Please Read These Instructions Carefully
Sometimes the after-effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, so not all instructions apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt, follow these guidelines or call our office anytime for clarification.
Day Of Surgery
Bite down gently but firmly on gauze packs that have been placed directly over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place. It is important that the gauze is applied directly to the site, not just between the adjacent teeth. Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not being controlled. If active bleeding persists after one hour, place enough new gauze to sustain pressure over the surgical site for another 30-60 minutes. Continue this process until the bleeding has stopped.
**Remember it is normal to have mild oozing for the first 24 hours**
DO NOT DISTURB the surgical area today. DO NOT RINSE vigorously or probe the area with any objects or your fingers. You may brush your teeth gently but avoid the area of your surgery for 24 hours. DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours, since it is very harmful to healing. DO NOT DRINK THOUGH A STRAW for two weeks.
Intermittent bleeding or oozing is normal- for as long as two weeks after the surgery. It will be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the surgical areas and biting down firmly for 30-60 minutes. Make sure the gauze is pressing on the surgical site not just between teeth.
Bleeding should never be severe. If it is, it usually means that the packs are being clenched between your teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try replacing with fresh packs. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy you may substitute a tea bag ( soaked in cold water, squeeze damp-dry and wrapped in a moist gauze) for 60 minutes. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.
Often there is some swelling associated with oral surgery. You can minimize this by using a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a towel and apply firmly to face or cheeks adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 12 to 24 hours of surgery. After 48 hours, it is best to switch from ice to moist heat. Remember most swelling occurs on the second and third days after surgery.
Unfortunately, most surgical procedures are accompanied with some degree of pain. It is normal for any pain or swelling from any surgical procedure to gradually increase for the first three days after surgery. After this, you should gradually begin to feel better. You will usually have a prescription for pain medicine and if you are able to begin taking this before the anesthetic has worn off, you will be better able to manage your pain. If the pain medicine you have been given is not adequate, you may have to supplement with over the counter analgesics. The more pain medicine you take, the greater the risk of nausea and vomiting. It is best to eat something prior to the medication.
Nausea is not uncommon event after surgery, and it is sometimes caused by strong pain medicines. Nausea may be reduced by preceding each pill with small amounts of food, and taking the pill with a large volume of water. Try to keep taking clear fluids to minimize pain medication, but call us if you do not feel better or if repeated vomiting is a problem. Cola drinks that have less carbon may help.
Eating a nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Temperature of the food doesn’t matter but avoid extremely hot foods. It is sometimes advisable, but not required, to confine the first days intake to blank liquids or pureed food (cream soups, pudding, yogurt, milkshakes, est..). Avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., that may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you can progress to solid foods at your own pace. It is important not to skip meals! If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster. If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible and follow instructions by your physician regarding your insulin schedule.
Driving Home After Surgery
We offer local anesthesia or complete sedation to our patients during surgery. Should you choose complete sedation you are not allowed to drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the sedation experience. (Need a Designated Driver? visit designateddriversinc.com)
Instructions for the Second and Third Days
Keeping your teeth clean after surgery is essential. Use one quarter teaspoon of salt dissolved in one glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but at least two or three times daily the next five days. The cleaner you keep the surgical area, the faster it will heal. Do not use mouthwash for two weeks.
Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit brushing of all areas, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort. Again, the cleaner the surgical area the faster it heals.
AFTER 48 HOURS, YOU MAY APPLY WARM COMPRESSES TO THE SKIN OVERLYING AREAS OF SWELLING (HOT WATER BOTTLE, MOIST HOT TOWELS, HEATING PAD) FOR 20 MINUTES ON AND 20 MINUTES OFF TO HELP SOOTHE THOSE TENDER AREAS.
YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN PRESCRIBED ANTIBIOTICS. IT IS NOT ALWAYS NECESSARY TO TAKE ANTIBIOTICS AFTER IMPLANT OR PERIODONTAL PROCEDURES. DR. DE ANDRADE WILL DETERMINE IF THIS IS NECESSARY OR NOT.