Flying After Oral Surgery
Operating in a city like Singapore, we see a lot of patients who travel frequently and are concerned about flying after oral surgery procedures like teeth extraction or dental implants. Some people think they should not fly right after such procedures as it may cause pain or bleeding, however this is not true. While we do advise patients to rest for a couple of days following oral surgery procedures, it is completely safe to travel or fly, even immediately after surgery.
Here are some tips on flying after procedures such as extraction or placement of dental implants:
Airplanes have pressurized cabins therefore flying will not cause further bleeding or discomfort that some incorrectly believe is caused by changes in altitude.
Therefore, flying will not prolong bleeding.
If flying on the same day as surgery, try to get an aisle seat near the lavatory. You may need to get up every 30 to 45 minutes to change your gauze until bleeding stops.
If flying on the day after your surgery, you are going to have to rinse every couple of hours with water or salt water. So again, probably a good idea to get an aisle seat near the lavatory. Take some salt with you and mix in a bottled water purchased in the terminal. One or two bottles should be enough to get you through the flight.
If you take narcotic pain medication let the flight attendant know, so they don’t become concerned with your over-sleepiness. If you have to get up, ask for their assistance in the event you get lightheaded.
Applying a cold pack to your cheek can help minimize swelling after surgery. Bring a couple of small Ziploc bags and ask the flight attendant to fill it with ice. Place the ice bag on the side of your face intermittently for 10-minute intervals.
Take plenty of gauze with you as bleeding may continue for several hours following surgery. Bleeding gradually diminishes over six to eight hours. Keep biting on the gauze with firm pressure until bleeding has completely subsided.
For food, get some shakes or soups at the terminal. Avoid hard foods and snacks.
If you just had dental implants, don’t worry about setting off the alarms at the security check. Dental implants are made of titanium, a non-magnetic metal. Therefore, they do not set off metal detectors.