Post Op Instructions
I. Preoperative Instructions for Patients Undergoing Intravenous Anesthesia
- You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for eight (8) hours prior to the appointment.
- A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home.
- The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience.
- Please wear loose fitting clothing with sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow, and low-heeled shoes. Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
The removal of impacted wisdom teeth and surgical extraction of teeth is quite different from the extraction of erupted teeth. The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:
- The surgical area will swell.
- Swelling peaks on the 2nd or 3rd post-operative day
- Trismus (stiffness) of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days.
- You may have a slight earache.
- A sore throat may develop.
- Your other teeth may ache temporarily. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.
- If the corners of the mouth are stretched out they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with ointment.
- There will be a space where the tooth was removed. After 24 hours this area should be rinsed following meals with warm salt water until it is healed. This cavity will gradually fill in with new tissue
- There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If temperature continues, notify us.
- It is not unusual to develop bruising in the area of an extraction.
Please take all prescriptions as directed.
Women please note: Some antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pills. Please check with your pharmacist.
II. Post-Op Instructions (Short Version)
What you should do following extractions and other oral surgery procedures?
A certain amount of bleeding, pain, and swelling is normal. Reduce your activity as much as possible for several hours. Avoid eating and unnecessary talking. Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for 24 hours. These activities may hinder formation of a blood clot which is necessary for proper healing.
Do not be alarmed if your vision is blurred for a time following anesthesia or if a "black and blue" bruise should appear at the site of an injection. The arm also may be bruised, swollen and tender to touch due to the IV.
Follow the simple instructions below to minimize complications and help ensure prompt recovery.
To control bleeding
Immediately following procedure. . .keep a steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze placed there by your doctor. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and permits formation of a clot in the tooth socket. Try to leave the gauze in for 24 hours. The additional pressure on extraction sites reduces swelling, which reduces pain.
After 24 hours... some oozing of blood may persist. If necessary, resume use of moist tea bags. After bleeding has stopped, cautiously resume oral hygiene.
To relieve pain
Immediately following the procedure... begin taking medication as directed by your doctor to minimize discomfort when the anesthesia wears off and feeling is back to normal. Application of an ice bag can also help relieve discomfort.
After 24 hours, continue to take your medication if pain persists, but DO NOT use an ice bag.
To minimize swelling
Immediately following procedure. . .apply an ice bag over the affected area. Use 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 24 hours to help prevent excessive swelling and discomfort. If an ice bag is unavailable, simply fill a heavy plastic bag with crushed ice or frozen peas. Cover with a soft cloth to avoid skin irritation.
After 24 hours. . . it is not be necessary to continue with cold applications. You may expect mild swelling for 5-7 days to two weeks and a fever of 99 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Special considerations following removal of impacted teeth:
- Removal of impacted teeth is a surgical procedure. Postoperative problems are not unusual, and extra care must be taken to avoid complications.
- Severity of postoperative pain will depend on the procedure and your physical condition. Take medication for pain precisely as directed.
- Healing of the surgical site is variable.
- Swelling can be expected. Be certain to apply ice bags as directed above.
- Difficulty in opening your mouth widely and discomfort upon swallowing should be anticipated. This will decrease as your swelling goes down.
- Numbness of lips and/or tongue on the affected side may be experienced for a variable period of time.
Oral hygiene is important
Twenty-four hours after surgery, rinse mouth gently with a solution of one-half teaspoonful of salt dissolved in a glass of water. Repeat after every meal or snack for seven days. Rinsing is important because it removes food particles and debris from the socket area and thus helps prevent infection and promote healing. Brush tongue with a dry toothbrush to keep bacteria growth down, but be careful not to touch the extraction site.
Resume your regular tooth brushing, but avoid disturbing the surgical site so as not to loosen or remove the blood clot.
Maintain a proper diet
Have your meals at the usual time. Eat soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of liquids with meals and in between. Have what you wish, but be careful not to disturb the blood clot. Add solid foods to your diet as soon as they are comfortable to chew.
In case of problems
You should experience no trouble if you follow the instructions and suggestions as outlined. But if you should have any problems such as excessive bleeding, pain or difficulty in opening your mouth, call our office immediately for further instructions or additional treatment. We are eager to help
you can not bother us, so feel free to call.
Remember your follow-up visit
It is often advisable to return for a postoperative visit to make certain healing is progressing satisfactorily. A follow-up visit will be scheduled. In the meantime, maintain a healthful diet, observe rules for proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist for regular checkups.
Care of Mouth After Oral Surgery
- Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after surgery.
- Keep fingers and tongue away from socket or surgical area.
- Use ice packs on surgical area (side of face) for first 48 hours, apply ice 20 minutes on 10 minutes off. Bags of frozen peas and corn work well.
- For mild discomfort take Tylenol or Ibuprofen every three to four hours.
- For severe pain use the medication prescribed to you.
- Drink plenty of fluids. (Do not use a straw)
- If the muscles of the jaw become stiff, chewing gum at intervals will help relax the muscles, as well as the use of warm, moist heat to the outside of your face over these muscles.
- After the first post-operative day, use a warm salt-water rinse following meals for the first week to flush out particles of food and debris which may lodge in the surgical area. (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Mouthwash can be added for better taste.)
- Diet may consist of soft foods which can be easily chewed and swallowed. No seeds, nuts, rice, popcorn, etc.
