, such as ibuprofen, on hand as well as cold-compresses to help ease any pain or swelling.
  3. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight of the night before the surgery. This will help ensure your stomach is empty during the procedure, which will make you less likely to vomit during the process. While this is not a common occurrence, it is quite serious and is to be avoided at all costs.
  4. Get a good night's rest before the procedure. Proper rest and a positive attitude are both crucial to the healing process, so it is wise to ensure you are feeling your best upon entering the dentist's office.
  5. Wear comfortable clothing. You'll be in the dentist's chair for a long time, and comfortable clothing will help ensure you remain relaxed during the procedure. Try to wear short sleeves if possible, as the dentist may need to place an intravenous-drip into the vein in your arm.  
  6. Have a friend or relative drive you. You'll be unable to drive after having a procedure, so you'll need someone to drive you home afterwards. Additionally, you may need to drop by the pharmacy to pick up medications, and your friend can help ensure this proceeds smoothly and that you arrive back home safe and sound. 

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