The prospect of surgery is scary, no matter the reason for the procedure. Thankfully, patients can calm their fears, at least mostly, by meeting with their oral surgeon before their scheduled procedure. This consultation visit is the ideal opportunity for patients to ask questions they might have of the surgeon and ease their mind over the upcoming procedure. It’s important to have questions ready, before stepping into a consultation, so the appointment is as useful and educational as possible.
Five Questions to Ask Your Oral Surgeon During a Consultation Visit
1.) Why is This Surgery Necessary?
The most important question you need answered is the “why” for your surgery. Your oral surgeon wants you to understand your need for surgery. They never want you to go into a procedure feeling it’s unnecessary. You should walk away from your consultation understanding fully why this particular surgery is your best option to remedy the problem with which you are dealing.
2.) What is the Sequence of My Procedure?
You want to know what the surgeon plans on doing during your surgery. Ask. Let them go through step-by-step and tell you what to expect with each phase of the surgery, beginning with anesthesia. This question is important, because it gives you an accurate view of your procedure, so you know what to expect on the day of surgery.
3.) How Long will My Procedure Last?
Of course, not every patient is the same and complications can arise that prolong a surgery. However, a specialist in oral surgery, such as your oral surgeon, can give you an accurate estimation on surgery length. Keep in mind, your surgeon cannot foresee every unknown factor, so allow for some extra time when scheduling other tasks immediately after your surgery.
4.) What Will My Recovery Look Like?
Again, every patient is different. Therefore, your recovery process will not be exactly like anyone else’s. However, your oral surgeon should be able to tell you the time frame for typical recovery and what that looks like in most patients. For example, they can tell you, most patients return to work a week after this procedure. You might not need that long, but you might need longer. In addition, your surgeon should tell you how long you can expect pain, if at all. The idea is to give you a good idea of what recovery usually looks like in most patients.
5.) What Are The Risks of This Surgery?
Last but not least, you want to ask about the risks. Every surgery, no matter how common, comes along with a bit of risk. This can be scary, hearing what “could” happen. However, going over these “what ifs” can actually make you feel better about the procedure because you will learn what the worst possible outcome could be, while your surgeon explains why that won’t be the case in your situation. We recommend a consultation between you, the patient, and your surgeon before any wisdom teeth, implants, bone graph, or other oral surgery. The five questions listed above are a great way to get communication started and ensure you know exactly what to expect on the day of your oral surgery.