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Oral Surgery FAQ’s – St. Louis, MO  

Answers from an Oral Surgeon You Can Trust

Whether you need to extract a painful tooth or want to boost your looks through facial cosmetic surgery, we understand that planning to visit an oral surgeon can raise a lot of questions. That is why our compassionate and knowledgeable team has compiled some of the most common questions we hear from patients and answered them below. We hope you find this oral surgery FAQ section helpful and informative!

If you are ready to move forward with oral surgery after reading these frequently asked questions, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Moreland at his St. Louis practice today.

Can I Drive Home After Oral Surgery?

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In most cases, you should arrange for a friend or family member to transport you home after undergoing oral surgery.

Why? Many oral surgeries require patients to be sedated through either oral sedation or IV sedation. The effects of these types of dental sedation can last for up to an hour or so after surgery, during which time you may feel groggy and respond slightly slower than usual to your surroundings.

For this reason, it is unsafe to operate a motor vehicle after oral surgery in most cases.

What Can I Eat After Oral Surgery?

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Blood clotting on the surgery site is an important step for the body to protect itself against infection and begin the healing process. Hot foods can prevent this initial blood clotting. For this reason, on the day of surgery, we recommend sticking to cool, soft foods such as applesauce, cottage cheese or yogurt.

In addition, for the first few days after oral surgery, try to avoid crunchy foods such as potato chips, popcorn, or nuts, as these snacks can break down into little pieces and get stuck inside the surgery site.

Finally, if you have had dental implants placed, it is important to avoid chewing hard foods with the implant itself for 6 weeks after surgery, or the healing process – also known as osseointegration – may be compromised.

What is a “Dry Socket”?

Oral surgeon operating on patient

A dry socket, known medically as alveolar osteitis, occurs when the blood clot covering an extraction site breaks down prematurely. The condition is most likely to occur 3 to 5 days after oral surgery and can cause increased pain, foul odor and taste in the mouth, and bad breath.

Although there is not always a clear cause, smoking, poor oral hygiene and over-exertion in the days following oral surgery can all contribute to dry socket.

Fortunately, we can easily treat dry socket at our office by washing out the affected socket and placing a medicated dressing. The medicated dressing, which will alleviate pain caused by dry socket, must be replaced every few days until the condition subsides – usually after one or two weeks. 

My Stiches Are Coming Out, Is that OK?

Man smiling at dentist office

Stitches coming loose after oral surgery is typically not considered an emergency. In most cases, stitches are placed at the end of a surgery to help control bleeding and encourage blood clot formation – especially following wisdom tooth surgery or other tooth extractions. So, losing your stiches, even on the same day as you had surgery, is typically nothing to worry about after the blood clot has formed.

However, if you have recently undergone a bone-grafting procedure and your stiches are coming out prematurely, please contact our office right away. Dr. Moreland will determine whether or not you should return to our office for new stitches.