With good preparation, the experience of having oral surgery can go very smoothly. Understanding what to expect ahead of time and being organised will go a long way in helping you to feel at ease about your procedure.
You should approach your oral surgery as you would any other surgery; making many of the same preparations and closely following your post-op instructions. Like other surgeries, you may be feeling nervous, and one of the best ways to ease any anxiety you have is to properly prepare for the surgery.
There are a few different things to consider when preparing for oral surgery, so in addition to following the instructions of your surgeon. Here are some of the best ways you can get prepared.
If you're going to be sedated, the general rule is that you shouldn't eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight of the evening before surgery, or at least eight hours prior to surgery. Your surgeon will give you specific directions on when you should stop eating based on your sedation and time of surgery.
It's also wise to spend some time planning for your diet during oral surgery recovery. You might want to prepare some food in advance for the days after the surgery when we recommend sticking to soft foods that require minimal chewing.
We also advise you stay away from spicy or acidic foods that may irritate your gums, or foods that are very hot or very cold. Mashed potato, scrambled eggs, soup, yoghurt or ice cream are great examples of post oral surgery foods.
Before the day of your surgery, it is important to plan how you are getting home afterwards. Regardless of your type of sedation, you will need somebody else to drive you home. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can drive - even local anaesthesia will impact your reflexes and make you a dangerous driver.
Ask a friend or family member to pick you up after surgery and drive you home, or organise a taxi or ride-share car. If you need extra help, ask your oral surgeon's office if they can help you arrange transportation to get home safely.
When getting dressed for your surgery, wear something loose-fitting, comfortable and practical, with bare arms if possible. Wearing short sleeves will help the nurses take your vital signs, give you your IV, or put blood pressure cuffs on you so they can monitor you during the surgery. Don't wear lipstick or any excessive makeup, remove jewellery, and avoid wearing contact lenses.
It is likely your doctor will prescribe pain medication and antibiotics for you after surgery. Try to arrange for someone to pick these up from the pharmacy for you before you get home, so they are ready when you need them. Remember that you won't be able to drive until the anaesthetic has completely worn off, which as a general guideline is 24 hours after the sedation was administered.
If you are experiencing flu symptoms or are suffering from bad allergies, considering talking to your oral surgeon as early as possible about whether you are well enough to have your surgery on your scheduled date. It will be difficult to perform oral surgery if you are having any breathing problems or if you are coughing excessively.
Last but not least - arrive early! You don't want to be feeling stressed on the day of your surgery, so get to your appointment early enough to fill out any additional paperwork or have some extra time to relax before your procedure.
If you have any questions or concerns about your procedure, don't be afraid to ask your oral surgeon about anything you might be feeling uncomfortable or unsure about.
Now you know what to expect before surgery, read our latest post on Oral surgery aftercare: how to plan ahead and what to expect.
Think it might be time to check-in on your oral health? Book an appointment with the friendly North Shore Oral team today.