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Dental Surgery Post Operative Instructions

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Post-Op Instructions for Extractions and Oral Surgery: 
Oral surgery may be required for a variety of reasons. You may have an impacted tooth trapped in the jawbone or a tooth that is poorly positioned and damaging neighboring teeth. It is especially common to have these types of problems with growing wisdom teeth. Oral surgery is also necessary for the placement of dental implants and for a few types of gum treatments. 

After surgery, it is normal for the area to be tender for the first few days but, in most cases, over-the-counter pain relief is enough to ease any discomfort. You should avoid aspirin because it thins the blood and can make your mouth bleed. In some cases your doctor may suggest prescription painkillers. Whatever your method of pain relief, be sure to start taking it immediately after surgery – don’t wait until pain sets in. It's far easier to prevent pain than to make it go away. 

Day 1: Continue biting on the gauze for 30-60 minutes following your procedure. Do NOT spit, rinse, suck (using a straw), smoke, drink carbonated or alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours. Passively empty your mouth when needed. The goal is to keep blood clot in the socket to prevent bleeding and a painful complication known as DRY SOCKET.  

Day 2: You will most likely experience one or more of the following symptoms: Minor pain, swelling, bruising, limitation in opening or closing your mouth, pain in jaw or ear, sore throat. It is important to listen to your body and take it easy. No heavy lifting, spitting, sucking, alcohol or smoking.

Oral hygiene: Brush gently. A gentle lukewarm salt water rinse can be used to freshen your mouth. But again, do not spit; just let the fluid passively empty. The corners of your mouth may become cracked and dry – moisturize frequently.

Discomfort: Over-the-counter- pain medication (Ibuprofen, Aleve, and Tylenol) may be taken as directed on the bottle to relieve discomfort. Swelling: Apply cold compresses to affected area at 10 minute intervals for the first 24 hours to minimize swelling. Any swelling that occurs usually begins to diminish within 72 hours; call the office if there is no change.

Bleeding: Some oozing of blood is normal for the first 12-24 hours. Put a hand towel on your pillow as some drooling can occur when you are numb. If you experience excessive bleeding, apply firm pressure with 1-2 folded gauze pads or damp tea bag on the affected area for 30-60 minutes and keep your head elevated. Call the office if the bleeding does not subside.

Diet: Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid carbonated and alcoholic beverages. A soft diet will be easiest: yogurt, milkshakes (no straw), soups, fish, pasta. Nothing too spicy is recommended. It is normal to have a little tenderness while chewing and difficulty opening wide.
Stitches: If you have received sutures, avoid playing with them. A fifteen minute appointment will be needed to remove the sutures in 7-10 days. Prescriptions: If you have been prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed until they are all gone, even if symptoms dissipate. Some antibiotics can interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills or other medications. If pain medication or a mouth rinse is prescribed take as directed. In case of any unusual disturbances, questions or any post surgical problems, please call the Ladd Dental Group of McCordsville. 

Dental Surgery Post-Op Do's 

Take it easy on the day of your surgery. If you want to lie down, and for the first night following surgery, keep your head propped up with pillows if possible to limit excess swelling and bleeding.

- Apply ice packs to your face for 15 minutes on and then 15 minutes off to reduce swelling.

- After the bleeding stops, you can eat soft foods. Stick to a liquid or soft food diet for the first day or two. Examples include soups, yogurts, fruit milkshakes, smoothies and mashed potatoes.

- If you’ve been given antibiotics, take them as prescribed and make sure you finish the course.

- Keep your mouth clean. While you may be advised not to rinse for the first 24 hours, after this initial period you should gently rinse four times a day using warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). Be sure to rinse after every meal and snack, making sure that the water removes any bits of food around the surgical area. In some cases, your dentist may recommend a chlorhexidine rinse to kill bacteria and keep the mouth clean.

-Follow a balanced diet. In particular, eat foods rich in vitamins A and C, which contribute to the healing process. A vitamin C supplement may also be helpful. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), getting plenty of vitamin C is one way oral surgery patients can ensure timely recovery.  

Dental Surgery Post-Op Dont's 

Don’t overexert yourself. Don’t bend over or do heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for two to three days after surgery.

- Avoid hot food or drinks until the numbing wears off. You cannot feel pain while you're numb, and you may burn your mouth. Also take care not to accidentally chew your cheek!

- Don’t chew hard or crunchy foods, such as carrots or popcorn, in the area of the surgery for six to eight weeks.

- Don’t brush or floss teeth in the surgical area until advised to do so by your dentist. Then, be sure to do so carefully.

- Try not to smoke for as long as possible after surgery, but at the very least for the rest of the day. Smoking can interfere with the healing process and the sucking motion can dislodge blood clots that are forming as part of the healing process.

- Avoid alcohol for 24 hours, as it can delay the healing process.

Post Op Sedation Dentistry protocol 

After general anesthesia or sedation, immediately go home and take it easy for the next 24hrs. Once you are home, eat lightly the remainder of the day. Eat a sufficient quantity of nutritious food (example; soup & cooked vegetables) to maintain your nutritional intake. Start out with clear fluids.
The following day, begin to resume your usual dietary intake carefully and gradually without overloading your stomach.
No activities: No Driving, No operating equipment, No important business calls, No physical activities for the next 24hrs.
You may resume normal activities the next day. 

As always please give Ladd Dental Group of McCordsville a call at (317)336-2211 if you have any questions or concerns about your dental recovery process.
Fortville Family Dentist providing general, family, and dental surgery services to the McCordsville, Fortville IN communities.