Post-Operative Instructions

FOLLOWING EXTRACTIONS: Gauze packing in your mouth may be removed about 40 minutes after surgery. If bleeding persists, replace the gauze packs by folding a piece of gauze into a small roll and placing it over the extraction site, biting down firmly for 30-40 minutes. Some bleeding is expected for the first 24-36 hours after surgery. If bleeding persists or is excessive, clean out any large blood clots which have collected beyond the surgical site with moist gauze or cloth, then place a moistened teabag for 30 minutes. The tea bag should be a regular tea bag, not herbal, and placed over the site that is bleeding while applying firm and CONSTANT pressure. Apply pressure for at least 20 minutes and continue to press firmly. If bleeding continues after this, please notify our office.

ACTIVITY: After leaving our dental office today, we suggest you consider relaxing or at least limiting your activity as much as possible for the remainder of the day. Avoid strenuous activity and all aerobic exercise for the next 3 days.

DISCOMFORT: Some discomfort may be present when the anesthesia wears off. You may have been given a prescription for an analgesic. Please take this as directed on the prescription. Ibuprofen is suggested for discomfort as this drug will greatly decrease the possibility of post-surgical swelling and discomfort and has been shown to accelerate healing. Usually this is only needed for a day or two. Should intense discomfort occur at any time after the surgery, please take the narcotic medication as directed if it has been prescribed for you. Feel free to call the office to discuss any concerns that you may have.

ANTIBIOTICS: If prescribed for you by your dentist be sure to take them as indicated on the prescription. It is important that you take the entire prescription. If you notice that after a few days, pain or swelling are increasing or that you are experiencing an elevated temperature, please call the doctor.

SWELLING: It is normal for some swelling to occur after surgery, particularly in the lower jaw. To minimize swelling after surgery, apply an ice pack wrapped in a handkerchief to the outside of your face over the operated area. This should be left on your face for about 10 minutes, then removed for 10 minutes, or alternated from side-to-side, between operated areas, for the first 24 hours after surgery. The use of both ice and the NSAID analgesic as described above will reduce the amount and duration of facial swelling. After 24 hours, warm compresses are recommended to reduce the swelling if it should occur.

BLEEDING: It is common to have slight bleeding for a few hours following surgery. If bleeding persists, apply a tea bag to the surgical site with firm pressure for 15-20 minutes. Let yourself rest for 15 minutes then repeat the application of the tea bag for a second time if you still have slight bleeding. If excessive bleeding continues, please call our office. Remember, most of the blood you may see in your mouth is actually a little bit of blood mixed with a lot of saliva – blood is a very strong “dye” and a little bit of blood will color your saliva dramatically.

ORAL HYGIENE: brushing and oral hygiene procedures should be performed as usual in all UNTREATED areas. In exposed, operated areas limit your oral hygiene to brushing using a soft toothbrush. In areas covered by periodontal dressing, brush only the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Avoid dental flossing in operated areas during the first two weeks following surgery. Diluted mouthwash or salt water rinses may used after surgery. Avoid the use of water irrigation devices such as Waterpiks for 2 weeks following surgery. The exposed operated areas should be gently swabbed with a Q-tip saturated with Peridex rinse as a last oral hygiene procedure at bedtime and again in the morning, after eating and drinking.

EATING AND DRINKING: Do not try to eat until all anesthesia (numbness) has worn off. A reasonable diet must be maintained -- even on the day of surgery. Try yogurt, pasta, fish, eggs, mashed or baked potatoes, cooked soft vegetables, soft meat, stews, soups or milkshakes. Patients should avoid hot liquids for 2 hours after surgery. Lukewarm foods and liquids are OK. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages the day of surgery.

CARE OF THE DRESSING: A silicone putty-like material may have been placed in the area operated on. Its purpose is to “protect” this area so as to minimize bleeding or discomfort. If small pieces of the dressing break off, do not be concerned. If large portions of the dressing are displaced or lost during the first few days and discomfort is experienced, we may need to replace the dressing – please contact the office. If the dressing should fall off after 4 days, and you are comfortable, replacement of the dressing is unnecessary. If the dressing should fall off, do not try to replace it as this will damage the surgery.

USE OF REMOVABLE DENTAL APPLIANCES: If you normally wear a removable appliance which replaces missing teeth, and it rests on the operated area, it is best to minimize use of this appliance as any pressure on the surgical site could be detrimental to healing and cause discomfort.

“My experience here has been wonderful! I’m usually scared of dental work. Dr. Diamond made it as painless as possible. Thanks so much! I recommend everyone!”
J.L, Willow Grove