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How to Prepare for Oral Surgery

Preparing Yourself and Your Home Before Oral Surgery

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Updated May 20, 2009

If you require oral surgery, you may want to consider preparing yourself and your home by following these valuable suggestions on how to prepare for your oral surgery.

Consult With Your Dentist or Surgeon

Consult with your surgeon or dentist before your oral surgery to find out if you will require any medications after the procedure. Make arrangements for someone to have these prescriptions picked-up and ready for you immediately after the procedure, as you may not be feeling up to doing this yourself.

Discuss any concerns or fears you may have prior to your appointment. Your dentist will be more than happy to explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. Take this opportunity to discuss sedation options and distraction methods that may help you through your oral surgery.

Make Arrangements for Transportation and Care

Choose someone to accompany you to and from your appointment before your oral surgery date. Have that person remain in the office or location of your appointment. Depending on the type of anesthetic used, you may not physically be capable of operating a vehicle after your oral surgery. If you have small children, arrange for someone to assist you with then during your recovery time.

Eating, Drinking, and Smoking Before Oral Surgery

If your surgeon is using intravenous anesthetic sedation or general anesthetic, follow all preoperative instructions closely. Generally, you should not eat or during anything, including water, for eight hours before your oral surgery. If your type of oral surgery requires local anesthetic, have a light meal 1 to 2 hours before your oral surgery. Brush and floss your teeth prior to your appointment. Do not smoke at least 12 hours before your oral surgery. What an ideal opportunity to consider quitting, as smoking is not permitted for a minimum 24 hours after oral surgery.

What You Should Wear for Your Oral Surgery and Items to Avoid

Wear short-sleeved, loose-fitting, comfortable clothing for your oral surgery appointment. Although the doctor and staff do their best to prevent staining on your garments, consider wearing something that you won’t mind being ruined. Do not wear jewelry as you will be required to remove it prior to some procedures. Avoid wearing contact lenses to your appointment, because your eyes may remain closed during the procedure, and again, depending on the type of anesthetic used its best to avoid contact lenses. Try not to wear any make-up or lipstick. Do however, bring along some moisturizer for your lips such as lip balm because your lips may become chapped during your surgery.

Plan Your Post Surgical Diet

Your diet after oral surgery is typically one that consists of soft food that require little to no chewing. Try to avoid food that is spicy or acidic, as this may irritate the gum tissue. Beverages that contain a higher nutritional value such as Boost, Slim Fast, Ensure, or protein powder shake mix are easy to prepare and provide you with high levels of vitamins and minerals necessary to stay nourished during your recovery. Do not use a straw to drink your beverages, especially after a tooth extraction. Sucking on a straw can cause a very painful condition called a dry socket, that will send you back to the dentist for additional treatment.

Preparing Your Recovery Space

Prepare your bed and living space comfortably to allow for your required rest after your oral surgery. Try to have enough pillows to keep yourself reclined, as you most likely will not be able to sleep flat on your back or side. Use an old pillow case and sheet set as you do not want to ruin your everyday bedding. Have several books, word puzzles, and magazines within easy reach of your resting area to help you pass the time. If you enjoy watching television shows, movies, or playing video games, relocate your television set, if possible, into the room where you will be spending the most time recovering.
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