While waiting for your dental appointment, you check your email to see that your boss needs you to fly across the country to attend a conference. It is two weeks away. Looking forward to the upcoming trip, you meet with your dentist hoping they do not suggest any serious treatment for that problematic tooth that has been bothering you. Unfortunately, you learn it can no longer be ignored, and your dentist recommends it be removed. How will this affect your trip? Read on to find out how long your dentist believes you should wait before flying after a tooth extraction.
Dangers of Flying Immediately Following an Extraction
If you are undergoing a tooth extraction in Phoenix, it is important that you spend the first 24-48 hours resting and allowing your mouth to begin the healing process. No matter if you had a simple or surgical extraction, the recovery process is the same, and you will receive detailed instructions from your dentist to ensure you take the appropriate steps while at home.
Opting to forgo these guidelines can increase your risk for complications. If you are planning to fly after your tooth extraction, it is best to wait at least 2 days or more before boarding a plane. Why? Because the changes in altitude and air pressure can cause you to have an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience. Not to mention the potential for a dry socket. This occurs when the blood clot formed at the extraction site dislodges. As a result, you might feel immense pain, and achieving relief with over-the-counter medication may be futile.
Tips for a Successful Recovery
Although you might need to postpone your trip a few days, it is strongly recommended that you wait the appropriate length of time before flying. But ultimately, the decision is yours. If there is simply no way you can delay your flight, make sure to take added precautions to minimize the potential for problems, such as:
- Don’t hesitate to call your dentist if you need immediate support.
- Bring a cold compress with you to help relieve any discomfort.
- Fill any necessary prescriptions before leaving on your trip, and do not pack them in your luggage. Make sure it is in your carry-on bag so you can easily access it while in flight.
- Bring over-the-counter medication in your carry-on bag if you were not prescribed medication by your dentist.
- Keep a bottle of water with you that is neither hot nor cold, as extreme temperatures can cause a dry socket and severe pain.
- Keep clean gauze in your carry-on if you need to change out the bandage.
- Eat soft, bland foods.
- Try to rest as much as possible on the plane and once you arrive at your destination.
Oral surgery of any kind right before a trip is not the best idea, but if you cannot postpone your getaway, be sure to take the appropriate steps to ensure a successful recovery.
About the Author
Dr. John Ludu is a dentist in Phoenix who achieved his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry before going on to earn his doctorate at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Undergoing various specialty education courses, he has more than two and a half decades of dentistry experience. Dr. Ludu and the team at Devoted Family Dental want your smile to be healthy and beautiful, so if you require a tooth extraction, trust it is necessary to avoid further problems down the road. If you are preparing for a trip and need to have a tooth removed, contact us at (623) 444-6222 to learn what you can do to ensure a safe recovery.