Every effort has been made to insure you the best possible care. Your cooperation is needed to aid in the healing process. The following instructions have been prepared for you regarding your surgery to minimize pain and promote healing. Please read and follow them carefully. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office.
You have been given all the necessary medications to make your post-operative period as comfortable as possible. Pain and discomfort vary with the type and amount of oral surgery performed. Please take all the medications as directed to minimize the discomfort.
At no time should alcoholic beverages be taken while using the pain medication. If the medication includes a narcotic, please be sure to avoid operating a car or other machinery due to the drowsiness that can develop with this type of medication.
An antibiotic prescription may have been given to you. The antibiotics are to help prevent infection and allow for proper and normal healing. They should be taken until all used up. Do not stop taking the antibiotics even if there is no pain or discomfort. Some antibiotics reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills; therefore, alternate methods of birth control should be used. Should you develop a reaction to the antibiotics, please call your doctor for any further instructions.
Please take all prescriptions as directed.
Women please note: Some antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pills. Please check with your pharmacist.
Frequently, the after effects of oral surgery are minimal so that not all of these instructions may apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do; however when in doubt, follow these guidelines or call our office at any time for clarification.
Following oral surgery, the following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:
Bite down firmly but gently on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure that they remain in place undisturbed. DO NOT CHANGE THEM THE FIRST HOUR UNLESS THE BLEEDING IS NOT BEING CONTROLLED. Keep fingers and tongue away from the socket or surgical site.
Intermittent oozing is normal but bleeding should never be severe; if it is, it usually means that the gauze packs are being clenched between your teeth rather than pressing on the surgical area. Try repositioning fresh packs so that pressure is directly on the surgical area, and your remaining teeth are kept slightly apart by the gauze pack.
If bleeding persists and is bothersome you may try applying pressure with a teabag.
Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You should have the most discomfort after the anesthetics wear off. You should take the first dose of pain medicine before you start to feel the beginning of discomfort. This will help you to manage the discomfort better. Try not to take the pain medicine on an empty stomach. Bland foods like yogurt, cool soups, etc., will help settle your stomach. For mild discomfort, take Tylenol every 4 hours or ibuprofen(Advil) 600 to 800mg every 6 hours. For severe discomfort use the medication prescribed to you.
Swelling from oral surgery is normal and reaches its MAXIMUM IN 48 to 72 HOURS and may persist for 7-10 days after surgery. Keeping the head elevated with two pillows when lying down can minimize facial swelling. Applying cold compresses to your face (30 minutes on, 10 minutes off) for the first 48 hours can also minimize swelling. Bags of frozen peas also work well. After 48 hours, warm compresses will help reduce the swelling. These should be continued (30 minutes on, 10 minutes off) until the swelling has subsided.
Avoid rinsing the mouth for 24 hours after surgery. It may disturb the clot. The following day, use WARM (NOT HOT) SALT WATER RINSES (1 tsp in 6 oz). Repeat after every meal or snack for seven days. Rinsing is important because it removes food particles and debris from the socket area and thus helps prevent infection and promotes healing. A small amount of mouthwash may be added to improve the flavor. Rinse GENTLY three or four times a day.
Oral hygiene is important but please be gentle when brushing around surgical sites. Begin your normal oral hygiene routine 24 hours after surgery. Soreness and swelling will prevent you from brushing the areas of surgery, but gently brush those areas you are comfortable with. Brush your tongue to keep bacterial growth down.
A nutritionally balanced diet is very important. During the first 24 hours, eat soups and soft foods that are easily chewed and swallowed. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS but DO NOT USE A STRAW. Meats, vegetables and fresh fruit can be liquefied in a blender. Avoid chips, pretzels, nuts, popcorn and any other hard foods that may lodge in the site. Gradually progress to solid food. Do not skip meals. If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster. Take any proscribed food supplement as directed. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal diet and take medication as usual.
Take one ounce of a carbonated drink such as ginger ale or cola every hour for five or six hours. Then drink mild tea, clear broth and eat soft foods like yogurt or ice milk before resuming your regular diet.
Sometimes surgery will produce bruising. This may not appear for 24 to 48 hours. Heat applications to the involved area (30 minutes on, 10 minutes off) will hasten a return to normal.
Tobacco should be eliminated during the first two weeks after surgery. Tobacco products will slow the healing process and cause significantly more discomfort.
Chew gum at intervals, especially while applying moist heat on the jaw. This helps relax the tension of the muscles and reduce swelling. The stiffness will abate as the swelling is reduced.
If you feel anything hard when you place your tongue on the surgical site, you may think it is part of your tooth. This is the hard, bony wall that originally supported the tooth. Leave it alone and it will heal nicely.
Minimize heavy physical activity and unnecessary talking for the first 24 hours.
It is often advisable to return for a postoperative visit to make certain healing is progressing satisfactorily. A follow-up visit will be scheduled. In the meantime, maintain a healthful diet, observe rules for proper oral hygiene, and visit your dentist for regular checkups.
You should experience no trouble if you follow the instructions and suggestions as outlined.
Our interest in your care does not cease with the completion of the operation. If any difficulty arises at any time, please telephone or return for treatment.