How to Prepare for Oral Surgery

Preparing for oral surgery can be an intimidating process, but we’ve got some tips on how to make it go as smoothly as possible.

• Consult with your surgeon or dentist before your oral surgery to discuss any concerns or fears you may have. You may also discuss sedation methods and other options to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Also take this opportunity to find out if you will need any medications after the procedure. Make arrangements for someone else to pick up your prescriptions and have them ready for you immediately after the surgery.
• Choose someone you trust to accompany you to and from your appointment. Make sure they remain within contact of office personnel during your surgery. Depending on the type of anesthetic used, you may not be able to drive yourself home, so someone will need to be there to give you a ride. If you have small children, arrange for someone to help you with them during your recovery time.
• In general, you should not eat or drink anything, including water, for eight hours before your oral surgery. Brush and floss your teeth prior to your appointment. Do not smoke for at least 12 hours before or 24 hours after your oral surgery.
• Wear short-sleeved, loose-fitting, comfortable clothing during your surgery. Avoid wearing contact lenses if possible. Do not wear jewelry, makeup or lipstick. However, you may bring along some moisturizer or lip balm to use after the surgery.
• Plan ahead for your post-op diet by stocking up on soft food that requires little or no chewing. Avoid foods that are spicy or acidic. Beverages with high nutritional value, such as Slim Fast, Ensure, Boost or protein shakes can help you stay well-nourished during your recovery. Do not drink anything through a straw, however—it can cause a “dry socket” that will likely send you back to the oral surgeon for additional treatment.
• Prepare a comfortable resting space for you to use when you return from your surgery. You will likely not be able to sleep flat on your back or side, so collect some pillows that will allow you to recline comfortably. Use an old pillowcase and sheet set on your bed in case bleeding occurs. Gather some books, puzzles, and/or magazines and place them within easy reach of your resting space to help you pass the time. You may also wish to set up a television or video game area in the room where you will be recovering.