Oral surgery is — fortunately! – not something most people have to think about on a regular basis. An encounter with the oral surgeon is something you may experience only once or twice in a lifetime. So it’s likely you’ll have questions — and maybe even some concerns — about what you can expect before, during, and after your procedure.
The good news for you is that Dr. Ghazal Mahjoubi and her team at Upper East OMS live and breathe oral surgery every day, and they are here to answer ALL of your questions! Your pre-op appointment is your opportunity to ask questions and make Dr. Mahjoubi aware of any fears or anxieties you may have.
We know it can be difficult to remember everything that you want to ask, so we put together a list of the most important questions to cover at a pre-op appointment. Feel free to print it out and use it as a guide, compliments of the best oral surgeon in NYC!
1. What are the details of my surgical procedure?
Understanding exactly what will happen during your surgery is one of the best ways to prepare for your procedure and to tackle any worries head-on. Ask about what will happen when you arrive at the office and how the team will help prepare you for sedation or anesthesia.
Dr. Mahjoubi will explain how the procedure is done and how it will address the dental problem that has brought you to the office. She can also share information about potential risks or complications and how to prevent them. Feel free to ask about Dr. Mahjoubi’s experience with performing similar surgeries — hearing success stories is a great way to put your mind at ease.
2. How long will the procedure take?
Knowing approximately how long you will be in surgery can help you prepare for your day. And if you need to have a friend standing by to help get you home, you’ll have the information you need to make those arrangements.
3. What sedation or anesthesia options are available for this procedure?
Our goal is to make your experience of oral surgery as painless as possible — literally! Although some soreness is expected following a procedure, we offer both IV sedation and general anesthesia to ensure you feel no pain during your dental surgery. The type of sedation we recommend will depend on the details of your case, so please ask!
Also, be prepared to have a licensed drive available to make sure you get home safely after anesthesia.
4. How should I prepare for the surgery? Can I eat or drink before my procedure?
The Upper East OMS team will provide specific instructions for preparation based on your procedure and whether or not you will be under general anesthesia. On the day of your surgery, brush your teeth well and remove any jewelry, makeup, dentures, or contact lenses. Wear flat shoes and comfortable clothing with a ¾ sleeve or shorter, to make it easier to access IV sites on your arms or hands.
If you will be going under general anesthesia, you’ll need to fast from all foods for at least 8 hours before your surgery. You can drink clear fluids like water, apple juice, and coffee, but stop drinking all fluids about 6 hours before your procedure.
You can continue taking some medications leading up to your surgery, but others should be stopped up to two days in advance. Be sure to ask Dr. Mahjoubi about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you take. And plan to refrain from drinking alcohol or smoking for at least 24 hours before and after your procedure.
5. What can I expect recovery to be like? What can I do to treat pain or swelling? What foods can I eat or drink after my surgery?
Asking questions about recovery is crucial in preparing for oral surgery. You’ll likely need to take some time away from work or school, or maybe arrange care for family members while you recover, and this will vary depending on your procedure.
Ask about what to expect during recovery in terms of pain, swelling, and bleeding — know what is normal, what you can do to relieve symptoms, and who you should call if you experience more severe symptoms. If you will be prescribed antibiotics after your surgery, plan to pick those up from your pharmacy ahead of time, and be sure you understand when and how long to take them.
It’s important to stay hydrated after surgery, but you may need to avoid drinking from straws following some procedures. Plan on eating soft, high-protein foods while your mouth still feels tender.
Most of all, understand how to care for your surgical sites and/or new dental implants and ask whether any follow-up appointments are recommended. Find additional reading materials about post-surgical care here.
6. When can I get back to my normal activities? What about exercise?
Recovery time will be different for each patient, so if you have specific questions about returning to your normal activities, be sure to ask them!
Most likely, you’ll be able to return to some gentle activities — like walking your dog or visiting Monet’s water lilies at the Met, relatively quickly — whereas you might need to put your trampoline fitness classes on hold for a bit longer.
7. Can I see the rest of the office?
We are more than happy to show you around Upper East OMS during your pre-op appointment! For many patients, seeing where the procedure will take place and meeting some of the staff (including our resident canine helper, Bella!) is yet another way to find peace of mind before surgery.
And don’t be shy — feel free to ask any questions not included in this list! Whether it’s related to insurance, scheduling, or anything else, we want to make sure you have all the info you need to prepare for a successful oral surgery procedure — and to feel better fast!