Local anesthetic will wear off within a half hour to twenty-four hours following surgery. It is important to take your pain medication before discomfort begins.
Pain medication is to be taken as instructed on the label. It is important to eat prior to taking your pain medication; not eating can cause nausea and vomiting. If nausea and/or vomiting occur please use Gravol which can be purchased at your pharmacy. Gravol can be purchased for administration by mouth or if nausea and vomiting are severe please purchase Gravol suppositories. Do not operate any motor vehicle or hazardous equipment for 24 hours post surgery. After 24 to 72 hours, you may begin using over the counter pain medications.
If an antibiotic is prescribed, it has to be taken until all the medication is finished.
Attention: All female patients utilizing birth control pills, please be advised that if the doctor prescribes antibiotics, an alternative form of birth control must be utilized during the period of time you are taking antibiotics.
Gauze is placed over the surgical site to serve as a pressure bandage when you bite down. We recommend leaving it in place until the numbness of the local anesthetic wears off and brisk oozing no longer occurs. Replace the gauze hourly, when eating or taking medications. Excessive bleeding can be controlled by placing a cool, moistened tea bag over the surgical site for one hour while applying pressure. Pink or blood-tinged saliva may be present for 24 to 48 hours; a small amount of oozing is normal. Rest with your head elevated on two or more pillows for the first day. You may want to cover your pillows with a towel to protect your bedding.
Swelling after surgery is normal. It may take up to three days for swelling to reach a peak before subsiding. Ice packs should be applied during the first 2 – 3 days after surgery to reduce swelling and produce numbness. Fill a plastic bag with crushed ice and wrap it in a damp towel. Apply for 20 minutes – leave off for 10 minutes. After discontinuing ice, switch to moist heat like a warm wash cloth. Utilize the warm cloth for 15 minutes for every hour you are awake for 2 days. If swelling increases past the fourth post-surgical day or if swelling re-appears after initial healing, an infection may be present. This swelling will quite often be accompanied by feeling un-well and having a fever. Please contact our office if this should occur.
Normal jaw opening and movement may take up to one month to return after surgery. Jaw exercises (trying to open the jaw and stretch) should commence the day after surgery. Popsicle sticks or fingers can be used to help “stretch” the jaw. Please contact our office if you require further guidance on jaw stretching.
Bruising may be present to varying degrees. It will subside within five to ten days.
Sutures and dressings may be used as part of your treatment; you may feel them with your tongue. They will either dissolve or be removed at a post-operative appointment.
No brushing the day of surgery! Do not brush the immediate surgery site for one week; the remainder of the mouth should be brushed normally. This will prevent the disruption of the blood clot, healing tissues and sutures. A small amount of bleeding or discomfort may occur when you resume brushing at the surgical site.
For the first 24 hours, avoid rinsing, spitting, drinking through a straw or using an alcohol based mouthwash as it may prematurely dissolve the blood clot.
Gently rinse with warm, salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in a large drinking glass) after meals and at bedtime. After 72 hours, vigorous rinsing is encouraged after meals and at bedtime for a two week period.
If you must smoke do not do so for the first 28 days after surgery to reduce your chances of having post-operative problems. Smoking can increase pain and lead to poor healing. Smoking can increase the risk of infection.
Avoid excessive physical exertion and fatigue for 14 days following surgery; obtain adequate sleep.
If unable to contact the dentist and are experiencing severe bleeding or breathing problems call 911 or proceed to the nearest hospital emergency room.
PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY IF YOU ARE ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL FOR ANY REASON WITHIN 10 DAYS OF SURGERY.