If you have been told that you need oral surgery, it is normal to be frightened or uneasy about what will happen next. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about oral surgery to put you at ease.
Will Oral Surgery Hurt?
Oral surgery is done with anesthetic, so you typically will not feel any pain during your procedure. You may feel pressure or the sounds of the tools the dentist uses, but you should not feel pain. If you do feel pain, let your surgeon know right away and more anesthetic may be able to be used or it may be used in a different location. Once the anesthetic wears off, you will likely be sore. Your surgeon will prescribe medicine to help you manage the pain and encourage you to rest and relax as much as possible and allow yourself to heal.
What Kind of Foods Can I Eat After Oral Surgery?
You should prepare for your oral surgery by stocking up on several foods that you will be able to eat — you most likely will not want to go shopping after you have just had surgery. Good options are anything soft and smooth that can be swallowed without chewing. Pudding, soups, mashed potatoes, very soft macaroni and cheese, overcooked noodles, smoothies, and other similar foods are good choices. For the first day or so after surgery, you may be too sore to eat, so meal replacement shakes may be an option. Let your dentist know if you cannot progress your diet within a reasonable amount of time due to pain. Avoid any food that must be chewed, like meat and bread.
What Should I Watch for After Surgery?
Like any surgery, oral surgery has potential complications. Although rare, it is important that you be aware of the signs and symptoms of complications. Let your surgeon know as soon as possible if you experience a fever, white or yellow discharge from the wound, body aches, or other signs of an infection. Dry socket is a painful complication that results in pain that does not go away after taking medicine, and the pain can radiate into the ear, jaw, and neck. If you had a wisdom tooth removed and the tooth was impacted into bone, you may find a bone fragment still left in the gums. This typically only causes moderate discomfort, but your surgeon will need to remove the fragment.
What If I Am Too Nervous to Get the Surgery?
Oral surgery can be very difficult for some people who suffer from a deep fear of going to the dentist. For these individuals, special anesthesia can be used to completely sedate them during surgery. This type of anesthesia is similar to how you are sedated for short outpatient procedures at the hospital, but it is not general anesthesia. You will wake up soon after the surgery, but will need someone to drive you home. You will have no memory of the surgery. Many patients choose sedation dentistry to make their experience more comfortable and less stressful, even if they do not have a significant fear of dentists.
Contact Walton Center for Family Dentistry now to learn more about oral surgery, what to expect, and how to minimize fear during your appointment. Call now at (770) 450-2030.