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Dear Oral Surgeon, Is It Safe to Drive After My Procedure?

December 2, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlee @ 6:57 pm
side view of driver

Oral surgery can be an essential step on your path to having a healthy smile and the best quality of life possible. Admittedly, however, it can be inconvenient. Not only do you have to go through steps to prepare for the procedure, but you may also have to make a few adjustments so you are safe and comfortable afterward. One common question that patients have when they’re preparing for oral surgery is, “Will it be safe for me to drive myself home after my procedure?” An experienced oral surgeon in Marietta, OH is here to address this important issue.

You Should Not Drive Immediately After Surgery

In most cases, it is definitely not safe for you to drive yourself home after oral surgery. That is especially true if your Marietta, OH oral surgeon used general anesthesia to make you comfortable during your procedure. That is because the drugs used in anesthesia are powerful and can take up to 24 – 48 hours to wear off. Even if you feel normal after your surgery, you may still have slowed reflexes and a delayed thought process. In some cases, the anesthesia can even cause amnesia.

For your own safety and for that of others on the road, you should wait at least a full day or two before you get back behind the wheel. If you do decide to drive before your oral surgeon recommends it and you get into an accident, you could be charged with a DUI.

In the days leading up to your surgery, ask your friends and family members if any of them will be available to drive you to and from your appointment. If none of them are able to help you, you may be able to use a ride service, like Uber or a taxi.

Driving After the First Few Days

Once the anesthesia wears off completely, you should still be diligent about following your surgeon’s post-op instructions, which may include orders to take painkillers or muscle relaxers. Such medications may impair your ability to drive safely, so be sure to read their labels and take note of any warnings. If there is any doubt about whether you should get behind the wheel while using them, it’s best to ask a friend for a ride or find another way of getting where you need to go.

To cut down on the chances that you’ll feel the need to drive anywhere during your initial recovery period, be sure to stock up on essential items before your surgery. Also, keep a list of friends who might be willing to run errands for you if necessary.

Your safety is important! Refrain from driving for a few days after your oral surgery so can protect yourself and others.

About the Author

Dr. Jeff Lee is a skilled oral surgeon who has over 15 years of experience in his field. He often uses general anesthesia to ensure that his patients are comfortable during their procedures. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Lee’s services or about what to expect following your oral surgery, contact our Marietta office at (740) 236-9392.

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