Common reasons for oral surgery include the removal of wisdom teeth, repairing tooth loss, root canal therapy, dental implants, injury or infection to the jaw or teeth, jaw surgery, or oral cancer. The most common of these surgeries are further detailed on individual pages under “Services” on the Capitol Smiles website.
There are many key steps to take before oral surgery to set the patient up for a quick and easy recovery. First, arrange transportation home from the doctor's office, since anesthesia will prevent you from driving yourself. While coordinating a ride home from your procedure also arrange for someone to pick up any prescribed medications before arriving home so that they are already there for when you need them. Also, depending on how extensive the surgery is going to be, we may require you to fast the night or eight hours before. It is also important to have your house already stocked with soft foods and ice packs so that they are ready to go when needed. Additionally, it is beneficial to stop smoking and not drink in the 24-hours leading up to the procedure. Lastly, wear comfortable clothing and no makeup, jewelry, or contact lenses to the surgery.
On the day of having oral surgery, you should stick with soft and cold foods. These include applesauce, yogurt, cold soup, cold mashed potatoes, smoothie, hummus, etc. Eating hot foods shortly after oral surgery could disrupt the blood clot formation that is important in healing the open wound. From the day after surgery until the surgical site is fully healed, avoid consuming hard, sticky, and crunchy foods. Also, avoid foods that could break into small pieces as they could get stuck in the surgical site. Examples of specific foods to avoid are popcorn, chips, nuts, crackers, etc. As for dental implants, do not consume hard foods for six weeks post-operation to avoid damaging the implant or disrupting the healing process.
The average recovery time for oral surgery is a few days to a week. During the first few days after surgery, the pain and swelling of the surgical site will reduce, but the area does not fully heal. Fully healed gums usually take about a month post-operation. Right after surgery, it is critical to allow a few days to rest and do minimal activity. The overall healing time will depend on how well you follow the post-surgical instructions we provide.