Elite Dental Care TN | Surgery Postoperative Instructions - Elite Dental Care TN
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Surgery Postoperative Instructions

Extraction of teeth or other oral surgery is a serious surgical procedure. Postoperative care is very important. To prevent complications and unnecessary pain, discomfort, and expense, the following instructions should be followed closely to insure proper healing.

A. Ice the day of surgery:

Ice is extremely important especially in the first 24 hours. Hold ice on your cheek / lip in the area of the surgery. Alternate holding the ice on for 30 minutes and then off for 10-15 minutes. Ice aids in establishing a blood clot, reducing the potential swelling, and reducing discomfort.

B. Keep your mouth clean:

Do not use a mouth-wash for at least twelve hours after leaving the office. The day after surgery use a solution of ½ teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water to rinse the mouth. Use rinse 2x or 3x a day for 1 week or until follow-up appointment. Resume brushing teeth the following day or as soon as comfortable.

C. Bleeding:

Following oral surgery, slight bleeding or oozing for a few hours is not uncommon. With an open site, place folded gauze over the site and bite down firmly for one hour, changing gauze after the hour if needed. One needs to look at the site to evaluate if a clot has formed or if the site is still actively bleeding. In some cases, it may be necessary to bite on gauze for multiple hours. If bleeding continues after trying the above, bite on a moistened tea bag.

If an appliance covers the area, keep it in for 24 hours while doing ice as #1 above. Take appliance out next morning and start rinsing with salt water as #2 above.

D. Tobacco:

Smoking (cigarettes, cigars, pipes), chewing tobacco, and snuff delay healing; therefore, do not use tobacco products.

E. Diet and Fluids:

The day of surgery, it would be best if the patient could eat soft foods preferably cool (yogurts, cottage cheese, milk shakes, Ensure, smoothie with protein in it). After the clot has formed well, soft foods with lots of nutrition are best (i.e. eggs, good soups, etc.). Fluids are also important. Older patients can become dehydrated easily. It may be necessary to “push” fluid intake to aid patients (Gatorade or PowerAde).

F. Pain:

Prescription medications may be required to control discomfort. Ask the doctor if any questions. Anti-Inflammatory medications such as aspirin, Advil, Aleve, Naprosyn or Ibuprofen, are very helpful in reducing post-surgical inflammation (if patient is not allergic to them). Tylenol is a good pain reliever.

G. Infection:

If infection is present at the time of surgery, doctor will probably cover with an antibiotic to prevent spread. Also if the surgery is large, antibiotics may be used to prevent post-surgical infection. If any questions, please ask the doctor.

H. Nausea:

Nausea may occur for a variety of reasons. If it occurs once, it should not be of great concern. If it recurs, discontinue medicines, call the office, and carefully sip bland fluids.

I. Chewing Muscle Soreness (Trismus):

This may occur due to need for one’s mouth to be open for an extended time during surgery. One should use ice the first 24 hours, but then warm compresses on the cheeks and light open-closing exercising will aid the muscles to return to normal.