POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR ORAL SURGERY
Home care is a very important part of treatment following oral surgery. The following instructions are recommended to keep you more comfortable and to shorten the healing period.
BLEEDING: Some bleeding is normal following surgery. Gauze packs will be provided to apply pressure to the area of surgery. Gentle, steady pressure should be maintained by biting on tightly rolled gauze packs for 2 hours. The gauze should be placed so that pressure is applied directly to the extraction site and not between the remaining teeth. Avoid spitting, smoking, swishing, or other actions which may dislodge the blood clot. If bleeding persists or should it resume at a later time, repeat the above procedure. If bleeding is not controlled after several such attempts, please contact the office.
SWELLING: Swelling is common following surgery, particularly after the removal of impacted teeth. Ice bags applied over the area of surgery during the first 48 hours help minimize swelling. After 48 hours, MOIST heat should be applied to the area to help reduce the swelling more rapidly. This is best accomplished by applying a hot-water bottle wrapped with a moist, hot towel or a heating pad. (Be careful not to scald area.)
REST: Adequate rest is necessary for healing to progress normally. Bed rest is recommended the evening following surgery with the head elevated on several pillows. No strenuous physical activity or exercise should be attempted for 48 hours.
DIET: No food or liquids should be consumed until bleeding has been controlled. Avoid hard, irritating foods such as popcorn, peanuts, potato chips, etc., and extremely hot foods. Eat soft nourishing foods such as soups, jello, custards, ice cream, fruit juices, and milk. Foods that may be run through a blender are okay. A good fluid intake is essential. DO NOT TAKE FLUIDS THROUGH A STRAW. ALSO AVOID SMOKING FOR AT LEAST 3-5 DAYS FOLLOWING SURGERY.
DISCOMFORT: A certain amount of discomfort is to be expected. Using the prescribed or recommended pain medications should effectively relieve this. On the day following surgery, begin rinsing gently 4 times daily with a warm salt water solution (this solution should be made with ½ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water) or a diluted mouth rinse. VIGOROUS RINSING AND ATTEMPTS TO CLEAN THE AREA OF SURGERY MUST BE AVOIDED TO PREVENT DISLODGING OF THE BLOOD CLOT, WHICH IS NECESSARY FOR HEALING.
OTHER CONDITIONS: Stiffness of face muscles and difficulty in opening the mouth may occur. Heat application and salt-water rinses as directed above will relieve this condition. Discoloration resembling a bruise may appear. This is due to slight hemorrhage into the tissues at the time of surgery. This should not cause alarm as it will disappear in several days.
In the event of a dry socket, there may be additional fees.