An oral surgeon spends a lot of their time extracting teeth and performing root canals. So does a general dentist. Is there a difference in how each type of dentist performs certain procedures? Is it better to see a general dentist, or should you opt for an oral surgeon instead?For answers to these questions, keep…
How to Recover from Oral Surgery
Oral surgery can be an intimidating proposition for some. The idea of oral surgery becomes even more worrisome when your dentist recommends it. A smooth, uneventful surgical procedure often points to a smooth, uneventful recovery. All the patient needs is a few pointers to help them along.
Preparation for oral surgery is the first step to after-care
Dentists recommend that their patients stay off their feet in the hours and/or days following oral surgery. This means that the patient should get all their chores and errands out of the way before they undergo their procedure. Some other preparation tips can include wearing loose clothing and minimal jewelry on the day of the surgery and preparing medications and soft foods for the days following the procedure.
These preparations can make after-care and the recovery period go a lot more easily.
What to expect from the procedure
Many kinds of oral surgeries involve incisions and sutures. Many others involve the removal of teeth or dental tissue. Some procedures require the dentist or oral surgeon to make additions to the teeth, gums, or jaws. All these actions point to a surgical site that needs care after the patient leaves the dentist’s office. Here is how to take care of the site.
1. Pain management
Dentists and oral surgeons will advise their patients to take their first dose of pain medication before the anesthetic wears off. The dentist may prescribe pain medication or advise the use of over-the-counter pills. They will do this before the procedure, to allow the patient to make preparations before the procedure.
The dentist or oral surgeon will also recommend home remedies like ice packs to numb the surgical site, and salt rinses to help with swelling. Depending on the procedure, the dentist will tell the patient what to expect in terms of intensity and duration of discomfort.
Bleeding is natural after oral surgery, but it slows to a trickle in the hours after the procedure. An oral surgeon or dentist will apply gauze to stem the bleeding and advise their patient to replace the gauze after a few hours.
They will advise their patient to avoid opening the wound with hard foods, tongue action, or the use of straws. They will also recommend an antiseptic rinse for the surgical site. Lastly, the dentist will ask the patient to call for help if heavy bleeding persists.
3. Oral hygiene and oral habits
Each oral surgery is different. For tooth extraction, the dentist may advise their patient to brush their teeth gently. For procedures with a larger surgical site, the dentist may recommend a mouth rinse for a few days. The most important thing is that the patient follows instructions to the letter.
Dentists also discourage patients from poor oral habits like smoking and alcohol, which slow healing.
After oral surgery, patients should limit themselves to soft foods for a few weeks. They can slowly reintroduce harder foods as they heal. A dentist will give custom instructions that address the patient’s unique needs. These instructions cover timelines and the types of foods the patient can and cannot eat.
5. Warning signs
Lastly, a dentist will tell their patient to call for help if they experience severe, persistent pain, excessive bleeding, swelling, and/or fever.
Do you currently need oral surgery?
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