Oral surgery, whether minor or major, is much less stressful if you prepare for the pre surgery, surgery, and post-surgical phase of treatment. Preparation involves gaining knowledge about the procedure, what to expect before, during, and after and getting everything in place, such as prescriptions so that you can focus on recovering. Here we discuss how to prepare for dental procedures.
ASK QUESTIONS BEFORE DENTAL PROCEDURES
It is important to understand what to expect during and after your dental procedure. Most dentists are happy to talk with you about what the procedure is and what will happen during the procedure. Be sure to ask questions about what you should expect afterwards. Questions that should go on the top of your list include:
Is there medication that I will need when I get home? If so, can I fill that prescription early?
How much pain should I expect following the surgery and at home?
Are there non-medication ways to reduce pain and if so, what do you recommend?
What kind of foods can I eat immediately after the procedure and when can I go back to eating regular food?
What happens if I need help after hours for pain management?
Is there wound care or surgery site care for which I will need to prepare or buy supplies for at home?
Will I have to change my regular medication schedule?
Can I drive myself home from the surgery?
When can I drive again following the surgery?
Is there a follow-up appointment and what can I expect during and after that appointment?
The more information that you can find out about what to expect the better prepared you are to handle those needs. Before surgery, if possible, fill all of your prescriptions so that they are at home and available to you when you need them without having to go to a pharmacy, wait for the prescription to be filled, and then go home.
LINE UP TRANSPORTATION
Most dental procedures that require pain management also require that someone else drive you home. As such, it is important to line up a driver that can drive you to the appointment and then drive you home afterwards. It is also a good idea to have someone around who can run errands for you if you need. You might need a different type of medication, such a pain meds, after you get home or on the second day following the surgery. It is helpful to have someone available to help you so that you can focus on recovering.
EATING AND DRINKING BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE
The dentist may have special requests for foods that you eat before your procedure. They might ask that you limit alcohol intake as alcohol is also a blood thinner. They also might make changes to your medication schedule for regular or daily medication. Be sure to ask about any special limitations for foods and medications that will affect your procedure.
PLAN A POST SURGICAL DIET
After your procedure, you may have to eat special foods. For many dental patients that simply means eating softer foods that are bland. The idea is to protect the surgical site from foods that are sharp, such as corn chips, or to protect the jaw bone from eating foods that are hard, such as nuts. It is a good idea to stock up on foods that are easy to eat without having to chew. Soup, Jello, pudding, juice, yogurt, smoothies, and foods of that nature allow you to eat without taxing the inside of your mouth or bothering your surgical site. Keep plenty of these on hand. Another tip for preparing for dental procedures is to avoid straws. Sucking on a straw can cause surgical site problems and cause the site to bleed again. Sip water and liquids. Focus on foods that do not stick to your teeth and that are easy to swallow with minimal chewing.
WHAT TO WEAR ON THE DAY OF YOUR PROCEDURE
Wear clothing that is comfortable when you go in for a dental procedure. One of the key considerations for clothing is the fact that after your procedure your face might be sensitive. Having to pull a tight shirt or sweater over your head might be painful. Loose fitting clothing is a good way to help you feel more comfortable during your procedure. A good tip is to wear a button up shirt that is loose around the collar so that you can just unbutton it and remove it without it having to go over your head. Wear light clothing so that you are warm, but not hot while you are at the dentist’s office. Setting yourself up for a smooth dental experience is all about preparing yourself for dental procedures. The key is to ask important questions about the procedure and what you can expect, and then to do as much as possible to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Keep in mind that the more you do before your procedure the less you will have to do afterwards. That means that you can focus on recovering and getting back to your normal life.