Oral Care & Surgery Resources

At Sacramento Surgical Arts, your health, safety, and comfort are our top priorities. Dive into our comprehensive guide to understand how we prioritize your well-being throughout every step of your surgical journey.

Oral Surgery Procedures

At Sacramento Surgical Arts, our utmost priority is to prepare our patients for their surgical procedures by delivering exceptional patient education and guidance. With this commitment in mind, we offer a wide range of resources to ensure that you have a clear understanding of what to anticipate and to help you prepare adequately for your procedure. We are dedicated to educating you on all the factors involved in your treatment.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are more than happy to provide a comprehensive explanation of your procedure. Should you have any concerns about any aspect of your treatment, we are here to equip you with information that will alleviate any worries you may have.

We provide an array of resources for the following areas:


In order to provide the best level of care, our surgeons have extensive training in general anesthesia as a requirement of their surgical training. This is above and beyond what dentists are able to do and more training than even general surgeons obtain. Additionally, all of our surgeons and team members are trained in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS).

Dr. Heir did an additional year of general anesthesia training, where he provided anesthetic care for children, labor and delivery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, vascular surgery, GI surgery, GU surgery, and much more. He is also certified in pediatric advanced life support (PALS).

In addition to the extensive training, all of our facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and accredited by AAAHC office-based surgery center. AAAHC accreditation is identical to what hospitals go through every few years to maintain standards. Every patient that is placed under anesthesia is monitored with an EKG, blood pressure, pulse oximeter (measures oxygen in your blood), and CO2 monitoring, and we listen to your heart and breathing, which is extra monitoring that we provide above and beyond what is required.

When you come in for your consult, several options for anesthetic care will be discussed, including:

  • Local anesthesia: Local anesthetic is a solution that is injected in the area being operated on, such as around gums and teeth. While the injection may cause some minor discomfort, most of the pain can be relieved with local anesthesia; however, pressure and noises cannot be eliminated with just local anesthesia. For this, a deeper level of anesthesia is required.
  • Nitrous oxide sedation: This is the gas that most depict in movies where a dentist gives you something to breathe, and the patient passes out, however, in reality, this inhalation anesthetic causes a person to just relax. They are completely aware of what is going on, and some may also laugh. The best way to view this is as if you have taken a Valium or a Xanax or a glass of wine. The effects wear off the moment you stop breathing it in, so patients are able to drive home and return to normal activities following this sedation administration.
  • Intravenous sedation and general anesthesia: This is the most common type of anesthesia used in our office. You may be given a pre-operative Valium pill which should be taken one hour prior to surgery. Once in the operating suite, an IV catheter is placed into the hand or arm after the monitors are placed. Medication is given through the IV, and you will drift off to ‘twilight’ sleep. This allows us to perform surgery with basically no memory of the uncomfortable parts of the procedure. The effects of anesthesia last about 24 hours, thus you are not allowed to drive after surgery.

Before Anesthesia

  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, for eight hours before your appointment.
  • If you are a smoker, please refrain from smoking for at least 12 hours before your surgery.
    • Alternatively, just quit smoking as soon as possible before the day of surgery.
  • You should be accompanied by a responsible adult (older than 18 years of age) when you come to our Sacramento area office. That person should remain in the office during your procedure and drive you home when it is finished.
  • For 24 hours, please do not drive a vehicle or operate complex machinery.
  • On the day of your surgery, we ask that you wear loose-fitting clothing (with sleeves that can be rolled up) and low-heeled shoes.
  • You will be asked to remove your contact lenses, jewelry, or dentures for the surgery.
  • Don’t wear lipstick, cosmetics, or nail polish on the day of your surgery.
  • Please remove all acrylic nails or gel nail polish.
  • Notify us if you are ill on the day of your surgery. In these cases, we may need to reschedule for your safety.
  • Notify us about your medications, so we can provide instructions about scheduling them around your surgery.

Post-Operative Pain Management

Here at Sacramento Surgical Arts, we use advanced techniques and anesthesia to help you undergo your surgical procedures with little to no discomfort, both during and after the operation. We advise you on a number of different pain management options, including the following:

  • Analgesics: This common type of pain relief is most appropriate for when you are experiencing mild discomfort. This includes medication like aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and opioids.
  • Anesthetics: Anesthetics can be administered in three different ways—injection, topical, and oral. Topical and oral anesthetics are more common, but depending on the surgical procedure, we may use an injection.
  • Sedatives: Sedatives can help a patient relax during a procedure, effectively avoiding discomfort. They may be used in combination with other pain-controlling medications. If you are undergoing conscious sedation, the sedative will be administered while you are awake. Deep sedation (or general anesthesia) is a state of unconsciousness that is carefully controlled by your physician and anesthesiologist.

