As oral surgeons, we routinely perform a variety of surgical procedures such as bone grafting, dental implants, apicoectomies, jaw surgery, soft tissue grafting, and, of course, tooth extractions, including wisdom tooth removal. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are experts at restoring your mouth and face after a trauma, injury, or other complication.
After oral or maxillofacial surgery, you will likely need some post-surgical pain control that boosts your recovery while diminishing complications like blood clots or pneumonia. Our surgeon will work with you to determine the best pain management for your unique needs.
There are various kinds of pain-control treatment available and it’s possible to have more than one kind of pain control treatment option as needed, such as intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), an epidural catheter, epidural analgesia, nerve blocks, and oral pain medications.
- Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) dispenses pain medicine into your intravenous (IV) line to help you remain comfortable.
- An epidural catheter can be used to deliver pain medications through your IV into your back, so you have pain under control when you wake up from your surgery. It allows you to inhale deeply, cough and walk without pain.
- Nerve blocks are also used to control post-surgical pain by reducing the opioid (narcotic) medicine needed.
- Oral pain medications are also ways to manage discomfort after your surgery. It’s important to stay on top of the pain rather than wait until it comes back before taking the medication. There are options that provide strong, providing powerful pain relief and that are ideal for pain that ranges from moderate to severe. Other options are great at handling mild to moderate pain by lowering swelling and inflammation.
When you are back home, be sure to take any prescription medication to manage your pain as recommended. If our oral surgeon provided you with a prescription beforehand, it’s a good idea to get it filled so you have it when you come back home from your surgery. If you are taking any medications that cause drowsiness, you will need to have a family member or friend drive you home. You should not drive when taking certain medications.
For optimal pain relief, be sure to take your medication before you engage in an activity or before going to sleep. In some cases, you might be taking them at regular times, such as every four to six hours. You can also keep a notepad with your medication schedule so you know when you last took them.
Implementing nonmedicinal pain management might also involve the following:
- Extra pillows for sleep and while you are performing post-surgery coughing and deep breathing exercises
- A comfortable heating pad or cold compress
- Tuning in to guided imagery tapes
- Playing calming music
- Switching up your sleep position
- Gentle massage
If you are anticipating having oral or maxillofacial surgery done, we hope this information helps give you some relief as you prepare. Before you know it, your treatment will be behind you, and you can look forward to the results of your surgery. Rest assured, you will be in good hands with our team!