The prospect of having oral surgery can certainly cause some anxiety. Even if you’re excited about getting dental implants to replace missing teeth, you’re probably a bit nervous about the procedure.
To help calm your nerves, we’ve compiled some tips for help you prepare for oral surgery. If you know what to expect, you can be better prepared on the day of your surgical procedure.
Determine What Type of Anesthesia Will Be Used
The type of sedation dentistry used will depend on the specific procedure you’re having performed. For simple extractions, you’ll probably have only a local anesthetic. For more involved procedures, you may want oral or IV sedation. If you’re not sure, please contact us at 727-498-1959, and we can tell you what type of anesthesia is planned for your procedure.
If a local anesthetic will be used, you’ll be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. If you have oral or IV sedation, a responsible adult who can make decisions on your behalf should accompany you to the dental clinic. Your friend or loved one will need to stay until the procedure is completed and drive you home.
Find Out If You Should Stop Taking Certain Medications
Before your oral surgery, we’ll ask you about the medications you take regularly. That’s so we can advise you which you need to stop prior to the procedure. Most people need to stop taking blood thinners like Plavix, Coumadin or Warfarin three days before an oral surgery procedure. However, you should always check with the doctor who prescribed the medication before you stop taking it.
Prepare for Recovery and Meals
Depending on the procedure you have, you may need to spend a good deal of time in bed after your surgery. Arrange extra pillows so you can rest comfortably while reclining. If you don’t have a television in your bedroom, consider temporarily relocating one so you can watch movies or shows. Buy some magazines or books to keep you occupied during your recovery. And never, ever smoke while you’re recovering from oral surgery. Smoking can cause bleeding and damage to the surgical site.
You should also ensure you have some ice packs on hand. Ice or cold compresses can help reduce swelling in the days following surgery. You’ll probably also need to rinse your mouth with salt water after 24 hours. And, you may be prescribed antibiotics or other medications to help you heal. Make sure someone is available to get your medications filled at a pharmacy.
Following surgery, you’ll probably want to eat soft foods for several days. Purchase some yogurt, soup, ice cream, pudding and the like so you can eat comfortably. You should also plan to avoid hard, crunchy foods like pretzels, popcorn and nuts for several weeks after the procedure.