How to Prepare for Oral Surgery

Oral surgeon reviewing treatment issues with patient

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Oral Surgery: What to Expect

Injuries, diseases, and defects that affect the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaws sometimes require oral surgery. Many oral surgeons provide corrective options to improve jaw health, remove wisdom teeth, repair broken or damaged teeth, and much more. These surgeries are often performed on an outpatient basis. This means the patient is often responsible for her or his own care once the surgery is completed. While no two patients are the same, there are some common outcomes after oral surgeries. So what can you expect from oral surgery?

Oral surgery includes any procedure that requires cutting into or removing tissue from the mouth. Tooth removal, gum surgery, dental implants, removing diseased tissue, repairing jaw problems, and treating a cleft palate are all examples of common oral surgeries. These procedures are almost always performed by an oral surgeon, also called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. These dentists have successfully completed post-graduate training in oral surgery.

After your procedure, you may have pain, bleeding, or swelling. These symptoms may be completely normal, or you may need to consult a dental professional.


Pain after oral surgery is normal, especially once your anaesthetic wears off. You’ll probably notice the highest levels of pain during the first 48 hours after surgery, after which your discomfort should begin to subside. Still, it is not abnormal to have some pain for 3 to 5 days after surgery. Your dentist or oral surgeon will probably prescribe an analgesic to help you manage the pain. You should take this medication exactly as instructed. Do NOT drink alcohol when taking this medication. Furthermore, if you have been given narcotic medication, you may feel drowsy. You should not drive or operate heavy machinery. If pain does not improve 48 hours after surgery, consult your dentist or surgeon. Applying ice is an effective method to counter pain and swelling.


Bleeding is another common side effect, especially during the first couple hours after surgery. You may experience some oozing for up to 24 hours. As blood and saliva mix, you’ll get the impression that you are bleeding more than you actually are. If bleeding cannot be controlled with a firm gauze press after 4 hours, call your dentist or surgeon.


Facial swelling for the first 24 hours after oral surgery is normal. Some swelling may remain for up to a week. As the swelling starts to go down, you may also notice some bruising. This is also normal and may last for up to 10 days. To manage swelling, use a cold compress on the swollen area the first day after surgery. Simply wrap ice cubes in a towel or grab a bag of frozen vegetables from the freezer. Apply the compress alternately for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for the first 24 hours while awake. On the second day, apply a warm compress to improve blood flow and circulation. This will help reduce swelling. DO NOT apply heat during the first 24 hours after surgery as this will only exacerbate swelling.

More questions? Let us know how we can help!

Source by Alex Pupkin

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