Ryan M. Buckwalter, DDS, FICOI, FAGD

1420 Greenbrier Place
Charlottesville, VA 22901


What To Expect When Considering Oral Surgery

Receiving oral surgery should seem like a pretty daunting event, but knowing what to expect can help ease your mind and ensure you recover quickly and comfortably. If you are considering oral surgery, start by discussing with your dentist what to expect.

At Hillcrest Dental, we want to help our patients to understand as much about their dental health as we can, as well as all of the options they have in making sure their teeth and gums remain healthy and attractive. Our practice provides excellent dental care in all areas, whether it be general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and even quality oral surgeon services. We’ve had patients throughout Ruckersville, VA, reach out to us for consistent dental care services due to our friendliness, our prompt service, and amazing results.

Here is what to expect if you’re thinking of getting oral surgery:

Consulting With An Oral Surgeon

Unless you’ve received an injury that requires an oral surgeon to provide emergency treatment, you may consult with an oral surgeon first about any required procedures for pre-existing conditions. You may discuss the details of the operation, your medical history, including current medications you should avoid taking prior to the surgery.

The consultation is a good time to ask about any of the concerns you may have about the surgery, whether it be recovery time, pain management, or payment options. It’s a good idea to have these questions written down beforehand.

How to Get Home After Oral Surgery

For the most part, oral surgeries are considered “outpatient,” meaning you’ll be discharged from the hospital or clinic a little while after the operation. Of course, the drugs used for pain management often leave patients fatigued and incapacitated for some time. Have a family member or friend drive you to and from surgery so that you travel safely and with as little worry as possible.

Also, ask your friend or loved one to pick up your pain medications and antibiotics prescribed by your doctor prior to surgery. The earlier you get them, the less hassle there will be and the sooner you can rest and recover.

What You Should Eat Before & After Oral Surgery

Certain foods can’t be mixed with specific medications, as they may produce more bacteria and cause infection during surgery. It is recommended that you fast the night before your surgery, especially if you are being put under general anesthesia.

In some cases, you only need local anesthesia, which allows you to eat a light meal a few hours before surgery. Either way, you should make sure your teeth and mouth are clean before the operation to reduce any harmful bacteria.

Once the surgery is done, your oral surgeon will advise you to stay on a diet of soft, bland foods so you avoid biting or chewing, which will help speed up your recovery. We would also recommend that you have meals in liquid form, such as protein shakes and juices. Avoid using a straw as that could cause dry socket, which can be painful and harmful to your oral health.

What to Expect When Recovering From Oral Surgery

The length of time it takes to recover from an oral surgery differs according to the surgery. Root canals and tooth extractions take around two weeks, while jaw surgery will most likely take a month to a month and a half to fully recover from. Below is what you can expect, and we also offer a few tips to ensure a speedy recovery:

  • For at least two days after the surgery, you may expect a good deal of pain and swelling, but this should be eased with the prescription analgesics prescribed by your doctor.
  • If you’re still in pain even with the painkillers prescribed to you, or you are noticing excessive bleeding from your surgical wound, contact your surgeon as soon as possible.
  • Call your dentist if you notice you are vomiting or have nausea, headaches, muscle aches, or other symptoms of infection.
  • Make sure your home is prepared prior to your surgery to make it easier for you to recover. Stock up on soft foods and ingredients so that you don’t have to worry about your meals during recovery.
  • Purchase some ice packs, which will help reduce and prevent further swelling.
  • Keep your head elevated so that your jaw and teeth rest in a comfortable position.


Hillcrest Dental: Top Dentist and Distinguished Oral Surgeon in Ruckersville, VA

If you’re expecting to have oral surgery in the near future, knowing what steps to take before and after it will ensure you’re less nervous and more likely to recover quickly and comfortably. And with the assistance of our friendly staff at Hillcrest Dental, you’ll not only get the services of an experienced oral surgeon, but also the care and support of one of the top local dental practices in Ruckersville, VA.

Hillcrest Dental also provides dental services in general and cosmetic dentistry, from root canals and annual tooth cleanings to denture and veneer fittings. Contact us at (434) 973-2224  to find out how we can help you retain your best smile through one of our expert dental treatments.

  • "I am very pleased with how my appointment went yesterday. Everyone was really friendly. They explained everything to me about the procedure and stayed late to assure I was comfortable with the work I had done. Dr Ryan Buckwalter and his assistants were awesome. I highly recommend them for any dental work. Thank you."

    Donnette M.

  • "I was having toothache pain in my lower jaw. I called the next day to make an appointment and was given an appointment time for the very next day. I saw Dr. Ryan, who is knowledgeable, caring and has great people skills with his patients. I made another appointment to come back and have the work done."

    Denise K.

  • “Dr. Buckwalter and his assistant did a wonderful job with our 8 year old today. While they were busy talking teeth, my 3 year old was enjoying his new lip balm and balloon! Finished up with a treat from Starbucks with our gift card. So glad our kiddos don’t fear the dentist. More like they want to keep stopping in."

    Logan D.

  • “Unbelievable experience with Dr. Ryan Buckwalter. Night and Day difference from my last dental experience with another dentist. I no longer fear the dentist!”

    David S.