Some people get anxious when facing dental surgery because they don’t know what to expect. Discussing details of the surgery and recovery with your oral surgeon in advance can put your mind at ease.

As with any surgical procedure, dental surgery requires a certain recovery period. The length of time will depend on the specific intervention. A patient may be back to a normal routine within a day or two after wisdom teeth extraction, for example, but may take a few weeks to recover from extensive orthognathic surgery.

Some patients will have some discomfort in the hours and days immediately following the surgery. Often, this can be addressed with over-the-counter medications, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If your pain is expected to be a bit more severe, your oral surgeon can also prescribe a stronger painkiller for you.

A post-operative infection is a risk with any surgery, including dental surgery, but you can take steps to reduce your chances of this outcome. Be sure to keep your mouth clean, using appropriate techniques, and your oral surgeon may also prescribe a prophylactic antibiotic to prevent infection.

Certain risks of complications may be specific to the type of dental surgery. For example, dry sockets can occur after a surgical extraction, and patients should avoid drinking through straws until the sockets have healed fully.

You may also need to adapt your diet for a few days after dental surgery. It may be best to stick to softer foods in the earliest stages of the healing process and avoid crunchy foods that may disrupt healing for a few weeks.

In addition to knowing what to expect post-operatively, you should also discuss any preparations that you will need to make in advance of the procedure. Patients who are receiving IV sedation need to fast after midnight before the surgery, for example.

If you are scheduled to undergo dental surgery, work with your oral surgeon to develop a post-operative plan that will help reduce your chances of complications. Be sure to follow good oral hygiene habits, per your surgeon’s suggestions, and keep all of your follow-up appointments with our team at Texas Oral Surgery Specialists.