We would be happy to offer you advice on how to alleviate discomfort that affects many parts of your mouth or face. Our Sacramento oral and cosmetic surgery doctors use different methods to control discomfort, depending on your individual needs.

For your safety, we ask that you openly share your complete medical history before an operation, including any allergies and medications currently being taken. Pain-controlling medications used in oral surgery have the potential to interact and cause unexpected complications. Also, remember to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions on dosage for medications.

Tooth Extraction Aftercare 

Any tooth that has been removed needs to form a blood clot in order to heal properly. In most cases, the doctor will provide you with a gauze pad to bite on until then, in order to cut down on bleeding. Once the clot has formed, you should leave the tooth alone.

You should follow these guidelines after the clot has formed:

  • Do not rinse your mouth vigorously.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes or suck on a straw.
  • Do not consume any alcohol.

Swelling is common, and a normal reaction to the operation. The level of swelling should peak after two or three days. Until then, you can minimize swelling with the application of an ice pack on the affected area(s). 

  • The ice pack should only be applied for the first 24 hours. You can use plastic bags filled with ice or frozen vegetables.

Dental Implants Aftercare

After dental implant surgery, you will need to avoid disturbance of the wound and limit physical activity. Do not touch the wound, spit or vigorously rinse your mouth. Expect some bleeding for the first 24 hours. In case of excessive bleeding, you may be instructed to bite on a gauze pad. If the bleeding does not cease, please call us for further instructions.

Nutrition Guidelines

If you are coming in for cosmetic or oral surgery at Sacramento Surgical Arts, there are certain foods that you should try to avoid before surgery. It is very important to plan your diet carefully both before and after a surgical procedure here at our office. The purpose of this is to ensure that your surgical outcome is as positive as possible. It can also help to assist your overall oral health.

We have compiled a list of foods containing salicylates (a substance commonly found in Aspirin). These foods should be avoided fourteen days prior to surgery. The foods we recommend avoiding include:

  • Various fruits
  • Tomato juice
  • Wine
  • Vinegar
  • Jelly
  • Preserves
  • Cumin
  • Curry

Proper nutrition is very important after surgery or during recovery from illness. To facilitate proper healing, you need the right fluids and food sources. For patients with oral surgery, this can present some challenges. In particular, the presence of swelling and surgical incisions may hinder your chewing ability.

For surgical nutrition, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends the following guidelines for patients undergoing surgery.

  • Drink approximately six to eight glasses of fluids per day.
  • Consume 15 calories per pound of body weight.
  • Protein intake may need to increase to promote healing.

If you have any questions about different foods or beverages which are allowed in your diet before or after surgery, we are here to help. Please feel free to ask the doctor during your appointment if you have any questions.

Oral Health Care Resources

Our patients are extremely important to us, but your health is the most important. That’s why we have provided information that could prove to be beneficial for you regarding oral health care. We encourage you to read below and learn more about what you can do before, during, and after your oral surgery. If you have questions that you need answered, we are here for you.

Preventive Care

Whether you still have your natural teeth or you’ve obtained new, restored teeth, you should promote an oral environment that is clean and well-controlled. At Sacramento Surgical Arts, we can give you advice about preventing cavities, preventing oral disease, and preserving your teeth. 

Ask about oral hygiene instructions during your appointment. Until then, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:

  • Brush twice daily
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Floss nightly
  • Use an up-and-down technique, pressing the floss against the tooth surface
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco
  • Do not consume an abundance of sugary food
  • Eat a nutritious, balanced diet
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash as directed by your doctor

Preventing Infections

At Sacramento Surgical Arts, we take every precaution to prevent cases of infection after oral surgery procedures. Maintaining a sterile environment is the main way we achieve this, which may seem simple, but it is a very important step. We do everything possible to ensure your experience is safe, comfortable, and clean.

In our office, we follow these requirements:

  • We wear proper surgical masks, gowns, and gloves.
  • We use brand-new, disposable equipment or sterilize it after use.
  • We wash our hands thoroughly, at the start of each day, followed by repeat washings before and after wearing gloves, and after touching any non-sterilized surfaces.
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