If you’re considering oral or maxillofacial surgery, you may be a little nervous. The thought of surgery can be a little intimidating, but a little preparation goes a long way in making the whole process go smoothly. Today, our experts at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL are discussing how to prepare for oral surgery to make the process as smooth as possible.
How Do You Prepare for Oral Surgery?
Discuss the Procedure in Detail
If you feel a bit anxious because you don’t know what to expect during the procedure, don’t hesitate to ask your oral surgeon any and all questions you may have.
You will attend an initial consultation before Oral Surgery to discuss your concerns, goals, and health history. Your oral surgeon will discuss all of the OTC drugs, prescription drugs, and supplements you have taken recently to ensure there are no contraindications.
Arrange for Transportation and Care
Arranging for transportation and care is another vital preparation step you need to take in advance of your procedure. Regardless of whether you receive local anesthesia or general anesthesia, you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours post-op. If you don’t have a friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure, schedule a driver through a rideshare app to drop you off and pick you up.
Ideally, you should arrange for someone to stay with you for at least 24 hours post-op. If this is not feasible, at least make sure you have someone to watch you and care for you overnight. If you live alone and have children or pets, arrange for childcare or someone to take care of your pets during the first 24 to 48 hours of your recovery.
Prepare Your Recovery Space
It is also highly advisable that you prepare your recovery space before you come in for your procedure. Make sure your favorite bathrobe is clean and ready to be lounged in as you prioritize your rest. Download the audiobook your coworkers won’t stop raving about. Hook your Xbox up to the TV in your recovery room and have a stack of your favorite DVDs to be popped in and watched. Make sure you have plenty of pillows and blankets to ensure your comfort.
In addition to ensuring your recovery space is comfortable, you need to ensure that it is practical. It is a good idea to keep all of the prescription medications you need to take in this room. It is where you will be spending the majority of your time, and the more convenient it is for you to take your medication, the more likely it is that you will take it on time consistently. We also recommend keeping a TV tray, lots of bottles of water, and easy-to-eat snacks in this room.
Another thing you should do before oral surgery is ensure you have appropriate clothing to wear to your appointment. We recommend loose, comfy pants and a short-sleeved shirt. You must wear a short-sleeved shirt if you need an IV drip during your procedure. We also recommend not wearing any jewelry because it must be removed before surgery.
Furthermore, you should not wear contact lenses if your procedure will be performed under general anesthesia. Additionally, you should not wear any cosmetics, like scented facial lotion, makeup, or lipstick. You may want to bring lip balm to apply after surgery, though. If you have long hair, you should tie it back before arriving for your procedure.
Mind Any Fasting Requirements
Depending on the type of anesthesia you will receive before surgery, you may need to fast for eight to 12 hours before surgery. If local anesthesia is ideal for your unique case, you can have a light meal an hour or two before surgery. However, you must brush and floss your teeth thoroughly before you come in for your procedure. You should also bear in mind that you may not smoke for 12 hours pre-op or 24 hours post-op.
Plan Your Post-Op Diet
It is also very important that you plan your post-op diet carefully before your procedure. It is a very good idea to have lots of protein shakes on hand so you can get plenty of fluids and nutrients to help fuel your recovery. Many people find they have no appetite for quite a while after surgery. If you’re not feeling hungry, try to drink a protein shake or two. Alternatively, you may want to have some applesauce, oatmeal, or mashed potatoes.
Note that spicy and acidic foods should stay off the menu during your recovery. These foods can irritate your gums. You should also refrain from consuming anything through a straw, even if it’s a cold, refreshing smoothie.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Finally, you should make sure you get a good night’s sleep. If you usually have trouble falling or staying asleep, it may be that your body isn’t making enough melatonin. There are many potential causes of this, and one of the most common is excessive exposure to blue light. Taking a melatonin supplement one to three hours before you want to fall asleep and avoiding blue light exposure two to three hours before bedtime can help.
What Can I Do to Ensure a Smooth Recovery?
Ice Your Jaw
Preparing your recovery room and meals will go a long way in ensuring a smooth recovery. However, what you do during your recovery period is also important for a smooth recovery. One of the best things you can do after surgery to ensure a smooth recovery is to ice your jaw for 30 minutes at a time. Once the 30 minutes is up, wait 15 minutes and evaluate whether you think your jaw needs to be iced again.
Note that this is a general rule of thumb that assumes you only had surgery on one side of your mouth. You’ll need to take a slightly different approach if you had surgery performed on both sides of your mouth. In such a case, you should ice one side of your jaw for 15 minutes, ice the other side of your jaw for 15 minutes, then wait 15 minutes to consider icing your jaw again.
Protect the Clot
Your recovery will also go a lot smoother if you make a point to protect the blood clot. Two of the most effective ways to do this are to not smoke or drink through a straw. You can also protect the clot by refraining from the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or carbonated beverages, like soda or sparkling water. Additionally, you should spit as little as possible.
Follow Oral Hygiene Instructions
During your initial consultation, you will be advised on what oral hygiene steps you should take during your recovery. Instructions will vary based on the type of procedure you have. For example, if you are undergoing a procedure that will make your mouth too sensitive for your usual oral hygiene routine, you may be advised not to use mouthwash or brush your teeth. Alternatively, you may be advised only to avoid brushing the tender part of your mouth.
Note that you may be advised to rinse your mouth with a solution of eight ounces of warm water and half a teaspoon of table salt. This will help to remove particulates trapped in your gum line or between your teeth that can lead to an infection. It can also help to soothe your gums.
Block the Blood
Another very important step to follow during your recovery is to block the blood. Fold up a piece of sterile gauze and put it on the affected area. Then, bite down on it very gently.
Take It Easy
Finally, it is imperative that you take it easy if you want to heal as quickly as possible from surgery. If you’ve prepared your recovery room for optimal comfort, you’re well on your way to success. The hard part is relaxing and refraining from doing too much, like bending over.
The Bottom Line
There are many preparation steps you must take in advance of oral surgery. However, if you follow all of them, you can feel confident that your surgery and recovery will go smoothly. To find out if surgery is right for you, contact us today at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL to schedule an initial consultation. We can’t wait to help you improve your oral health and self-confidence.