What to Expect
Before you have any surgical procedure performed in our office, we will require you to consult with one of our board-certified oral surgeons. This visit allows your surgeon to evaluate your condition, take any necessary medical images (such as X-rays), and confirm that you are a good candidate for a safe and successful procedure. It also allows the surgeon to discuss your treatment plan and answer any questions you might have.
For example, your surgeon will discuss some of the anesthesia and sedation options available to you, ensuring your comfort and safety during the procedure. You and your surgeon will also discuss the expected surgical results, aftercare, and recovery instructions.
It is important to us that your experience is positive and comfortable. If you have any questions, we recommend writing them down so you can ask us during your consultation.
During your consultation, your oral surgeon will review some basic guidelines about preparing for surgery and IV sedation. Here is a summary of the general surgical guidelines:
- Avoid having anything to eat or drink, including water, for eight hours before your surgery.
- Avoid smoking for at least 12 hours before surgery. Ideally, we recommend patients eliminate smoking altogether.
- You will need an adult to accompany you to the appointment, wait for you, listen to any essential post-surgical instructions, and drive you home. We cannot discharge patients who don’t have a ride lined up.
- Following the anesthesia experience, you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for at least 24 hours.
- We advise patients to wear loose-fitting clothes with short sleeves and low-heeled shoes.
- Before surgery, we will ask you to remove dentures, contact lenses, and jewelry.
- On the day of your surgery, avoid wearing lipstick, nail polish, or makeup.
- Notify the office if you have any illness leading up to the day of your surgery, including a sore throat, cough, upset stomach, etc.
- Ensure that you discuss any medications you currently take with your surgeon. Ideally, you should furnish a current list of medications at your initial consultation.
After Oral Surgery
Following oral surgery, it is important to avoid disturbing the treated area. On the day of your procedure, avoid touching it, rinsing your mouth, or spitting.
It is typical to experience minor bleeding or red saliva for the first 24 hours following surgery. If you have excessive bleeding, bite down on a piece of gauze for half an hour. Ensure that the gauze pad is placed directly over the incision site. If bleeding persists, contact our office.
Swelling is a regular occurrence after any surgery, and the best way to control it is by applying ice to the side of the face with the implants. For the first 36 hours after surgery, use ice consistently while awake and keep your head elevated when possible. Swelling will peak in two to three days and then gradually subside. After 72 hours, discontinue the icing and apply a heat pack or warm washcloth with gentle massage three to four times daily.
Following certain types of oral surgery, you will want to get plenty of fluids. On the day of surgery, stick to soft foods and liquids, then advance to a regular diet as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. After surgery, you may have a small visible metal healing cap connected to your implant(s) that protrudes slightly through the gum tissue. If present, it is essential not to chew directly on this healing cap for several months. We recommend gently brushing and cleaning this cap daily to keep it and the surrounding tissues clean.
If you experience mild to moderate pain, you may take one to two tablets of Tylenol® or Extra Strength Tylenol® every six hours. Ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®) can also help control pain, swelling, and inflammation. Ibuprofen generally comes in 200mg tablets; your doctor may suggest a 600mg dosage every six hours or an 800mg dosage every eight hours.
Your doctor may prescribe narcotic pain medications for more severe pain. Narcotic pain medications can cause you to feel groggy, and they may also slow your reflexes. We recommend not driving, operating machinery, or drinking alcohol when taking narcotic pain medicines.
Following 72 hours after surgery, pain should become less and less pronounced each day. If discomfort persists or intensifies, contact your surgeon.
The sutures around the surgical site will likely be self-dissolving. If your surgeon uses non-dissolving sutures, they will discuss this with you before discharge and arrange a follow-up visit to remove them 7-14 days following surgery. The process takes just a few minutes and doesn’t require anesthesia or cause discomfort.
Your surgeon will likely prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection around your implant(s) following surgery. Don’t continue using antibiotics in case of rash or adverse reactions. Contact our office if you have questions.
Good oral hygiene is an integral part of the healing process. On the night of your surgery, use the Peridex Oral Rinse before bed, if prescribed. The day after surgery, use Peridex twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Rinse for at least 30 seconds, then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least two to three times a day, especially after meals.
Brush your teeth and the healing caps like normal, and be gentle when brushing the surgical areas.
The day after your surgery, we advise keeping physical activity to a minimum. Physical activity may result in bleeding or throbbing. Keep in mind that, following surgery, you may not have your average level of nourishment, which means that exercise may weaken you or cause lightheadedness.
Ask your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns.