You can help increase the success of your dental procedure by carefully following these pre-operative instructions:
- Schedule a routine dental appointment.
Your dentist will clean your teeth and remove any plaque or tartar that could cause infection after surgery.
- Brush and floss your teeth.
The risk of post-surgery infection reduces when your oral hygiene is good, so be sure to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly on the day of surgery.
- Avoid eating or drinking before surgery.
Do not eat or drink anything (including water, coffee, and tea) for at least 8 hours before surgery.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery.
You cannot drive because of the drowsy after-effects of sedation, so you should arrange for someone to take you home afterward.
- Follow all instructions from your surgeon.
Before surgery, we will give you specific instructions on what you need to do to prepare for the procedure. You must follow these instructions carefully to reduce the risk of complications. Instructions may include taking certain oral medications before surgery and stopping blood thinners like warfarin.
- Stop smoking at least 24 hours before surgery.
Ideally, it would be best if you quit smoking before your surgery. Try using your surgery as motivation!
- Buy plenty of healthy food before the day of surgery.
After surgery, we may give you a strict diet to follow. A healthy post-op diet is essential for a speedy recovery.
- Sleep well the night before surgery.
A good night’s sleep before surgery is important, as it will help your body recover quicker. Depending on the type of surgery, we may recommend certain sleeping positions to avoid putting pressure on your jaw.
- Wear comfortable clothing on the day of surgery.
Be sure to wear loose clothing that is easy to remove. Before your procedure, you will need to remove all jewelry and piercings.
- If you think you may be pregnant, please inform us.
We may need to change the type of anesthesia used.
Following these post-op instructions will significantly reduce your risk of complications and help ensure a successful recovery after oral surgery.
- Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods.
These foods can cause the surgical site to bleed or become irritated. Instead, stick to soft foods that are easy to chew, like soup, pudding, or mashed potatoes.
- Stay hydrated after surgery.
Be sure to drink plenty of water. Depending on the type of surgery, we may recommend that you avoid using a straw. Suction from drinking through a straw can cause a blood clot to dislodge. Blood clots are essential because they stop uncontrolled bleeding from the surgical site.
- Rinse with salt water.
Rinse with salt water to keep the surgical site clean and promote healing. To make a saltwater rinse, mix one teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water.
- Rinse your mouth with the solution several times a day.
If you feel nauseous after surgery, drink warm ginger tea or take an over-the-counter medication like Gravol. Nausea can be a common side-effect of sedation or anesthesia. If nausea persists longer than a few days, please call us.
- Take pain medication as needed.
If you are in pain, take pain medication as directed by us. We may recommend over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Don’t worry if you notice some bleeding.
It’s not unusual to see some bleeding or oozing from the surgical site for the first few days after surgery. If bleeding occurs, place a moistened gauze pad directly on the wound and bite down for 30 to 45 minutes. Please call us if the bleeding is heavy or persists for more than a few days.
- Apply ice to the outside of your face.
Apply an ice pack to the outside of your face to reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Keep the surgical site clean.
It is essential to keep the surgical site clean to prevent infection. Be sure to brush your teeth gently but avoid directly brushing the surgical area for at least 24 hours.
- Follow up with your dentist or surgeon.
Be sure to follow up with us as directed so we can see how the site is healing. We will likely want to see you for a follow-up appointment within a week or two after surgery.
- Avoid smoking.
Smoking after surgery can significantly delay healing and increase the risk of complications. If you feel you must smoke again after the procedure, wait for 4-6 weeks.
If you have any concerns about potential surgical risks, please don’t hesitate to ask. While in recovery, please call us if you have any questions or concerns