I need to have a jaw operation! What to do now?
Surely there are more desirable situations than lying helplessly in a dentist chair with your mouth wide open listening to background noises. Oral cavity operations are indeed unpleasant, however, they are painless. Still, caution is needed: local anesthesia does not rule out the feeling of pressure. However, pressure is not pain and if you are prepared to that particular sensation, you will cope more easily with the operation. After all, it’s all in the head, right?
How to get prepared?
- Depending on the difficulty of the intervention, keep in mind that several days prior to the operation as well as for several days after the operation you should not strain yourself physically or talk excessively.
- Fill your fridge: baby food, soups and any kind of food that can be cut into tiny pieces or mashed.
- Add an extra pillow. The Higher head position will help diminish the swelling.
- Prepare some cooling compresses. Post-operative cooling diminishes the swelling and alleviates the pain. Apply the compresses at intervals and don’t put cold objects directly on the face – wrap them in a cloth.
- Pay a visit to the pharmacy: during the consultation interview write down the advice during the post-operation period. You can find written instructions for certain interventions on http://rident.hr/ask-the-doctor/ . Buy a 0,12% CHX rinsing solution and some painkillers (Ibuprofen or Analgina e.g.). Pick up a lip care cream as well – vaseline or similar.
- Supply yourself with some gauze swabs. After the operation, there is a hemorrhage risk, and it can be stopped easily by putting some pressure on the bleeding spot. The longer the pressure, the better. Paper tissues are not suitable because they tend to fall apart and tiny pieces can get to the wound. Oral cavity hemorrhages usually appear more serious than they really are: blood mixing with saliva can give a sensation of a much more substantial hemorrhage. In no case should you rinse your mouth if it’s bleeding!
- A week before and after the operation you shouldn’t take any painkillers containing ASS (typical ASS based painkiller: Aspirin) since they increase the risk of hemorrhage.
- Bring a list of medicines that you usually take to the consultation interview.
- DO NOT SMOKE! You can only smoke if it truly doesn’t matter to you whether the operation should have a successful outcome or not.
- Organize your transport. Not only do local anesthesia and painkillers diminish the concentration but the stressful situation itself has a negative effect on psychomotor abilities.
- Wear simple and comfortable clothes.
- After the third day, an improvement is to be felt. If the pain and the swelling should continue, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.
- And trust us: after the surgery had been done, almost every patient claims that the worst aspect was the fear prior to the surgery!