If you’re considering oral surgery, you want to know exactly what will happen before, during, and after your procedure. Even though your oral surgeon will provide details about the procedure before your surgery, having a list of questions to ask ahead of time can be helpful. Thoroughly discussing your treatment plan with your oral surgeon ensures that you have a complete and thorough understanding of the entire process and your recovery.
Be sure to ask for clarification on anything you’re uncertain about, such as pre-surgery food options and your recovery timeframe. Here are some of the top questions to ask your oral surgeon ahead of your scheduled surgery.
1. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS KIND OF SURGERY?
You want to work with an oral surgeon who has handled similar procedures before and has a firm understanding of the process. Experience is often an important consideration for any surgical procedure. While you shouldn’t necessarily discount the knowledge and skills of a newer surgeon, the guidance of a seasoned oral surgeon can aid your peace of mind.
2. WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING THE PROCEDURE?
Your surgeon may not necessarily go into the minute details of your procedure, but it’s crucial to get a basic step-by-step process. You may want to know how quickly the anesthesia works, where exactly the surgeon will operate, and how long the procedure will last.
3. WHAT ARE MY ANESTHESIA OPTIONS?
Your oral surgeon should discuss the various levels of anesthesia available and appropriate for your specific surgery. More often, oral surgery procedures require local anesthesia to provide topical numbness around the area being operated on. In less common cases, your surgeon may recommend conscious sedation, IV sedation, or general anesthesia.
4. WHAT IS THE EXPECTED RECOVERY TIME?
Your overall recovery time will vary depending on several factors, including your procedure and health history. For this reason, it is important to ask your oral surgeon for an estimated recovery timeframe. Once you have this information, you can make arrangements such as taking time off of work or scheduled events.
5. WHAT FOODS SHOULD I EAT AND AVOID?
Depending on your procedure, there may be certain foods you should eat or avoid to ensure a healthy recovery. For example, most oral surgeons recommend avoiding caffeine and alcohol following oral surgery, as both can dry out the mouth and hinder healing. Your oral surgeon may also recommend sticking to soft foods while you heal. Ask about your recommended diet ahead of time, so you’ll know what foods to stock up on for optimal recovery.
6. WHAT IS YOUR AVAILABILITY?
Although you’ll likely schedule your surgery weeks in advance, ask your oral surgeon about their availability before and after the procedure. Knowing when and where your surgeon will be available will allow you to contact them if any questions or concerns arise, and can be helpful in planning follow-up appointments.
Overall, a trusted oral surgeon will be happy to answer your questions and discuss the variables associated with your treatment. In addition to the questions we’ve listed here, don’t hesitate to share any other areas of concern with your surgeon to help you feel confident ahead of the procedure.