July 5, 2016
At Appalachian Dental Care, Dr. Airey and our team believe in doing whatever is necessary to give you life lasting dentistry. Thankfully, that usually means just sticking with regular cleanings, exams, and the occasional composite filling. But we’ll do what we must to keep your teeth healthy, which means oral surgery might be needed. For example, if a tooth has been severely damaged, a tooth extraction could be the difference between a ton of pain or no pain. Dr. Airey is well trained and very experienced, so he can turn almost any dental surgery procedure into something safe and routine, but there are some things you’ll need to do before the procedure to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
- Find someone to drive you to and from our Boone, NC dental office. Not every oral surgery procedure requires oral medication for sedation, but between local anesthesia and the limits placed on you following surgery, it’s a good idea to have someone ready and available to take you to our dental office and home again. Don’t forget that you will most likely have to fast (no food or water) for at least eight hours before your surgery. Do you really want to be driving when you’re that hungry? And depending on the surgical procedure, you could have painkillers already in your system. You know what they say about operating heavy machinery.
- Follow your eating, drinking, and smoking instructions strictly. Before your surgery date, you will receive a list of instructions about what kinds of foods and drinks you should avoid beforehand. Make sure you follow these instructions to the letter. If you are not supposed to eat anything eight hours before your surgery, do not sneak in a quick hot dog or a few cookies. The same is true for drinking. You can take some water with any medication you’re supposed to take, but that’s about it. And if you smoke, you will likely be asked to skip smoking for 12 hours before your surgery.
- Wear comfortable clothes and avoid contact lenses. Oral surgery with Dr. Airey is usually finished pretty quickly, all things considered, but you will be lying down in one of our chairs for a while (we do have blankets, pillows, and massaging chairs!). That means you should wear clothes that are loose-fitting and comfortable. The last thing you want during oral surgery is to have your feet hurt because you wore those really cute but painful shoes. If you wear contact lenses, take them out and just use your glasses before coming to our Boone, NC dental office. Your eyes could be closed for a while, and that could aggravate your contact lenses.
- Plan for eating soft, bland food for a while. After your surgery, your mouth needs time to rest and heal up. But you still need to eat and drink. To avoid putting too much stress on your teeth and gums, you will be asked to stick to soft foods like soups and yogurts for several days at least. And because spicy or acidic foods can irritate your gums, this food should also be more bland than anything else. Definitely skip any hard or crunchy foods like chips, popcorn, apples, etc. Going to the grocery store when you’re both hungry and sore from surgery is not a fun experience, so make a list of soft, bland foods you love and do your shopping before your surgery.
- Find a way to avoid alcohol and smoking before and after surgery. While this is technically about what to do after oral surgery, it helps to start planning before surgery ever begins. When you get home after the procedure, you will not be able to drink alcohol or use tobacco of any kind for anywhere from 12 hours to several days afterward. You also need to skip drinking and smoking beforehand as well. That’s because alcohol and tobacco can interfere with your body’s ability to heal itself, putting you at risk for complications following oral surgery. If you can’t go a few hours without a cigarette, or if you’re planning on having a cold beer afterward, do what you need to to make sure you can skip both.
- Make sure you have enough to do at home. As with any surgical procedure, you’ll need time to lie down and rest following oral surgery at Appalachian Dental Care. That means you’ll be spending a lot of time at home not doing a whole lot. Make sure you can stay entertained during these days. Cue up several movies or TV shows, get some books — whatever you can do that’s relaxing and doesn’t require a lot of energy.