Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions
Diverse age group of patients smiling.
Food and Drink – Getting Ready for Surgery
  • Eat at least 3 good meals the day before surgery and have a bedtime snack. Healthy eating promotes quicker healing
  • Remember, do not eat any food or drink any liquids after midnight, the night before your surgery.
  • Do not drink alcohol for 48 hours before your surgery.
Smoking – Getting Ready for Surgery
It is best if you can stop smoking for 2 weeks leading up to your surgery date. If you are not able to do this, please do not smoke after your evening meal, the night before surgery. Smoking can cause more secretions in your lungs, and you could have problems with your breathing after your anaesthetic. Capital Health is smoke-free.
Medications – Getting Ready for Surgery
If you are taking Aspirin® (ASA) or blood thinners it is very important for you to notify your surgeon at least one week before your surgery. These medications may need to be stopped before your surgery. Bring all of your medications (including over the counter and herbal preparations) in their original containers with you on the day of your surgery.
Health and Hygiene – Getting Ready for Surgery
  • Call your surgeon before coming to the hospital if you have a fever, cold, or flu-like symptoms
  • Take a complete bath or shower and shampoo your hair the evening before or the morning of surgery
  • The QEII is scent free. Do not use scented products
Anaesthetic – Getting Ready for Surgery
With a general aesthetic, you will be given medication to put you to sleep for your surgery. A regional aesthetic means an area of your body is frozen. Sedation is usually given along with regional anaesthesia. If you are having a general or regional anaesthetic:
  • Do not eat any food or drink any liquids including water after midnight, unless otherwise directed. Do not eat candy or chew gum after midnight
  • You may take your medications as instructed by your doctor with sips of water unless you are given other directions
After a general anaesthetic, regional anaesthetic, or Intravenous (IV) sedation:
  • You must have a responsible adult drive you home
  • You should have a responsible adult stay with you for the first 24 hours who can look after you
For the first 24 hours after your surgery:
  • Do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery for 24 hrs
  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours or while taking pain medication
  • Do not sign any legal documents or important papers for 24 hours
  • You are not to be the primary caregiver to dependants for 24 hours
Please Bring With You on the Day of Surgery – Getting Ready for Surgery
  • Provincial Health Card
  • All of your medications in their original containers (including puffers, patches, injections, creams, and over the counter or herbal preparations)
  • CPAP machine (if you use one)
  • Walking aids (crutches, canes)
  • Braces or slings that you have purchased for your surgery
Before and After Day Surgery
As a day surgery patient you will:
  • Come to the hosp ital on the day of your surgery
  • Arrive 3 hours before your scheduled surgery time or as directed by your surgeon's office
  • Have your surgery done in the Operating Room (OR)
  • Return home after your surgery
Your surgery may be cancelled if you are late. Delays in the OR may cause a change in your surgery. There is a chance that your surgery could be cancel led if there is an emergency. If this should happen, your surgeon's office will call you to arrange a new date. You may need some tests before your surgery. This will depend on your general health or the type of surgery you are having. Same Day Surgery staff will contact you to arrange your Pre Operative testing if needed.
For Your Discharge Home – Patient’s Checklist
  • You must have a responsible adult accompany you home by car and you should make arrangements for someone to be with you at home to care for you for the first 24 hours. If you have small children, make arrangements for someone to help you
  • Prescriptions (have these filled on your way home)
  • Follow up appointments with your surgeon or family doctor will be discussed with you
  • Discharge teaching will be completed by your nurse
Morning of Surgery – Patient’s Checklist
  • Take your medications as instructed by your doctor with a sip of water only
  • Bring ALL your medications in their original containers to the hospital
  • Arrive at the hospital 3 hours before surgery or the time you were asked to arrive
  • Provincial Health Card
  • Private Insurance Card
  • CPAP machine (if you have one)
  • Insurance papers that you may need completed for work
  • All other documents as instructed
Night Before Surgery – Patient’s Checklist
  • Follow special instructions from your doctor
  • Do not eat solid food or drink any liquids after midnight
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Do not smoke after evening meal
Stitches After Minor Oral Surgery
The stitches in your mouth will dissolve on their own and fall out.
Food After Minor Oral Surgery
Only drink cold fluids on the day of surgery, for example: ice cream, Jell-O®, eggnog, milkshakes. Then eat warm soups and very soft foods for the next couple of days.
