Like many medical procedures, oral surgery can be scary to patients. However, it is important to be prepared for the operation to resolve a pressing health condition and prevent the situation from worsening and creating longer-term problems.
The surgeon handling the procedure will offer guidance and instruction on what the patient needs to do before and after the operation to achieve optimal results. This guidance should be followed as closely as possible.
Patients should ask as many questions as needed during the consultation. Oral surgeons are experienced in multiple procedures and can allay concerns that may arise. They can explain all possible scenarios and prepare patients for what will happen.
What to Do Before Surgery
During the consultation, the surgeon will provide detailed instructions for preparation. This may begin weeks in advance if patients take any medication that will interact with the anesthesia or complicate the surgery or recovery. If receiving a general anesthetic, the patient should fast from food and water for at least eight hours, or midnight at the latest. Local anesthetics allow patients to eat and drink before surgery, but the targeted area must be brushed and flossed before the procedure. Smoking can be a cause for oral surgery and should be avoided before and after any procedures.
If the procedure is outpatient, the patient should arrange a ride to and from the site. Anesthesia, general or local, will affect driving ability. If being kept overnight or longer, family members must be prepared for time apart. If the patient lives alone with pets, someone should check in on the pets. Patients should arrive at the office at least 20 minutes early, to complete any remaining paperwork and relax before the procedure.
For the procedure, the patient should dress in looser clothes with shorter sleeves, especially if receiving an intravenous drip. Patients should avoid wearing contact lenses, jewelry, makeup, perfume, or cologne. It is possible clothes might get stained during the procedure, despite the best efforts of the surgeon and staff, so it is best to wear something easy to clean or less valuable. Patients with dentures, partial bridges, or anything that may be removed during the surgery should bring a box for the implants.
If the patient is prone to sneezing attacks from allergies, an oral antihistamine should be taken before the procedure. If feeling flu symptoms or other contagious disease, the patient should call the office before arriving to determine if rescheduling is best.
What to Do After the Surgery
If the patient is returning home, they should have a room prepared for rest. Clean sheets should be placed on a bed, but a set that can be stained without causing further consternation. Pillows should be aligned to support healing and elevate the head. If given general anesthesia, the patient should try to avoid driving for a couple of days. Alcohol and tobacco should be avoided for at least 24 hours after the surgery. Patients may want to consider giving up tobacco altogether, as it is a contributing factor to poor oral and gum health.
For at least the first few days after surgery, patients should expect a significant diet change. It is important to wait until anesthesia wears off before eating. The patient should switch to soft foods to minimize chewing. Acidic or spicy foods should be avoided to keep tender gums recovering. Meals can be supplemented with nutritious protein shakes such as Ensure or Boost. Patients should not drink anything through a straw, as it might irritate the repaired area or disrupt stitches.
Prescribed medications should be picked up before surgery, if possible. The patient should follow all directions and take medications as prescribed. Surgeons will offer advice if the patient experiences less than expected pain. All medications not used should be properly disposed after the usage window closes.
Mullica Hill Oral Surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons can Help with All Your Oral Health Needs
Needing oral surgery can create a lot of concern and questions. Picking the right practice can make a procedure as painless as possible. The Mullica Hill oral surgeons at Lanzi Burke Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons bring a breadth of experience and expertise to help every patient. Our surgeons will provide the treatment you need with as little impact to you as possible. Call us at 856-582-4222 or contact us online to make an appointment or schedule a consultation. With offices in Washington Township, Haddonfield, and Woolwich Township, New Jersey, we are dedicated to helping patients throughout South Jersey.