Post-Op Instructions

Post-Operative Instructions Photo

General Guidelines for all procedures:

BLEEDING: Bite on gauze for 1 hour then discard. If bleeding continues, repeat with biting or finger pressure for 1 hour. A wet tea bag may substitute a gauze pack. Avoid frequent pack changes, aggressive rinsing, or physical exertion.

DO NOT rinse your mouth the same day. The next day, rinse using 1/4 teaspoon salt to a glass of warm water or 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 cup of warm water, plus any other rinses, and you may resume brushing as well. Do not use straws for one week.

DIET: Soft, cold foods are recommended for the first 24 hours: Liquid diet supplement (Ensure , Boost , etc), baby food, milk shakes/smoothies, ice cream, pudding, and yogurt. Alcohol, hot, spicy, or coarse foods should be avoided. Any other

food that the patient can tolerate is permissible. It is important to drink plenty of fluids.

NO SMOKING preferably for two weeks after  surgery.

GENERAL ANESTHESIA/SEDATION: Patients who have received a general anesthetic should:

NOT drive a vehicle or operate any machinery within the same day of surgery.
NOT undertake any business matters within the same day of surgery.
NOT take any other medication without an approval.

PAIN: Pain is to be expected and may be severe for the first few hours. One must:

  1. Take the medication with food to reduce the chance of developing nausea and/or vomiting.
  2. Take the prescribed medication before the anesthetic wears off and before the pain becomes evident, usually one hour following the procedure.  If weakness is experienced, lie down.
  3. For mild pain use Tylenol, Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Excedrin, or  Motrin.
  4. If you develop any side effects or if you have any questions, stop the medication and call the  office.

SWELLING: Swelling is to be expected and usually reaches its maximum three days after surgery but is no cause for alarm. Swelling results in a tightness of the jaw muscles and may cause difficulty in opening the mouth. This should disappear

within 7-14 days. Swelling may be reduced by applying an ice bag to the operated area 15 minutes on and 45 minutes off during the first 48 hours and by keeping your head slightly elevated when lying down (i.e. use an extra pillow or two; sleep in a reclining chair).

BRUISING: Bruising, headache, or sore throat may occur. These should not be a cause or alarm and should disappear within 10 days. Unrelated complications may occur (tonsillitis, flu, or mouth “cold” sores)  due  to the fact  that the patient’s resistance to infection is low.

NAUSEA: Nausea occurs rarely. If severe, stop taking narcotic pain medications and switch to any Tylenol-type medication. If nausea persist, call the office. Ginger ale and club soda (clear carbonated drinks) are helpful in calming the stomach.

STITCHES: Stitches, if used, will either dissolve within 2 weeks or will have to be removed.

IMMEDIATE DENTURES: Immediate dentures should not be removed until you have been seen by our office or by your dentist. This is usually within three days. Sores on the gums are common and will be treated on this visit.

SMALL BONE FRAGMENTS: Small bone fragments usually work through the gums during the healing process. They are not roots and usually fall out within a few days. If annoying, contact the office for their  removal.

LIPS: Lips should be kept moist with a cream to prevent cracking. There may be numb feeling on your lower lip if lower teeth were removed. This is especially true with impacted teeth. The feeling of numbness due to the anesthetic used may last between 2-12 hours after surgery. Feeling to the lip should return gradually.

Avoid strenuous exercise such as running and swimming for several days.