If you're having oral surgery, your dentist will probably give you a list of instructions on how to prepare for your surgery and things to do during your recovery. It's important to follow the instructions, even though it may be difficult. For instance, you may need to give up smoking and drinking alcohol until the surgical area in your mouth is healed. Here are some general instructions you might need to follow when you have oral surgery.
Fill Your Pain Medications Ahead of Time
If your dentist gives you a prescription for pain medication in advance of your surgery, have it filled so you won't have to deal with going to the pharmacy on the way home. It's also good to prepare your home in case you're sleepy or not feeling well the rest of the day. Keep everything you need handy, so you don't have to search for anything you'll need, especially medication.
Stop Eating the Night Before
Your dentist may instruct you not to eat anything the night before the surgery. Water might be the only thing you're allowed until your surgery is over, at which point you can start drinking other liquids and eating a soft diet. Be sure to stop eating at the required time so your stomach is empty by the time you'll get your sedation or anesthesia.
Don't Drive Yourself Home
When you have oral surgery, you might have IV sedation or even general anesthesia. If you have either of those, you shouldn't drive yourself home after your surgery. Instead, have someone come to your appointment with you or meet you when your surgery is over so you can get home safely.
Follow Oral Care Instructions
Your instructions may vary according to the type of oral surgery you have. You'll probably need to avoid chewing on the area for a certain amount of time. You might also be instructed to swish salt water in your mouth every few hours. You might even have a certain diet to follow for a day or two.
The post-op instructions are intended to help your mouth heal properly and to avoid complications, such as infections, so follow all of your dentist's instructions for recovery after your oral surgery.
Watch for Signs of Infection
Pain, bleeding, and swelling are common after oral surgery. However, fever is a sign of an infection. Also, extreme pain, or getting worse instead of better, could be signs you need to call your dentist and let them know your symptoms in case you need to be seen and evaluated for infection.
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