Post Operative Care Instructions for General Oral Surgery and Tooth Extraction
POSTOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOWING GENERAL ORAL SURGERY
Anesthesia often leaves the lips, teeth, tongue, and even the nasal area numb after an oral operation: avoid chewing and hot liquids until numbness wears off to prevent accidental injury.
Taking ibuprofen prior to completely coming off the anesthesia can significantly reduce pain and swelling.
Temperature and pressure sensitivity, as well as gum soreness, is to be expected in the days after your procedure. One of the best ways to reduce discomfort and swelling is to rinse mouth with a warm salt water mixture* at least three times each day EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF DENTAL IMPLANTS.
Avoid eating sticky, chewy, or hard foods, as well as alcohol and smoking, for a period of time after the procedure; drink lots of fluids and eat softer, more nutritious foods to help your body through the healing process.
After many oral surgeries, the natural structure of the teeth and gums is altered, and it is quite normal for the brain to take a few days to adjust to your new bite. However, if you experience persistent discomfort with your bite, or cannot seem to accept to the post-op structure, please contact our offices for assistance.
After a tooth extraction, it is crucial that a blood clot form in the area of removal (this is one of the reasons why you will be instructed to keep fresh gauze on the area) – do not smoke, suck on a straw, clean teeth near the extraction, or rinse forcefully for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
New denture wearers must follow the care and cleaning instructions given by our office and in their denture kit – meticulous cleaning is necessary for preserving the dentures and general oral health. We are train yearly with an 8 hour infection control course to help defend you against infection.
Antimicrobial mouth washes like Listerine® or Chlorhexidine can help prevent infection, but should be limited to no more than two consecutive weeks.
If you have any serious post-op problems or dental emergency, please contact us right away at 1-310-275-8121
Complete all Antibiotic Medications prescribed for you.
* Salt Water Rinse: mix one teaspoon of salt with one cup of lukewarm water – gargle, rinse, and spit – repeat until contents of cup are gone.
POSTOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOWING TOOTH EXTRACTION
Do keep relatively quiet and rest on the day of your tooth extraction.
Use ice packs immediately after surgery and for the next 24 hours to reduce swelling. Apply ice packs for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. After 24 hours, replace ice packs with moist heat if needed. Apply for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
Do keep gauze packs in 3-4 hours following surgery, then remove.
Do drink immediately following surgery, especially if you had nothing since the night before. Remove packs to drink and then replace the clean ones. A liquid diet is necessary until the numbness is gone-approximately 2-3 hours, i.e., soup, milkshake, Jell-o, coffee, tea, etc. After numbness is gone, then use a soft diet, i.e., macaroni and cheese, scrambled eggs, etc.
Do take all prescribed medications such as Penicillin, pain medication etc. as directed.
Do have someone with you for the most of the day if you were sedated for surgery.
Do Brush teeth and gums well beginning 24 hours after surgery.
Do not spit, rinse or smoke for 24 hours. It dislodges the blood clots forming in the sockets.
Do not drink through straws for 5 days. Drink directly from the glass or use a spoon
Do not take aspirin or aspirin products, since they may prolong bleeding
Do not drive a car, ride a bike or drink any alcoholic beverages while taking prescribed pain medications. Also do not take pain medications on an empty stomach.
Do not change gauze more than once every hour for the next 3-4 hours following surgery. Remove gauze if no bleeding after the four hours are up.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT AND WHAT TO DO
Bleeding may continue for a short period of time or may persist until the next day. Maintain gentle pressure by biting on the gauze packs until it stops. Do not chew on the gauze. If bleeding starts again, put gauze, a clean white cloth, or a damp teabag over the bleeding area and bite on it with firm, steady pressure for one hour. Do not chew on it. If profuse bleeding or any other problems occur, please call us.
Some degree of swelling and discomfort following the surgery is to be expected. Discoloration and a slight stiffness of the jaw can be normal post-operative events. Do not be alarmed. Maximal swelling is expected on a second day and may last for several days. A sore throat or tender nose may also occur.
Do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth until the morning following the surgery.
If prescribed, take anti-pain medication and antibiotics as directed. It is important to take the prescribed antibiotics even if there is no pain or swelling.
Most of the time the sutures or stitches used dissolve by themselves and small pieces will come out approximately 4-6 days following the surgery. This is to be expected. If the sutures need to be removed, an appointment will be made for you.
Eat a normal diet the day after surgery. It is very important that you chew. The jaws will stiffen very quickly if not used. A balanced diet is important to the healing process.
Good dental hygiene is important and should be started the day after surgery. Brush your teeth well, and begin rinsing with warm water with a pinch of salt added. Do this 4-5 times a day, especially after eating.
If medication is given intravenously (injected in the vein of arm or hand) you may expect some tenderness or bruising around the site of the injection. Moist (wet cloth) or dry heat (heating pad) on low heat to the area next day will ease discomfort.
If the sinus is entered during surgery, you will be told by the Doctor or nurse. In the case, please do not blow your nose for two weeks.
If you feel air flow at the extraction site, or if water comes out of your nose when you drink, please call our office.