Surgical Instructions

Things to expect:
  • Swelling is normal following any surgical procedures. It should reach its maximum within 48 hours of treatment, and diminish by the fifth day after surgery.
  • The most pain will be experienced during the period when sensation returns to your mouth as the numbness wears off. If severe pain continues beyond 48 hours, or starts again after 2-3 days, this usually indicates that the clot has not formed, and the site is not healing properly. In this instance further treatment may be needed.
  • Bleeding or oozing may occur for the first 24-48 hours. The local anesthesia will generally wear off within 1-2 hours following surgery. With some deeply impacted teeth, where a possibility of pressure on the nerve exists, numbness may continue for several days or weeks.

Homecare Instructions:
  • After leaving the dental office, the following instructions are essential to the healing process. Please read them carefully, and adhere to them during your recovery.
  • Keep ice packs over the surgical sites for 24-48 hours after the surgery. Apply ice packs with firm, constant pressure on and off for twenty minutes. Both the applied pressure and the cold temperature will keep swelling to a minimum.
  • Remain in the sitting position or with your legs elevated if in bed for the first 12-24 hours.
  • Take pain medication as prescribed. To allow time for it to enter your system, begin taking medication before the numbness wears off.
  • Bite down on gauze for one hour. If there is significant bleeding after one hour, change gauze and continue biting down for another hour.
  • Go home for the remainder of the day and try to relax as much as possible.
  • Rinse your mouth out with peroxide and warm water 3-4 times a day, beginning the day after surgery.
  • Drink ample amounts of fluids (1-2 quarts daily). This will help prevent fever and feelings of weakness.
  • Stay on a soft diet for 2-3 days, such as soup, scrambled eggs, milk shakes, mashed potatoes, etc., following surgery.

Please read the following carefully and be aware that these things should not occur during your recovery:
  • DO NOT lay flat or with your head lowered. This will tend to increase the swelling and bleeding
  • DO NOT wait until numbness wears off and pain starts. It will take more pain medication to control your discomfort if you wait to long.
  • DO NOT constantly change gauze pads. This will keep disturbing the forming clot and result in continued bleeding and eventually dry socket.
  • DO NOT continue to bite on a gauze pad if there is minimal bleeding or oozing from the surgical site. The main objective is to control the initial bleeding and to leave the blood clot alone as much as possible.
  • DO NOT engage in activities that will cause your blood pressure to rise, such as bowling, swimming, jogging, etc., this will cause the bleeding to continue or start again.
  • DO NOT smoke, spit or suck through a straw for a week following the surgical procedure. These actions will cause disturbance to blood clots and increase bleeding.
  • DO NOT attempt to eat large meals at one sitting, even if the discomfort is minimal. This will lead to fatigue of your muscles and result in muscle spasms. Eat smaller portions, but more often.

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