The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Oral Surgery
Getting oral surgery can be exciting and nerve-racking all at once. On the one hand, you’re one step closer to perfect oral health and a gorgeous smile.
On the other hand, you will have to deal with pain and discomfort for a little while. However, with a little preparation, your surgery and recovery should go smoothly.
Step One: Consult with Your Dentist or Oral Surgeon
Your surgeon has performed many of these procedures, so he or she knows exactly what you can expect. Ask your surgeon to explain the entire process and its aftereffects. You’ll need to know answers to the following questions:
- Will you be too drowsy/dizzy to walk/drive afterwards? If so, you’ll need to arrange to have someone drive you home.
- Can you eat before or after the procedure? Plan your meals around the surgeons answer.
- Will you require any medications immediately after the procedure? You should arrange for someone else to pick these up for you, especially if you’re too drowsy, dizzy, or uncomfortable to do it yourself.
- Will you have to sit/sleep in a certain position afterwards? Depending on the procedure, you may have to hold your head in a certain position until the blood clots. Ask your surgeon how long you’ll have to wait for the blood to clot, and ask him or her what position your head will need to be in during that time.
- Are there any risks associated with the procedure? This is the part where you address all of your fears. Ask about infections, complications, and any other difficulties you want to be aware of. Your surgeon will gladly explain everything to you and put your fears to rest. This way, you’re more relaxed during the procedure.
Step Two: Make Transportation Arrangements
Some surgeries are small enough that you can function normally afterwards, but most aren’t. Even if you think you’ll be okay, arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
You may also have to take medications that make you drowsy or disoriented, so you might not have the ability to drive anywhere for several days at least. You should also arrange for someone to drive you around during this time. Ask a family member, friend, or neighbour to transport you or your children to all necessary activities.
Step Three: Prepare Your Home
You’ll be drowsy, you’ll be uncomfortable, and for a little while you might be cranky. You don’t want to have to worry about your house after the procedure, so follow these steps beforehand:
- Clean your home from top to bottom. You don’t want to worry about cleaning afterwards, and you don’t want to trip over anything while you’re disoriented. Put all loose items away, and clear all walkways.
- Choose a space for your recovery. You probably don’t want to move around a lot while you heal. Choose the place where you’ll be most comfortable. You may prefer your bedroom, or you may want to sit in the family room instead.
- Prepare that space. Find blankets, pillows, snacks, books, magazines, video games, movies, and anything else you might need to be comfortable and entertained. Arrange everything neatly around your recovery area and make sure it’s all in easy reach of where you’ll rest.
- Arrange for someone to take care of you, your kids, and your house. It may be easiest if your spouse takes care of you, but you can also call on family members, friends, roommates, neighbours, and other people you trust.
Step Four: Plan and Buy Food for Post-Surgery Recovery
You probably won’t want to go shopping after you get out of surgery, so you should do your shopping beforehand. After you’ve asked your surgeon what foods he or she recommends eating, you should make a grocery list and buy everything. Here are some basic guidelines:
- Don’t buy anything with a high-sugar content.
- Don’t buy acidic foods this includes citrus fruits and tomatoes.
- Don’t buy foods that you’ll have to suck this includes fountain beverages, cough drops, hard candies, etc.
- Do buy foods high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A and zinc.
Step Five: Find an Outfit for the Surgery
No, you’re not making a fashion statement, but you are making yourself as comfortable as possible. You should wear short-sleeved, loose clothing, and you should wear clothing that you don’t mind getting ruined. Your surgeon will do his or her best to prevent staining, but you should be careful anyway.
You should also avoid wearing contacts or makeup during the procedure. You’ll probably have your eyes closed for a very long time, so your contacts will irritate your eyes. And makeup will only get in the surgeons way. However, you should bring lip balm or moisturizer just in case your lips dry out. If you’d like to learn more about preparing for oral surgery, call your dentist or oral surgeon.