- A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure to the surgical area using small rolled gauze for 24 hours. After that time remove the gauze and then you may eat or drink, change as needed.
- We suggest that you do not smoke for at least 5 days after surgery. Nicotine may break down the blood clot and cause a "dry-socket". These are very painful. If you experience severe throbbing pain on the fifth day, call the office.
Feel free to contact us if any doubt arises as to your progress and recovery.
III Post-Op Instructions - (Detailed version)
Wisdom Tooth Removal and Homecare
The removal of impacted teeth is a serious surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully.
Immediately Following Surgery:
- The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and replaced.
- Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
- Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort this will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.
- Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
- Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for explanation.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery.
Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.
The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the bodys normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake for 20 minute intervals. After 24 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Twenty four hours following surgery the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling
For pain take the tablets prescribed for pain as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.
After general anesthetic or I.V. sedation, liquids should be taken at first. Do not use straws. Drink from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. You may eat anything soft by chewing away form the surgical sites. High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Refer to the section on suggested diet instructions at the end of the brochure. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat. Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. Therefore, immediately following surgery, if you are laying down, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.
Keep the mouth clean
No rinsing of any kind should be done until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day especially after eating with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.
In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.
If you have been placed on antibiotics take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection only in indicated situations. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions.
Nausea and Vomiting
In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine except that given specifically for nausea. You should then sip on coke, tea or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a fifteen-minute period. When the nausea subsides you can begin taking liquids and the prescribed medicine. Food can later be taken slowly.
- If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. As stated before surgery, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be aware that if your lip or tongue is numb you could bite it and not feel it so be careful. Call Dr. Modelevsky if you have any questions about this.
- Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Tylenol or ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.
- You should be careful going from th4e lying down position to standing. As you were not able to eat or drink prior to surgery, and it is difficult to take fluids, and taking pain medications can make you dizzy. You could get light headed when you stand up suddenly. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute then get up.
- Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots, they are the bony walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can be removed by Dr. Modelevsky.
- If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as vaseline.
- Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in 2-3 days.
- Stiffness (Trimus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is normal post-operative event which will resolve in time.
Sutures are placed the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged, this is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture form your mouth and discard it. The sutures will dissolve approximately one-two weeks after surgery. The removal of nondissolving sutures requires no anesthesia or needles. It takes only a minute or so, and there is no discomfort associated with this procedure. So its really nothing to worry about.
- The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur call my office for instructions.
- There will be a cavity where the tooth was removed. The cavity will gradually over the next month fill in with the new tissue. In the mean time, the area should be kept clean especially after meals with salt water rinses or a toothbrush.
- Your case is individual, no two mouths are alike. Do not take seriously well intended advice from friends. Discuss your problem with the persons best able to effectively help you: Dr. Modelevsky or your family dentist.
- Brushing your teeth is okay just be gentle at the surgical sites.
- A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain to the ear may occur 2-3 days following surgery. Call the office if severe throbbing pain remains 4-5 days after surgery.
- If you are involved in regular exercise be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed stop exercising.
Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
- Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not get alarmed.
- Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 24 hours. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
- Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously as much as possible for the first 24 hours.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
- You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For mild pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength. Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken instead of or with Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed.
- Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete. REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
- Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment that may weaken you.
Instructions Following the Removal of Multiple Teeth
- A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following the operation. Place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding socket and apply biting pressure for 24 hours. If bleeding continues, a moist tea bag can be used for 30 minutes. If bleeding occurs avoid hot liquids, exercise, and elevate the head. If bleeding persists call my office immediately. Do not remove immediate denture unless the bleeding is severe, expect some oozing around the side of the denture.
- Use ice packs (externally) on the same side of the face as the operated area. Apply ice for the first 24 hours only. Apply ice continuously while you are awake.
For mild discomfort use aspirin, Tylenol or any similar medication; two tablets every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg can be taken 2-3 tablets every 3-4 hours.
- For severe pain use the prescription given to you. If the pain does not begin to subside in 4 days, or increases after 4 days, please call our office. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, finish your prescription regardless of your symptoms.
- Drink plenty of fluids. If many teeth have been extracted the blood lost at this time needs to be replaced. Drink at least six glasses of liquid the first day.
- Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day, or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use a warm salt water rinse every 4 hours and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris which may lodge in the operated area. (One half teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water.). After you have seen your dentist for denture adjustment, take out denture and rinse 3 to 4 times a day.
- Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods, which are comfortable for you to eat.
- As the wounds heal you will be able to advance your diet.
- The removal of many teeth at one time is quite different than the extraction of one or two teeth. Because the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to the insertion of a denture, the following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:
- The area operated on will swell reaching a maximum in three days. Swelling and discoloration around the eye may occur. The application of a moist warm towel will help eliminate the discoloration quicker. The towel should be applied continuously for as long as tolerable beginning 36 hours after surgery (remember ice packs are used for the first 36 hours only)
- A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in 2-3 days.
- If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment like Vaseline. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours. If temperature continues, notify my office.
- If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases your dentist will see you within 24-48 hours after surgery and make the necessary adjustments to relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may result in severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process.
Instructions for Homecare Following the Placement of Dental Implants
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 24 hours. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag, or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 24 hours
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For mild pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of or with Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection
Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days. This was discussed in the pre-operative consultation.
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