How to Prepare for Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery: Part I

Whether you are having a cosmetic dentistry procedure or restorative work done, oral surgery requires planning to ensure a comfortable, successful experience.

Your oral surgery will probably require several preparatory visits for measurements or pre-work. During those early visits, you can ask your dentist all the questions you need to reduce your stress concerning oral surgery.

“We want to have our patients ask all the questions they need to be comfortable,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix dental office. “A relaxed patient is a patient who will heal faster and have confidence in both the procedure and the success of the procedure.”

Here are some steps Dr. Ford suggests to prepare for your oral surgery:

  1. Prepare a list of all the questions you have for your cosmetic dentist. Any question you have is important to ask. Write down the questions, and take them with you. Don’t be embarrassed to walk in with a list. “It’s natural to be a little nervous, and forget your questions. The shortest pencil beats the longest memory,” Dr. Ford says.
  2. Ask your cosmetic dentist what to expect in both the short- and long term. Most people want to know details about the effects of anesthesia, how long recovery will take, when you will be able to go back to work, if your surgery requires fasting and what kind of food you can eat after the procedure.“Depending on your surgery, you may have to restrict food and water for several hours before and after the procedure. Ask for specific instructions,” Dr. Ford recommends, “and then have those foods on hand before your surgery. You may not feel like grocery shopping for a few days afterward.”
  3. Write down the answers to your questions, so you can remember exactly what was said. It’s easy to forget details, and taking notes is a way to concentrate on important information. You’ll feel more comfortable if you don’t have to memorize whole conversations. Food and drink restrictions can be confusing, but it is important to follow them precisely. You don’t want to arrive at your surgery appointment, only to have it cancelled because you didn’t follow the food or drinking restrictions. “Ask your questions at least a week before the procedure, so you can comfortably take care of the prep steps,” she adds.
  4. Plan to have someone else step in for you to take care of your family. Whether you have small children who need to be picked up from school or teens who need to be driven to soccer practice, make arrangements for a friend or relative to take care of their needs. “Mothers are used to thinking of others first, but a smart cosmetic dentist will advise you to put your needs first during and after oral surgery,” Dr. Ford advises.

Taking care of these details before you go in for your cosmetic dental procedure will result in less stress and a prevent last-minute overwork.

Next: Tips on making your oral surgery and recovery more comfortable.


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