Preparing for Oral Surgery

There are many different types of oral surgery, and it is important that you are properly prepared before and after your procedure. This can help make you feel more relaxed and knowledgeable, as well as helping to prevent further complications, such as infection, after the surgery. Here are just a couple of things you can do while you’re preparing for oral surgery.

Understand the surgery

oral surgery treatment plan

There are plenty of different types of oral surgery, and each one will have its individual preparation requirements, as well as recovery plans which you should be aware of when preparing for oral surgery. It is important to make sure you understand the procedure you are about to have performed and that you ask your dentist or oral surgeon any questions you may have. Common oral surgery procedures include tooth extraction, root canal, dental implants, and crowns. There are also many reasons why you may require oral surgery, such as decayed or damaged teeth, an impacted tooth, or to replace a missing tooth. 

Regularly visiting your dentist and practicing good oral hygiene can help reduce the need for surgery, but sometimes it may be out of your control. As a dentist in Asheville, we have plenty of experience with a variety of types of oral surgery and can help you prepare in advance. You should always ask questions and give your dentist as much information as possible. This can help them make sure the surgery is as effective and safe as it can be, and can also help to put your mind at rest if you have any concerns or anxieties. 


Oral surgery is usually performed in an outpatient setting, and it is important to organize transport to and from the practice when preparing for oral surgery. Being under types of anesthesia can impact your ability to drive, so make sure you have a friend or family member who can drive you to and from the surgery, and be on hand to help you during your recovery period. With general anesthesia, it is usually advised that you should not drive for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure, and local anesthetic can also impact your ability to drive.

If you cannot get someone to drive you, use a taxi or app such as Uber to ensure that you don’t have to travel alone. It is also important not to leave the surgery until you are told it is safe to do so. It is also recommended to have someone stay with you, or at least someone who can regularly check up on you. 

Food and drink

Before your dental procedure, you may be asked to fast, and it is important to follow any instructions your dentist gives you. When preparing for oral surgery, in general, you shouldn’t eat or drink anything, including water, 8 to 12 hours before oral surgery, and you also should not smoke for at least 12 hours prior and a minimum of 24 hours after surgery.

It is also important to plan what you can eat and drink after your surgery so that you can prepare meals and drinks in advance. Generally, you will be asked to only have soft foods and cold liquids for the first day or so, such as yogurt and milkshakes. You may then be able to move onto warm, soft foods, but should stay clear of hard, chewy, and crunchy foods, as well as drinking through straws. Using a straw can cause the blood clot in your wound to dislodge due to the suction.


You will need to think about what to wear on the day in order to make your medical procedure go as smoothly as possible. It helps to wear something with short sleeves so that medical equipment like IVs and blood pressure monitors can have easy access. Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting stained is the best idea to wear during oral surgery. It is also a good idea to remove contact lenses if you wear them, as anesthesia may cause you to have your eyes closed for an extended period of time.

Removing jewelry and tying your hair back can also help you prepare. Furthermore, don’t wear any makeup or lipstick, but bring some lip balm to have with chapped and dry lips after your surgery.

Recovery Period

oral surgery recovery

Each oral surgery has its own specific recovery requirements and plan, and your dentist can help you with this. For a common surgery like tooth extraction, the recovery involves pain management, a correct diet, and oral hygiene, among other things. Maintaining good oral hygiene after your oral surgery is very important to help prevent further problems and infections.

For the first few days after surgery, your dentist may ask you to gently brush your teeth with warm water and no toothpaste, and then rinse your mouth with saltwater. After a few days, you may be able to begin to brush and floss your teeth again gently, making sure not to spit or rinse vigorously. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection, and it is important that you take the full course and contact your dentist if you have any side effects. Pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil may be recommended by your dentist, and you should always follow their instructions in regards to this. Furthermore, they will give you information and instructions on how to ice your mouth or jaw in order to help bring down swelling and manage the pain.

Maintaining good oral hygiene and regularly visiting your dentist can help to give your mouth, teeth, jaw, and gums healthy for as long as possible. Whether you need dental crowns, a regular checkup, or cleaning services, your dentist is the best place to go in order to get the best treatment. They can answer any questions you may have, as well as making recommendations for products or habits, spotting any new problems, and helping manage existing ones. If you have questions about your oral health, contact us, and we can help find an answer to your query.