What You Need to Know About Oral Surgery Recovery

If you’re making your summer and fall plans, you may be ready to schedule your oral surgery procedure and wondering how long the recovery takes. Whether its dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, or a more invasive jaw surgery procedure, it’s important to know what to expect for an oral surgery recovery.

Oral surgeries performed by board-certified and experienced oral surgeons like Dr. Valiente are typically outpatient and predictable. Since healing times vary, it’s wise to find out ahead of time how to prepare, what symptoms are normal, and when to call the doctor.

How can you optimize the healing process and prevent complications? Read on to learn what makes an oral surgery recovery a complete success.

Each recovery is unique.

Just as every patient is unique, so is each recovery experience, including the amount of time required for complete healing. If you’re planning to get your wisdom teeth removed, one or more dental implants placed, and/or bone grafting, schedule time to rest and heal. You won’t be sorry!

Resting is key.

We will go over post-surgical care instructions with you before and after your procedure. But most importantly, and in general, you’ll want to wait a few days before returning to work and three to five days before beginning intense exercise and activities. In addition to laying low, rinsing your mouth with saltwater after meals and before going to bed will allow the surgical site to heal more quickly.

Minimal discomfort is normal.

Some pain, swelling, and bruising is common with most oral surgeries. You may even experience a small amount of bleeding. This is all part of the healing process and nothing to be alarmed about. These symptoms are perfectly normal and manageable with over-the-counter medications, rest, and ice packs.  Please make sure to call us immediately if your symptoms worsen.

Regularly ice your jaw.

In addition to resting and rinsing, icing your jaw for the first 48 hours after surgery will keep normal swelling and bruising to a minimum. We recommend a regimen of applying ice for 20 minutes and then removing it for 20. Switch from side to side if you had surgery on both sides of your mouth. Within 2-3 days, your swelling should start to subside.

Enjoy soft foods the first week.

Staying hydrated is essential, and getting enough calories is important too. For the first couple of days, drinking cold liquids and eating soft foods will permit proper healing and minimal irritation to the surgical site. Keep in mind, food rich in vitamin C optimizes postoperative healing.

After the first day, add warm, soft food, such as soups, broths, and mashed potatoes. Do not incorporate crunchy, chewy foods until week two. Finally, refrain from using a straw or smoking the first week because these activities can dislodge the blood clot which naturally forms and is aiding in keeping the wound closed and allowing it to heal.

Call the doctor if symptoms worsen.

Call us if your symptoms increase, such as signs of infection, or if you have a temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, nausea, numbness, swallowing or breathing difficulties.

Ready for a wisdom teeth or dental implant consultation?

Remember that the best thing you can do to optimize the healing process is follow the instructions we recommend. You’ll find that rest is the secret ingredient of a speedy recovery. Give us a call when you’ve  decided on a good time in your schedule to take a step back  so that your oral surgery is followed by a smooth recovery!