To Control Swelling After Minor Oral Surgery
Swelling is normal. It may go up until the 3rd day after surgery and then it will start to go down. '
  • For the first 24 hours, use ice packs, alternating 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off. Do not use ice packs after the day of surgery
  • The day after surgery, use warm, moist heat on the area. A hot water bottle or warm, moist towel can be used until the swelling and stiffness go away
To Control Bleeding After Minor Oral Surgery
Some oozing and discoloration of saliva is normal. If bleeding continues, hold gauze in place for 30 minutes to 1 hour with constant firm pressure. If the bleeding does not stop, call your doctor.
  • Do not suck or spit
  • Do not use a straw when drinking
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not disturb the wound. This may start an infection, irritation and/or bleeding
Mouth Care After Minor Oral Surgery
Start rinsing your mouth the morning after your surgery. Use a small pinch of salt in a glass of warm water. Rinse several times a day. Be sure to rinse after meals and at bedtime.
Activity After Minor Oral Surgery
When you get home, lie down with 2 pillows under your head. You may feel sleepy and lightheaded.
Discomfort After Minor Oral Surgery
Take medication as prescribed by your doctor. Do not drink alcohol while taking pain pills.
Dry Sockets After Dental Extractions or “Wisdom Teeth” Removal
Dry socket can occur after any dental extraction. It is recognized when:
  • Initial pain from surgery is better
  • Then, the pain returns to the same area
  • Socket becomes very painful
  • Pain medication does not work
  • Pain spreads to front of the jaw and/or to the ear
Depending on how painful it is, you may have to come into the Clinic to get the socket treated with medication. Dry socket is more common in the lower jaw. It is more likely to occur in females than males, females who take birth control pills, older people and smokers. Remember that you may have only a few or all of the symptoms described depending on the difficulty of your extraction(s).
Smoking After Dental Extractions or “Wisdom Teeth” Removal
If you smoke, you should try to avoid smoking until the sockets heal over. This may take 2-3 weeks. If you cannot hold off for this period, it is in your best interest to stop smoking for as long as possible after the surgery. Smoking can complicate healing or lead to infection or “dry socket”.
Sedation and Anaesthesia After Dental Extractions or “Wisdom Teeth” Removal
You may have been given an intravenous sedative for your dental extractions. If so, you may or may not remember much about your procedure. Before you leave, the doctor and staff will ensure you have recovered adequately. Although you may feel awake and alert after your procedure, you may have some of the sedative drugs still in your “system”. This is why you are not allowed to drive a motor vehicle or perform any dangerous tasks for 24-48 hours (for example: do not use power tools). Do not sign any documents of legal importance. You should stay home and rest quietly for at least 24 hours. You must have someone at home with you for the first 24 hours.
Stitches After Dental Extractions or “Wisdom Teeth” Removal
If you had stitches inserted in your gums, they will dissolve on their own in 3-8 days. You may see a few spots of blood in your saliva when this happens.
Infection After Dental Extractions or “Wisdom Teeth” Removal
Occasionally, infection can occur after the extraction of wisdom teeth. After the initial swelling period (2-3 days), continued swelling, pain and discomfort may be an indication of infection. You may develop a fever or feel sick. Pus may drain from the infected socket and leave a bad taste in your mouth. If this happens, call the Clinic.
Diet After Dental Extractions or “Wisdom Teeth” Removal
  • No hot food or hot liquid for 24 hours. You may drink and eat cold and soft food and liquids during the first 24 hours
  • Try to eat softer foods for the first 2-3 days (puddings, ice cream, yogurt, soups). Softer foods will not tear any stitches and will not get jammed into any open sockets
  • After the first few days, when eating tougher foods, avoid the open sockets until you find it comfortable to chew
  • Some sockets will take several weeks before the gums grow over normally. Until the sockets close over completely, you will probably get food stuck in the sockets. This may cause problems with “bad breath” and a bad taste in your mouth
Hygiene After Dental Extractions or “Wisdom Teeth” Removal
  • Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours after surgery. You may rinse the clots out of the sockets and start the socket(s) bleeding
  • After 24 hours, start gently rinsing with a salt water mixture (a pinch of salt in a glass of warm water) and let it fall out gently
  • As the gum incision heals, you can rinse more vigorously
  • Do not rinse for 1 week with anything other than the warm water and salt
  • You can brush your teeth after 24 hours but do not brush the area of the extraction(s) for 5-7 days
  • If you are temporarily left with some “open holes” or sockets, you may have to rinse more often to keep the sockets clean until they heal over with normal gum tissue