Common Questions About Oral Surgery Recovery

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Do you have questions concerning your recovery post-op? We have answers to the most common questions we get. Read on for more:

How can I prepare for oral surgery?
Make sure you have a comfortable recovery place set up at home. Having extra pillows can help you rest more comfortably, and having something to do while you rest can also keep your spirits up. Books, magazines, access to television or a smartphone can all help you pass the time more comfortably. DO NOT SMOKE while you are in recovery, as this can cause problems with the surgery site.

To address swelling at the surgery site for the first couple of days post-surgery, an ice pack (or a bag of frozen vegetables) placed on the outside of the site for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off can help you feel better. Once you have passed the 24-hour mark post-surgery, you can swish your mouth with salt water several times a day, as well as after you eat. Be sure to take any prescribed medication, including antibiotics.

The night before your procedure, you will want to make sure you have secured transportation to and from your surgery appointment, as you will be recovering from anesthesia and won’t be able to drive yourself. You will also need to fast the night before your procedure, and this is typically eight to ten hours ahead of the surgery. We can give you more specific directions if you are diabetic or need to take prescription medications.

What can I eat after I have oral surgery?
The first couple of days after your procedure, consume soft foods to avoid irritating your surgical site. This is the time to enjoy your favorite soup and try out all those different flavors of yogurts you’ve been eyeing, as well as macaroni, mashed potatoes, pureed fruits, smoothies or shakes.
Make sure your food and drinks are close to room temperature since you won’t be able to feel pain until the anesthesia wears off. No alcohol or drinking through a straw during the first 24 hours after you have had surgery. For about six to eight weeks you are going to want to avoid hard or crunchy foods. Healing your surgical site is your first priority during this crucial time.

How long will it take for the surgical site to heal?
Initially, you can expect it to take two days for the swelling and discomfort to fade. Rest, rest, rest is your mantra during this time. That’s the first phase. During the second phase of your healing, we will let you know more specifically what to expect since this will be determined by the type of oral surgery you had. For example, if you have had jaw surgery, you can expect to take a month or longer to fully heal, whereas wisdom tooth extractions may take just one to two weeks.

If you would like to have more questions concerning your dental health and post-surgery, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you today!