Common Questions About Oral Surgery Recovery

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If you need oral surgery, rest assured, Dr. Anne Nicholas and her team of specialists will gently lead you through every step of the process, helping you to be as comfortable as possible, including the recovery process.

Do you have questions concerning your recovery post-op? We have answers to the most common questions that we receive. Here are a few of the most Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How can I prepare for oral surgery?
A: Make sure you have a comfortable recovery place set up at home. Having extra pillows can help you rest more comfortably. Plan to have something enjoyable to do for relaxation or entertainment while you rest, so you can keep your spirits up. Books, magazines, access to television or a smartphone can all help you pass the time more comfortably.

Q: Is it permissible to smoke after oral surgery?
A: Do not smoke while you are in recovery, as this can cause problems with the surgery site by slowing healing process and sometimes it just does not heal the same way like if you were not smoking.

Q: How can I reduce swelling?
A: To address swelling at the surgery site for the first couple of days post-surgery, you can place an ice pack on the outside of the site for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.You might need to switch to warm packs after 48 hours. This should reduce the swelling and help you feel more comfortable. Once you have passed the 24-hour mark post-surgery, you can gently swish your mouth with salt water several times a day, as well as after you eat. Be sure to take any prescribed medication, including antibiotics.

Q: What should I do the night before my procedure?
A: IF you decided to have sedation dentistry, the night before your procedure, you will want to make sure you have secured transportation to and from your surgery appointment, as you will be recovering from anesthesia and won’t be able to drive. You will also need to fast the night before your procedure, meaning, no food or water eight to 10 hours prior to your oral surgery. If you are diabetic or you take prescription medications, Dr. Nicholas and her team of specialist can advise you with special instructions.

Q: What can I eat after I have oral surgery?
A: The first few days after your procedure, consume soft foods to avoid irritating your surgical site. This is the time to enjoy your favorite soup and try different flavors of yogurt and ice cream. You can also eat macaroni, mashed potatoes, puréed fruits, smoothies or shakes. Make sure your food and drinks are close to room temperature for the first couple of days. No alcohol or drinking through a straw during the first week after you have had surgery. For about six to eight weeks, you are going to want to avoid hard or crunchy foods. Healing your surgical site is your first priority during this crucial time.

Q: How long will it take for the surgical site to heal?
A: You can expect about two to 6 days for the swelling and discomfort to fade. Rest is the key to recovery and healing. Rest is the first phase. The length of healing, will be determined by the type of oral surgery you’ve received. For example, if you have had jaw surgery, you can expect to take a month or longer to fully heal; whereas, wisdom tooth extractions may take just one to two weeks.

Dr. Nicholas and her team of specialists are here to help you have a smooth road to recovery after oral surgery. If you have any questions, you are welcome to call 760-851-0314 or visit our dental office in Palm Desert, California. Our team proudly serves the wonderful communities of Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and the surrounding areas of the Coachella Valley at the Palm Desert.