Oral Surgery … what you should know

oral-surgery.jpgKnowing what to expect during oral surgery and what to do post-surgery can help you toward a quick recovery. Oral surgery is most often an outpatient procedure that requires local anesthesia, which means that you’ll return home shortly after your procedure has been completed. Ask your dentist questions about how to effectively prepare for your procedure and recovery to ensure you have as much knowledge as possible.

Preparing for post-operative care at home before your oral surgery appointment is critical. You may find yourself spending a decent amount of time in bed after your procedure. Preparing your home beforehand may make your recovery easier. Make sure you have some forms of entertainment handy during this time as well.

On the night before your appointment:

  • Finalize your arrangements for transportation to and from appointment if necessary. You might not be able to drive yourself home because of the side effects of anesthesia, so it’s important to get these details settled so you won’t feel anxious.
  • Take any prescribed medications the evening and morning before your surgery.
  • There are some other specifics that may be requested by your dentist.
  • Any directions to follow for the night before will be provided to you by your office.

What to expect after your appointment:

  • In some instances, you may have swelling around the surgery site. For the first couple of days after your oral surgery, you should put an ice pack on that area for 15 minutes at a time, and then rest for 15 minutes before putting it back on.
  • Rinsing with warm saltwater a few times a day can also help with healing. This should not be done within the first 24 hours after your oral surgery procedure.
  • Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics or other medication to help you heal.  
  • You should avoid smoking and drinking through a straw, the sucking motion can cause complication with the extraction site.

Pro Tips:

  • After oral surgery, try to stick to soft foods, such as soups and/or yogurts. This should be done for at least the first 48 hours. You can judge what you can handle after that based on how you are feeling. Avoid any crunchy or hard foods, such as popcorn or pretzel sticks, for six to eight weeks.
  • You also should eat foods that are room temperature immediately following your surgery. Avoid hot foods and drinks while you are still numb as you won’t be able to feel pain, so you may burn yourself without realizing that the food is too hot. Don’t drink out of a straw or consume alcohol for the first 24 hours following your surgery.
  • It will take 48 hours for any swelling or discomfort to go down. During this phase of recovery, lie in bed as much as possible and don’t participate in any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. After 48 hours, you can expect to enter a longer-term healing phase. Healing varies based on what type of oral surgery procedure you had done.

We’d love for you to join our dental home at the offices of Thomas L. Anderson and Associates as a new patient and schedule your dental check-up. We have three convenient locations within the Kansas City area, including Lee’s Summit / Independence, the Country Club Plaza and Downtown Kansas City. The gentle dentists and expert team at Thomas L. Anderson and Associates look forward to working with you to achieve proper oral health and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. If you have any questions about your dental insurance benefits, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are happy to review your policy! Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment.