How to Prepare For a Dental Surgery

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Dental surgery refers to a number of surgical procedures that involve the modification of the teeth and jawbones. Some of the most common types of dental surgery include root canal, application of dental prosthetics (veneers, caps, etc.), tooth extraction, and Fiberotomy. Knowing how to prepare yourself for a dental operation helps reduce anxiety and speed up recovery. Below are tips to help you prepare and recover from a dental surgery safely and effectively:

Consult Your Surgeon

If you are anxious over the procedure and you want to know more about the surgery, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about it. Before the procedure, ask what medications you need to take and discuss fears or concerns you might have prior to the appointment. Once you learn what medications you need to take post-op, have someone purchase the drugs for you. This way, the meds can be taken right after the procedure.

Plan Your Transportation and Care

Have someone accompany you to and from your appointment all the way to the surgery fate. That person should arrange your transportation and after-surgery care. If you have small kids at home, it helps to have someone to help you recover while looking after the children as well.

Preparing the Night Before

Before the night of your appointment, finalize all the arrangement you and your companion made prior and during the appointment. Because dental procedures require anesthesia, you won’t be able to drive so have someone drive you home once you are released from the clinic.

If you are required to fast the night before the surgery, do so. Your doctor will let you know exactly how many hours to fast but for outpatient oral surgeries, a 12-hour fast is common. At this point, you cannot eat or drink anything after midnight. If you’re diabetic, you have to eat breakfast. Any prescribed medication should be taken in the evening and morning prior to the appointment.

If the surgery requires intravenous anesthetic sedation or general anesthetic, you cannot eat or drink anything for eight hours prior to the surgery. For surgery that requires local anesthesia, you can have a light meal an hour or two before the operation.

Brush and floss your teeth very well before the appointment. Do not smoke for at least 12 hours if you are a smoker.

After Surgery Post-Op Diet

You’re not allowed to eat solid foods after a dental operation. Ideally, your diet should consist of soft food that requires minimal chewing. Also, you have to avoid acidic or spicy foods because any strong flavors will irritate the gum tissue. We don’t recommend drinking from a straw either especially after a tooth extraction. The sucking motion could trigger a painful condition called dry socket.

Creating a Recovery Space

After surgery, you have to lie on a reclined position. Do not lie down flatly on the bed or it will trigger bleeding. Instead, prop several pillows behind the neck and back. Avoid walking around for too long to reduce bleeding. If you want to watch TV, the television set must be moved near the bed so you don’t have to walk to and fro the room.  Finally, do not overexert yourself. Avoid carrying anything heavy to prevent bleeding.


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