Many people fear the idea of oral surgery. Oral surgery can include extractions, root canals, dental implants, and more. Much of that fear comes from outside information, beliefs or fears from older styles of dental practice, or internal beliefs of what complications could arise. What many of these fears are related to are not what occurs during the actually surgery, but what could happen afterwards during the recovery period.
It is true that complications could arise, but there are many ways for patients to avoid them. When a patient undergoes oral surgery from an experienced dentist like Dr. Britton, they are in great hands, but it is largely up to them what can happen during the recovery process.
Follow Instructions – The single most important thing that a patient can do is to follow their dentist or oral surgeon’s post-operative instructions. Instructions given by dentists may vary, but follow them closely and in detail to have the best recovery experience possible.
Eat Accordingly – Avoid eating things that could be of detriment to the operative site. Hard or sharp foods like chips could cause problems to the wound or even open the sutures. Experts say that eating foods with vitamins A and C can also help with a speedy recovery. Also avoid foods early in recovery that involve sucking motions like milkshakes out of a straw. This can dislodge blood clots forming to heal the mouth and cause painful dry sockets.
Keep the Mouth Clean – This is something that is listed in most post-operative instructions, but should be further emphasized. Eating, drinking, etc. can bring bacteria into the mouth and it is important to keep the surgical site free from bacteria to avoid complications. Most dentists will recommend that you rinse with warm salt water from a clean glass several times a day to rinse out bacteria and prevent infection.
Manage Pain Appropriately – Many people’s first reaction to pain that is unmanaged is to touch, rub, or otherwise pay attention to the affected area which can cause further irritation and even infection. If your pain is managed according to the doctor’s instructions, you should have enough relief tobe able to avoid irritating the surgery site.At all costs, avoid touching the surgery site or you could open the wound or infect the area, making additional procedures and expenses necessary to fix it.
Be Aware – it is important to be in tune with your body and aware if you are experiencing anything unusual at the site of surgery. If swelling lasts for an extended period of time, if you are experiencing infection-like symptoms, if pain gets worse as time goes on rather than better, you have a prolonged fever, or you have a bad taste or smell coming from your mouth, then you should contact the dentist or surgeon for further evaluation. They will be able to tell you over the phone or with a brief examination if what you are experiencing is abnormal and treat it.
It is simple to avoid complications from oral surgery during the healing process and it all begins with you. Of course don’t be afraid to contact your dentist with any questions or concerns. Most of all, don’t fear procedures that create a healthy mouth and smile. While they can be uncomfortable for a short time, they will have great long-term results and are for the best. Contact us at Britton Dental today and we can help you with all of your dental needs and ensure that you have the best experience possible.