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Call us: 570-622-9746
Address: 2257 W End Ave
Pottsville, PA 17901

Post-Operative Instructions

Please read and follow these instructions carefully

The after-effects of oral surgery vary per individual, so not all of these instructions may apply. Please feel free to call our office any time should you have any questions, or are experiencing any unusual symptoms following your treatment.

DAY OF SURGERY

Immediately After Surgery

Patients who receive a general anesthetic should return home from the office immediately upon discharge, and lie down with the head elevated until all effects of the anesthetic have disappeared. Anesthetic effects vary by individual, and you may feel drowsy for a short period of time or for several hours. You should not operate any mechanical equipment or drive a motor vehicle for at least 36 hours or longer if you feel any residual effects from the anesthetic.

  • 1. Do NOT drive or use appliances or equipment that could be dangerous, such as power tools, stove, lawnmowers, or garbage disposals.
  • 2. Watch out for dizziness. Walk slowly and take your time. Sudden changes of position may also cause nausea.
  • 3. Do NOT make any important decisions. You may change your mind tomorrow.
  • 4. Do NOT drink any alcoholic beverages. The drugs in your body may cause your reaction to alcohol to be dangerous.
  • 5. Diet: If you feel nauseated or sick to your stomach, drink clear liquids like 7-up, broth, apple juice, ginger ale, tea, cola, or eat jello. If these liquids do not make you sick, try eating foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, and cereal.

Oral Hygiene and Care

Do NOT disturb the surgical area today. Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze pack that we have initially placed over the surgical area, making sure that they remain in place. Do NOT change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not being controlled. This is important to allow blood clot formation within the surgical site. The gauze maybe changed when necessary and/or repositioned for comfort. 

DO NOT drink with a straw and DO NOT rinse or brush your teeth vigorously or probe the area with your tongue, any objects or your fingers. You may brush your teeth gently, carefully avoiding the surgical site. DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours, since it is detrimental to the healing process.

Bleeding

Some bleeding is normal, and blood –tinted saliva may be present for 24 hours. This may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the surgical area and biting down firmly for 30-60 minutes.

Steady Bleeding

Bleeding should not be severe. If the bleeding persists, this may be due to the gauze pad being clenched between the teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical site. Try repositioning the gauze. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, substitute a moist tea bag (first soaked in water, squeezed dry and wrapped in moist gauze) placed on the area for 20-30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call our office.

Swelling or Bruising

Swelling is to be expected and usually reaches its maximum in 48 hours. To minimize swelling, cold packs or an ice bag wrapped in a towel should be applied to the face adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied 20 minutes on then removed for 20minutes during the first 12-24 hours after surgery. If you were prescribed medicine in order to control swelling, be sure to take it as directed. Bruising may also occur, but should disappear soon. Tightness of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty with closing the mouth. This should disappear within 7days. Keep lips moist with cream or Vaseline to prevent cracking or chapping.

Diet

Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. It is advisable to confine the first day’s food intake to bland liquids or pureed or soft foods. Avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds or popcorn, which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days, you may progress to more solid foods. Proper nourishment aids in the healing process. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal diet as much as possible and follow your physician’s instructions regarding your medication schedule.

Pain and Medications

Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. Take the pain medication prescribed as directed. Since local anesthetic administered with the general anesthetic will wear off in 2-3 hours, we advise you to take the pain medication within 2 hours after your surgery. Taking the pain medication with soft food and a large volume of water, as well as taking it separately from the antibiotic, (if prescribed) will lessen any side effects of nausea or upset stomach. If you are prescribed an antibiotic and are currently taking oral contraceptives, you should use an alternate method of birth control for the remainder of this cycle.

Orthodontic Appliances

If you wear orthodontic appliances, replace them immediately after surgery unless instructed otherwise. If these appliances are left out of the mouth for any length of time, it is often difficult or impossible to reinsert them.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE FOLLOWING DAYS

Oral Hygiene

Keeping your mouth clean after oral surgery is essential. Keep using warm salt-water rinses (1tsp salt to 8 ounces of warm water) to rinse your mouth at least 2-3 times daily for the next five days. Begin your normal tooth brushing routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may prevent rigorous brushing of areas, but make every effort to clean your teeth within your comfort level.

OTHER POSSIBLE POST-SURGERY EFFECTS

Dry Sockets

The blood clot on the surgical site may be lost causing a dry socket (usually in the 3rd to 5th day). There will be a noticeable, distinct, persistent pain in the jaw area, often radiating toward the ear and forward along the jaw, which may cause other teeth to ache. If you do not see steady improvement during the first few days after the surgery or if severe pain persists, please call the office to report these symptoms.

Skin Discoloration

This may be expected, and is usually limited to the neck or cheek area near the surgical site. This is caused by bleeding through the mucous membranes of the mouth beneath the skin and appears as a bruise. If discoloration occurs, it often takes a week for this to completely disappear. Occasionally, the arm or hand near the IV site may be inflamed and tender. Application of heat on this area will usually correct these symptoms.

Numbness

Loss of sensation of the lip and chin may occur, usually following lower wisdom teeth removal. This is usually temporary and disappears within a few days or weeks. Occasionally, some numbness may persist for mouths or be permanent, due to close association of the roots of the teeth to the nerve that supplies sensation to the areas described.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. If you have any questions about your progress or any symptoms you are experiencing, please call our office at:

(570) 622-9746

After office hours, you may call our 24-hour answering service, which may be reached by calling the above number and our on-call doctor will contact you as soon as possible.