Post-operative instructions: general
Patients who have undergone IV sedation should be carefully attended to by a responsible family member or friend for at least 6 hours after leaving the office. The patient cannot drive for 24 hours or while taking narcotic pain medication.
You can expect a certain amount of discomfort with any surgical procedure. This varies with the amount of surgery required. Discomfort is usually well controlled by over-the-counter medication. Depending on the difficulty of the procedure, we may prescribe stronger pain medication. Make sure to eat something before taking any narcotic pain medication. Nausea is the most common side effect. Take all prescribed pain medication as directed.
Bleeding follows any surgical procedure and should not alarm you unless it is excessive or persistent. To control bleeding, we will place a gauze dressing over the extraction site(s) and have you apply firm pressure. This pressure will stop the bleeding.
- You will need to change the gauze ONCE every 30 minutes for the first few hours after surgery. It will be important to ensure the gauze is directly over the extraction site and you have firm biting pressure applied.
- If the bleeding is brisk, place a tea bag under cold water and remove excess water. Place the tea bag over the extraction site and bite down on the tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannins in the tea will help stop bleeding quicker.
- Remove the gauze or tea bags when eating or drinking to avoid choking.
- Make sure to remove all gauze and tea bags from the mouth before taking naps or going to bed.
- Once bleeding has stopped, remove all gauze and tea bags from the mouth to minimize the risk of choking.
SWELLING & DISCOLORATIONS
These are a normal part of the healing process and, unless extreme, are of no significant concern. Early application of ice can help decrease the amount of swelling, which peaks 72 hours after surgery. Place an ice pack to the surgery side of your face in 20-minute intervals for the first 24–36 hours as you feel up to it. (You do not need to do this overnight.) Keep your head elevated on additional pillows. This will also help to reduce the severity of swelling. If at any time you have concerns, please contact our office.
It is important to keep your mouth clean to reduce the risk of infection. Beginning the day after surgery, you can brush your teeth normally. Use the provided soft brush to brush around the surgical sites.
- Avoid electric toothbrushes until cleared to do so.
- Do not use toothpicks to remove food debris from the extraction site. Do not use a Waterpik® in the extraction site.
- You can gently rinse your mouth after surgery with warm water. For those who prefer to use salt, use 1 tsp. in 8–10 oz. of water or the prescribed Peridex™ rinse.
- If prescribed an antibacterial mouth rinse, use as directed.
For your comfort, start with clear, cool liquids after surgery. You can advance your diet as you feel up to it once the numbness wears off. Avoid alcohol and do not use a straw or drink carbonated beverages for at least the first 5 days after surgery.
Please avoid all tobacco products for the first 5 days after surgery. Nicotine adversely affects normal healing and increases your likelihood of developing a dry socket.
CALL THIS OFFICE REGARDING ANY CONCERN OR COMPLICATION, including but are not limited to a fever over 101.3°, discomfort not controlled by prescribed pain medications, prolonged or excessive bleeding, or excessive swelling. After regular business hours, contact Drs. Beech or Reid by calling our office answering service at (408) 245-6010 for any concerns.