It is completely natural to be nervous about having any type of surgery, including oral surgery. During your consultation, your oral surgeon will cover a lot of information, including your diagnosis, treatment plan, types of anesthesia, what happens during the procedure, and how to prepare for surgery and the recovery period. However, it is a good idea to prepare a list of questions prior to the consultation and to have them on hand during your discussion.
1. What Experience Does the Oral Surgeon Have?
Oral surgeons have extensive experience with a full range of surgical procedures. Prior to entering private practice, they completed a minimum of four years of advanced training beyond dental school in a hospital-based residency program. Some oral surgeons also obtain a medical degree with an additional two years of training. If the dentist you are consulting with about your oral surgery is not an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, you should ask questions about the dentist’s training and experience with the type of surgery you need.
2. What Needs to Be Done to Prepare for the Surgery?
Each patient and surgery will be somewhat different. Therefore, your oral surgeon should provide you with detailed guidelines on what is expected of you before you go in for the procedure. Is there anything you need to do? Do you need to stop smoking before you can have the surgery? Are there any medications that you take that could react with anesthesia or with meds provided after the surgery?
If you are sedated for the procedure, the surgeon or staff will tell you that you need to have someone who can give you a ride home after the surgery. Be sure you are prepared for this and have someone you know and trust who can take you home since you will not be able to drive yourself.
Be honest with your oral surgeon during the consultation, so you can be sure you are receiving the best and most accurate advice on how to prepare for the procedure.
3. What Happens During the Procedure?
Patients will generally want to know the details of what will happen during the procedure. While the surgeon will not likely cover all of the minuscule details of what happens during surgery, they will provide at least a basic explanation of what happens from start to finish.
Whether you need to have teeth removed, dental implants, or another procedure, the surgeon can let you know how the process will unfold and what will be done. Your surgeon can also explain the various anesthesia options for different procedures.
4. What Medications or Food Should Be Avoided?
In some cases, you will need to avoid certain types of medications or food before or after the procedure. These will be discussed in your pre and post-op instruction. However, you should also ask the doctor ahead of time, so you can let them know if there will be any issues.
If you have complete tooth replacement with dental implants, for example, you will need to remain on a soft food diet for several months until you are fully healed and your permanent prosthetics are added. Different procedures will have different requirements, so be sure your surgeon is clear about what you need to do.
5. What Are the Risks with Oral Surgery?
Although oral surgeons are highly trained and skilled in dealing with complications and always do their best to minimize risks for their patients, there is always an element of risk during any sort of surgery. Problems, though rare, could arise during the procedure or the recovery process. Always ask what the risks are and what you should do in case they happen to you. This way, if you have post-op complications, you will know how to respond and get in touch rather than panicking.
6. How Long Will the Procedure Last?
The length of time for the procedure can vary for several reasons. Different procedures will naturally take a different amount of time. However, the amount of time it takes for the same procedure on two different patients can vary. This is because all patients are different and may have different complications that could add to the time the procedure takes.
Your oral surgeon should be able to provide an estimate of how long it will take from the time the surgery begins until you are out of recovery.
7. What Will Recovery Be Like?
After the oral surgery has been completed, it is time for you to recover. The recovery needs and the time it takes for recovery will vary from one patient and one procedure to the next. Your oral surgeon and their staff can provide you with the insight you need regarding what steps you have to take during the recovery period. This may include things like changing out the gauze, choosing the right types of food to eat, taking medication, coming in for checkups on the surgery, etc.
Typically, the clinic will provide you with detailed instructions on what you can expect during this process and what you need to do to ensure your recovery proceeds smoothly. Always pay attention to and follow these instructions, and be sure to get in touch with your doctor if there are any issues.
Find A Qualified Oral Surgeon In Your Area
Take the time to find a reputable, quality oral surgeon who can provide you with the care and attention you need. Maryland Center for Oral Surgery offers a variety of services ranging from wisdom teeth removal to dental implants for patients in Baltimore and the surrounding areas. Ready to schedule your oral surgery?
Call our offices in Owings Mills, Hunt Valley, and Bel Air or contact us via our online form.