On Day of Surgery

Your experience:

Please arrive fifteen minutes before your scheduled surgery. Our coordinator will greet you, answer last minute questions, and complete any remaining forms or transactions. Our friendly and personable nurse will greet you to help reduce your anxiety and escort you to the treatment room.

If you are having IV sedation, nitrous oxide gas is a great way to get comfortable right before the oral surgeon starts an IV. This is probably the most anxious part for most people, yet by far, the simplest and most painless.

Our assistants place vital monitors on, including a blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter to measure oxygenation level, and EKG pads. Oxygen is administered through a nasal mask along with lots of smiles and tender care from the team. The anesthesia medications are given through the IV line. A minute or two later, you’ll feel quite tired and sleepy. Once you are completely asleep and comfortable, the surgeon places local anesthesia to numb the extraction areas.

A rubber bite block helps to support your jaw during surgery and also keeps your mouth open if you are being sedated. It also protects your jaw joint (TMJ) by preventing excessive pressure during surgery. The surgeon then performs the surgery as planned, with the assistants’ help.

Sutures are used to close the extraction sites and improve the healing process. We almost always place sutures on the lower wisdom teeth while they are optional on the upper teeth. The sutures may be either re-absorbable (which dissolve in five to seven days) or require removal. Both types work well and selection is based on the surgeon’s preference. If you cannot return for suture removal, re-absorbable sutures should be used.

You shouldn’t worry about waking up in the middle of surgery. Anesthesia medications are given as needed to make sure you remain asleep and comfortable. At end of surgery, you will awake to a tap on your shoulder and a gentle voice saying: “Hi, can you open your eyes?”

The surgeon will reassure you that surgery is finished and everything went well. Monitors and IV are removed and you are escorted to the recovery room. A few minutes later, your loved ones can keep you company as you recover from the anesthesia.

Immediately following surgery:

If IV sedation was administered, you will awaken shortly after surgery and be escorted to the recovery room. Your mouth will feel numb from the local anesthesia which will help keep you comfortable and pain free. You’ll bite down on gauze to help reduce bleeding, and the gauze will be replaced periodically by the assistant. Most people rest for 20 to 30 minutes before being ready to go home. During this time, you will become increasingly awake and alert and gradually be able to standup by yourself. Rarely, nausea or vomiting may occur. If it does, it often resolves spontaneously. You may be given some pain medication which will begin to work as the numbness wears off. This helps to keep you comfortable in the coming hours.

When you are ready to go home, the assistant reviews detailed post-operative instructions with you and your escort, both verbally and in written form. You will be given a home-care kit that contains gauze, ice packs, written instructions, office contact information for questions or emergencies, and an appointment card for follow-up visit. You are then escorted to the car.

Follow-up visit:

Usually a five minute visit to evaluate healing, remove sutures if necessary, and give other recommendations for continued healing.