PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.
Sometimes the after effects of treatment are quite minimal, so not all of these instructions may apply, common sense will often dictate what you should do. It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office where you had treatment. Please try to call during office hours, however, if an emergency exists contact the doctors at home. Calling during office hours will afford a faster response.
DAY OF SURGERY
Gauze packs have been placed over the surgical area; make sure they remain in place. Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding persists after one hour; place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 30-60 minutes. The gauze may be changed as necessary and may be dampened and/or fluffed for a more comfortable positioning.
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. DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours, since it is very detrimental to healing.
Intermittent bleeding or oozing is normal. Placing fresh gauze over the surgical areas for 30-60 minutes may control it.
Bleeding should never be severe. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, you may substitute a tea bag for your denture (soaked in hot water, squeezed damp-dry and wrapped in a moist gauze) for 20 or 30 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 applied firmly to face or cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 12-24 hours after surgery. If you have been prescribed medicine for the control of swelling, be sure to take it as directed. After 24 hours, it is usually best to switch from ice to moist heat to the same areas.
Because of the retraction performed during the procedure and also from slight bone removal there is potential for bruising around the surgical area within the first 24-48 hours. Getting the most rest you can during this time will help prevent the bruising.
Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You may have a prescription for pain medication, and if you take the first dose before the anesthetic has worn off, you will be able to manage any discomfort better. Effects of pain medicines vary widely among individuals. If you do not achieve adequate relief, you may supplement each dose with an analgesic such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium (Aleve) or acetaminophen. Analgesics with anti-inflammatory effects such as ibuprofen, Aleve and aspirin often give better relief than acetaminophen. Remember that the most severe discomfort is usually within the first six hours after the anesthetic wears off: after that your need for medicine should lessen.
Nausea is not an uncommon event after surgery, and it is sometimes caused by stronger pain medicines. Preceding each pill with a small amount of soft food, then taking a pill with a large volume of water may reduce nausea. Try to keep taking clear liquids and minimize the pain medication, but call us if you do not feel better or if repeated vomiting is a problem. Cola drinks that have less carbonation may help with nausea.
Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Temperature of the food doesn't matter, but avoid extremely hot foods. Avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., that may get lodged in the surgical areas. 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 a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible and follow instructions from us or from your physician regarding your insulin schedule.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SECOND AND THIRD DAYS
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Use a one-quarter teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like.