If you require extensive surgery your doctor may recommend you visit your dentist before hand because oral health and overall health are closely linked. People with poor oral health and who undergo surgery run the risk of oral bacteria entering the body and interfering with healing. Sometimes surgeons will require what’s called dental clearance before surgery, where the dentist must confirm the patient has received a recent dental checkup, has reasonable oral health and most likely won’t require dental treatment during the six months after surgery.
Dental Clearance is especially common for patients requiring heart surgery, in particular heart valve replacement.
Even if your surgeon doesn’t need dental clearance it’s still useful to discuss any major health issues with us.
Many cancer treatments can negatively affect the mouth and teeth, making it difficult to eat comfortably and they may affect the saliva glands. Dentists can work with your surgical team to reduce these side-effects and to manage them if or when they happen. When you have an optimal level of oral health, it can greatly influence your recovery after surgery, ensuring you can eat more comfortably. Eating a nutritious diet allows your body to heal more easily, so you can regain your strength more quickly.