FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q : Can I have a consultation and be treated the same day?

Q: Can I have a consultation and be treated the same day?

A: That depends on a few things, mainly the complexity of your procedure and the parameters of your insurance. Many patients can be seen for a consultation and be treated the same day. More complex procedures and treatments that involve additional planning may require separate appointments.

Q: I had surgery this morning and one of my stitches came out. Should I worry?

A: Nope! In most instances, stitches are placed at the time of surgery simply to assist with initial control of bleeding and clot formation- especially with tooth extraction surgeries. The loss of a stitch is not considered an emergency even if it occurs on the day of surgery. If your surgeon has performed a bone-grafting procedure, however, and the stitches are coming out prematurely, please contact us so we can notify the doctor who will decide on the next course of action.

Q: Which foods should I eat and which foods should I avoid after having oral surgery?

A: On the day of surgery, soft foods at cool (but not cold!) temperatures are recommended, such as applesauce, cottage cheese, or yogurt. You’ll want to avoid hot foods as they can disturb initial clot formation in the extraction sites. In the few days after your surgery it’s best to avoid crunchy foods such as popcorn, nuts, and potato chips which break up into little pieces and can get packed down into the extraction sites. If you had dental implants placed, avoid chewing hard foods with the implant itself for six weeks to avoid compromising your healing or the implant itself.

wisdom tooth extractions but is a great resource for post-op diet and care for any kind of oral procedure!

Q: What’s the safest and most healthy way to manage discomfort after surgery?

Take your prescribed pain medication as soon as possible after surgery. We recommend that you eat something (soft and cool!) first to help alleviate nausea that could be caused by the pain medication. Take the medication consistently on the prescribed schedule for the first day or two. After the initial few days you can take pain medication as needed in accordance with prescribed directions.

Q: What is a “Dry Socket” and how do I know if I have one?

A: “Dry socket” refers to a condition called alveolar osteiti- a premature breakdown of the blood clot that forms in an extraction site. Smoking, poor oral hygiene, and over-excursion in the days after your procedure can contribute to this condition, but in some cases there is no obvious cause. “Dry socket” typically presents itself 3-5 days after the surgery with increased pain, foul odor and taste, and bad breath. Fortunately, this condition is very easily treatable! What we’ll do is wash out the socket and place a medical dressing which provides pain relief usually within an hour after placement. These medicated dressings are typically replaced every 2-3 days in our office until the condition subsides (within one to two weeks in most cases). If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with “dry socket,” the best solution is to call our office when you start experiencing the symptoms so we can arrange to have you seen as soon as possible (preferably that same day) for treatment.

Q: My lip/tongue feels numb. Is that normal?

A: Most of the time numbness of the lip, tongue, gums, teeth etc. is a common occurrence after lower jaw surgery. Irritation of the nerves is the culprit and in 90% of cases the numbness will revolve itself within a few days. Occasionally, it may take longer to resolve but, fortunately, it is just a sensation and does not cause muscle weakness. If numbness continues for more than a few days, please let us know so we can evaluate and make any recommendations that might be needed.

Q: How long do I keep in the gauze/what is considered a “normal” amount of bleeding after surgery?

A: After a tooth extraction, we will provide you with sterile gauze to bite down on. Keep the gauze in place with gentle, firm pressure: this helps to control bleeding and allows a blood clot to form. Change the gauze every 15 minutes until bleeding has subsided to a light ooze. Bleeding is almost guaranteed after any type of oral surgery- don’t be alarmed! If severe or heavy bleeding persists after consistently applying firm pressure for more than 45 minutes, please give us a call so we can provide additional assistance.

Q: Why do I have to fast for 8 hours before surgery?

A: During your surgery you are put under sedation. When anaesthetic is used, your body’s reflexes are temporarily stopped. This means that if your stomach has food and drink in it, there’s a risk of vomiting or bringing up food into your throat. If this happens, the food could get into your airways, affecting your breathing, or even into your lungs which can cause damage. Safety is a top priority for us, so to remove these risks we require patients that are undergoing anesthesia to fast for 8 hours prior to their procedure.

You can watch more instructional videos on our YouTube page: Elite Oral & Facial Surgery

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