**PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY**
Sometimes the after-effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, so not all the instructions may apply.
Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt follow these guidelines
or call our office for clarification (425) 332-5333
Day of Surgery
FIRST HOUR: Bite down gently, but firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas making sure they remain in place. Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not controlled. The packs may be gently removed after one hour. If active bleeding persists, place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another half an hour. The gauze may then be changed as necessary (typically every 30 to 45 minutes). It is best to moisten the gauze with tap water and loosely fluff for more comfortable positioning.
EXERCISE CARE: Do not disturb the surgical area. Do NOT rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects. You may brush your teeth gently. PLEASE DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours since this is very detrimental to healing and may cause a dry socket. Drink water after every meal to flush food from the mouth and maintain hydration.
OOZING: Intermittent bleeding or oozing overnight is normal. Bleeding may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the areas and biting on the gauze for 30-45 minutes at a time.
PERSISTENT BLEEDING: Bleeding should never be severe. If so, it usually means that the packs are being clenched between teeth and are not exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try repositioning the packs. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy you may substitute a tea bag (soaked in very hot water, squeezed damp-dry, and wrapped in a moist gauze) for 20 to 30 minutes. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.
SWELLING: Swelling is often associated with oral surgery. It can be minimized by using a cold pack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied twenty minutes on twenty minutes off during the first 24 hours after surgery. If you have been prescribed medicine for the control of swelling, be sure to take it as directed.
PAIN: Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. If you take the first pill before anesthetic has worn off, you should be able to manage any discomfort better. Some patients find that stronger pain medicine causes nausea, but if you precede each pill with a small amount of food, chances for nausea will be reduced. The effects of pain medications vary widely among individuals. If you do not achieve adequate relief at first, you may supplement each pain pill with a pain reliever, such as, aspirin or ibuprofen. Some patients may even require two of the pain pills at one time. Remember that the most severe pain is usually within six hours after the local anesthetic wears off; after that your need for medicine should lessen. If you find that you are taking large amounts of pain medicine at frequent intervals, please call our office. If you anticipate needing more prescription medication for the weekend, you must call for a refill during weekday business hours. Start the pain medication immediately after surgery, but after you eat. Start the antibiotics if you prescribed the following day. Please follow instructions for medications given to you by the pharmacy. Nausea can be reduced by preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft food and taking the pill with a large volume of water. Try to keep taking clear fluids and minimize dosing of pain medications but call our office if you do not feel better. Classic Coca Cola may help with nausea.
DIET: Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Avoid extremely hot foods. Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. It is sometimes advisable, but not absolutely required to confine the first day’s intake to liquids or pureed foods (soup, pudding, yogurt, milk shakes, ice cream, etc.) It is best to avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc. which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods. 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 or follow instructions given by your doctor.
SHARP EDGES: If you feel something hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling the bony walls which were once supported the extracted teeth. Occasionally small silvers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or so. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call our office.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SECOND AND THIRD DAY
MOUTH RINSES: Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Use the Peridex rinse that was prescribed to you following the directions on the bottle starting the day after surgery. DO NOT USE THE MOUTH RINSE FOR MORE THAN 5 TO 7 DAYS. Use the irrigating syringe provided the third day after surgery to keep extraction sites clear of food. This syringe should be used every time you eat.
BRUSHING: Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.
HOT APPLICATIONS: You may apply warm compresses to the skin over the areas of swelling (hot water bottle, hot moist towels, heating pad) for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to help soothe tender areas. This will also help decrease swelling and stiffness.
HEALING: Normal healing after tooth extraction should be as follows. The first two days after surgery are generally the most uncomfortable and there is usually some swelling. On the third day you should be more comfortable and although still swollen, you can start a substantial diet. The remainder of the post- operative course should be gradual, steady improvement. If you don’t see continued improvement, please call our office. If you are given a plastic irrigating syringe, start using 24 hours after surgery. Then use it daily according to the instructions until you are certain the tooth socket has closed completely and that there is no chance of any food particles lodging in the socket.
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 our office. Dr. Dhaliwal is available 24 hours- calling during office hours will afford a faster response to your question or concern.
PLEASE NOTE: Telephone calls for prescription renewal are ONLY accepted during office hours.