Day of Surgery

doctor-consultsPlease alert the office if you have a medical condition that may be of concern prior to surgery (i.e., diabetes, high blood pressure, artificial heart valves and joints, etc.) or if you are currently taking any medication.

For all surgery, please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.  Tops/shirts should have sleeves that are easily drawn up above the elbow.  Females should remove nail polish before surgery, and apply as little makeup as possible.

You will always be given local anesthesia for your surgery, but you may choose any of those listed below as a supplement.  Each choice requires different preparation on your part and for your safety it is important that you read and follow the instructions carefully.  If you are unclear about anything, please ask your doctor.

LOCAL ANESTHESIA is the same that you might receive for dental fillings; a numb feeling in the area being operated on and a feeling of pressure during surgery.  You will be awake and recall the surgery, but there will be no discomfort.

  • Have a light meal a few hours prior to surgery.
  • For more extensive procedures you may wish to have someone drive you home.
  • Plan to rest for a few hours after surgery.

NITROUS OXIDE is also known as “laughing gas.”  You will be relaxed and somewhat less aware of your surroundings, but recall most of the surgical event.  Nitrous oxide is used in conjunction with local anesthesia, but also may be used to supplement the choices below.

  • You may have a light meal four (4) hours prior to surgery.
  • It is best to have someone drive you home.
  • Plan to rest for the remainder of the day.

INTRAVENOUS SEDATION: Medications are given through a vein in your arm or hand, which will cause total relaxation and, although you will not actually be unconscious, there will be very little recall (if any) of the events surrounding surgery.

  • You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for (8) hours prior to surgery.  However, it is important that you take any regular medications (high blood pressure, antibiotics, etc.) or any premedication prescription that we have provided, using only a small sip of water.
  • For morning appointments, skip breakfast.
  • For afternoon appointments, eat a light breakfast (8) hours before your appointment, then skip lunch.
  • Take any regular medications with only enough water to get the pill down.
  • You must have someone remain in the office during the procedure and present to drive you home.
  • Plan to rest for the remainder of the day.  Do not operate power tools, machinery, etc., for 24 hours after surgery.

GENERAL ANESTHESIA: Medications are given through a vein which will result in total loss of consciousness, complete lack of recall of the event and usually a longer recovery time.  General anesthesia has an excellent safety record as an office procedure, but may, if desired, be provided in a hospital setting.  (Your health insurance may not cover you unless there is a bona fide medical reason for hospitalization.)

  • You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for (8) hours prior to surgery.  However, it is important that you take any regular medications (high blood pressure, antibiotics, etc.) or any premedication prescription that we have provided, using only a small sip of water.
  • For morning appointments, skip breakfast.
  • For afternoon appointments, eat a light breakfast (8) hours before your appointment, then skip lunch.
  • Take any regular medications with only enough water to get the pill down.
  • You must have someone remain in the office during the procedure and present to drive you home.
  • Plan to rest for the remainder of the day.  Do not operate power tools, machinery, etc., for 24 hours after surgery.

Our goal is to provide you with a safe, pleasant and effective anesthetic.  In order to do this it is imperative that we have your full cooperation.  Please feel free to ask or call about any questions concerning your surgery or anesthetic.

Proper care following oral surgical procedures is important to hasten recovery and prevent complications.  Please read and follow the instructions carefully.

  1. Bed rest the day of surgery is advised, particularly if intravenous medications were used.  You should elevate your head 30-40% (2-3 pillows).  You should not drive while taking narcotic pain medication or engage in any strenuous activity for 48 hours following surgery.
  2. Change gauze every hour after surgery three to four times, then discontinue.  The gauze may be removed to take medications, liquids and/or food.
  3. Some bleeding is to be expected.  Spitting will cause bleeding to persist.  If persistent bleeding occurs, rinse your mouth with ice water and place a moistened tea bag over the bleeding area and bite down firmly for one (1) hour.  Repeat if necessary.
  4. Take your prescribed pain medication before the local anesthesia (numbness) wears off.  A long acting local anesthetic may be used on the lower jaw, so the lower lip may be numb up to 24 hours.  Pain medications should be taken as prescribed the day of surgery.  For mild discomfort use Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or Tylenol if unable to take Ibuprofen. 
  5. DO NOT: use a straw for drinking, smoke or use any tobacco product, drink carbonated or alcoholic beverages for 48 hours following surgery.  This creates excessive bleeding and may complicate and delay recovery. 
  6. Begin diet with cold, clear liquids (iced tea, apple juice, etc…) and advance to cold soft diet (jello, yogurt, puddings, etc…).  On the day of surgery, keep temperatures at a luke warm level or cooler and avoid foods that are harder than scrambled eggs, pasta, etc….   Advance your diet to normal the day after surgery as tolerated. 
  7. Tooth brushing can be started on the day of surgery.  Warm salt-water rinses should be started 24 hours after the surgery.  Add a one (1) teaspoon of salt to an 8-ounce glass of warm water for rinsing.  This is especially important after meals.  Rinse with warm salt water at least four (4) times a day. 
  8. Swelling and pain are to be expected and some bruising may also occur.  An ice bag or zip lock freezer bag filled with ice, wrapped in a towel should be applied to the face one-half hour on and one-half hour off for the first day of surgery until the patient goes to bed for good.   Moist heat may be applied to the involved area beginning 24 hours after surgery. 
  9. You will need to schedule a postoperative appointment approximately one (1) week following the surgery.  Please call the office to arrange this if it has not already been set up. 

*If you anticipate the need for medication over the weekend please call the office prior to noon on Friday.  Please note that it is office policy that no medications will be prescribed after hours or on the weekend because of non-patients trying to obtain drugs illegally.