Every year, 5 million people get their wisdom teeth removed. While this sounds like a routine procedure (and it is), it’s actually oral surgery! Many people don’t consider it oral surgery because it’s so common.
This means that more people are getting oral surgery than you thought. It may not be as big of a deal as you’re anticipating.
If you’re in the process of choosing a surgeon, you’re probably feeling nervous. Oral surgery can be scary if you’ve never experienced it before.
That’s why we recommend asking your oral surgeon questions. Here are a few great questions you can ask your oral surgeon before the big day.
1. Why Is This Oral Surgery the Best Option?
Just because your oral surgeon tells you that a certain procedure is the best option for you doesn’t mean that you have to immediately take them at face value. You’re more than welcome to ask questions about why this specific surgery is the best option for your situation.
During your consultation, your oral surgeon will go over your dental health history and the condition that you’re seeking treatment for. You’ll work together to create a treatment plan that can solve your problem.
In many cases, there are several potential solutions to a single oral health problem. If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re comfortable with the procedure that the oral surgeon recommended, ask questions!
There’s always a good reason that the best oral surgeon would recommend a specific procedure. They’ll be happy to explain it to you.
2. How Should You Prepare for the Surgery?
It’s always helpful to know what you should be doing prior to your procedure. In most cases, the oral surgeon will give you a list of things to do and things to avoid, but if you have questions or forget anything, feel free to ask.
Some procedures may require that you don’t take certain medications beforehand. If you take medication, make sure that the oral surgeon knows so they can properly advise you.
If you’re going under anesthesia, you may not be able to eat before the procedure. If you’re not, the oral surgeon may actually recommend that you eat beforehand because it will be more difficult to eat after.
Ask the oral surgeon if you’re going to need someone to drive you home after the surgery.
It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry before a surgical procedure. You should never be too embarrassed to ask questions.
3. What Happens During the Surgical Procedure?
Some people prefer not to know what actually goes on during oral surgery, but there’s no harm in asking if you’re curious. If you’re awake during the procedure, the oral surgeon may walk you through it as they go along.
The surgeon may direct you toward videos or articles about the surgical process to help put your mind at ease.
4. Are There Any Potential Risks?
All surgical procedures carry risks, but oral surgery risks tend to be minor. With that in mind, it’s definitely appropriate to discuss risks with your oral surgeon.
Some risks are actually side effects, such as swelling and sensitivity. These are common, but if you don’t know about them ahead of time, you may panic when you start to experience them. By asking the surgeon ahead of time, you’ll know what to expect.
There may also be risks associated with sedation or possible surgical complications. There is also always a risk of infection, but your surgeon will do everything in their power to mitigate that risk.
5. What Are the Sedation Options?
Your oral surgeon wants to minimize your discomfort and pain. Because of this, there are a variety of sedation options available. You may or may not have a choice regarding which one the oral surgeon will use.
For any procedure, you’re likely going to need a local anesthetic. This is the injection that numbs the area so you don’t feel what the oral surgeon is doing.
You may also get nitrous oxide (otherwise known as laughing gas). You’ll still be conscious during the procedure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.
You may take a mild anti-anxiety sedative to calm you down before the procedure or have IV sedation. If you have IV sedation, you’ll need to have someone available to drive you home after the procedure.
If you’re nervous about not having heavy enough sedation, discuss this with your oral surgeon. They may be able to offer alternative options.
6. What Does the Recovery Process Look Like?
Recovering from surgery can be scary if you don’t know what to expect. Even for simple surgeries, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a general timeline of what the recovery process is going to look like.
The surgeon can tell you any potential side effects that you can expect after the surgical procedure. They’ll talk about when side effects should subside and when you should contact them in the event of a problem.
They may tell you how long you should wait to start doing any kind of physical activity or before eating certain foods.
7. Do You Need Aftercare?
Most of the time, recovering from oral surgery is straightforward. You’ll need to adjust your diet for a few days and take special care when you’re brushing and flossing your teeth.
In some cases, you’ll need to do more to take care of yourself after your procedure.
Your oral surgeon may have you take medication after the surgery. They may ask you to rinse your mouth with warm water, to use gauze, and to avoid certain things (like straws).
They may also require a follow-up appointment.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Oral Surgeon Questions
All patients should feel comfortable asking their oral surgeon questions. Oral surgery is a big deal, and you deserve to feel confident when you enter the waiting room on the day of your surgery.
Keep these questions in mind and be ready to ask anything that you’re curious about.
At Knoxville Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center, we aim to provide our patients with comfortable and effective oral surgery. Request a consultation today so we can create a treatment plan for you.