Steps In Preparing For Major Dental Surgery

Types of Major Dental Surgery in CA

Many of the procedures Dr. Robert M. Walley performs on dental patients are quick, non-invasive, and routine. Deep cleanings and fillings, for example, are not what we’d consider “major” dental surgery. So what does constitute a “major” dental procedure? The following is a list:

  • Root Canals
  • Dental Implants
  • Wisdom Teeth Extraction
  • Reconstructive Dental Surgery
  • Cosmetic Dental Surgery

These range from common, scheduled procedures like root canals to emergency invasive treatment that can come after a car accident or sports trauma. Whatever the cause, there are some things patients can do in preparing for their dental surgery.

Steps in Prepping for Dental Surgery

Knowing how to prep for dental procedures is an excellent way to reduce anxiety before surgery and make aftercare much simpler. Here, we look at a few steps that patients can take while gearing up for their procedure:

1. Do the Basics

While Dr. Walley will give you the specifics of your procedure well ahead of time, it’s generally considered protocol to avoid eating or drinking anything (including water) for as much as 12 hours before your procedure, particularly if your procedure requires anesthesia. We also suggest brushing and flossing well before arriving for your procedure.

2. Dress for Surgery

We recommend wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. In some cases, procedures require an IV, and short-sleeve shirts will make that easier and more comfortable for everyone involved.

A few other items to avoid include jewelry (you’ll be asked to remove it before surgery, anyway), contact lenses, makeup, and perfume or cologne. For longer-haired patients, it also can be helpful to gather hair into a ponytail.

3. Prepare Your Home for Recovery

Depending on the surgery, it’s fully possible that you will have some blood in your mouth that could leak out while you sleep, so before your procedure, make sure you change out your bedsheets so your good ones don’t end up stained. Give yourself a comfortable space to recover since, depending on the procedure, you may not be inclined to do much moving around for a few days after the surgery.

4. Get Your Medications Organized

You may be asked to stop taking blood-thinners such as Tylenol for a certain amount of time before your procedure. Also, if your doctor has plans for you to take certain medications (painkillers and/or antibiotics) try to arrange to pick them up before your procedure rather than after. Again, the more you have done up-front, the easier your recovery will be.


Once the procedure is done, there’s not a lot a patient can do except rest, take the proper medications, and drink a lot of water. Recovery time varies considerably based on the patient and the procedure, but nearly all dental procedures result in a full recovery.

If you experience nausea, vomiting, headaches, muscle aches, or any symptoms of infection following your surgery, contact Dr. Walley’s office right away so we can help you work through any complications.

As your San Francisco root canal dentist, Dr. Walley is a pro at managing these types of procedures, but being prepared can help them all go even smoother. And let’s face it, we all want a smooth recovery following major dental work!