AFTER CARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR DENTAL SURGERY
Please follow these instructions for proper care following your dental surgery / tooth extraction
Numbness: Your mouth will be numb approximately two to four hours. Do not bite, scratch, or injure the cheek, lips, or tongue during this time. You can carefully drink little sips of water during this time but avoid eating. Please call our office if your numbness has persisted more than a day.
Bleeding: After the extractions, a gauze was placed at the site of surgery for you to bite on for 15-20 minutes. Replace this gauze with the provided extra guaze ONE MORE TIME ONLY and keep biting for another 15-20 minutes. This in most cases will be enough to stop bleeding. For remainder of the day, you may notice minor oozing of blood when you spit, which is normal. If you feel persistent oozing of blood, bite on the extra gauze for another 30 minutes. Do not sleep with the gauze in your mouth. If bleeding hasn’t stopped in 6-12 hours, please call our office immediately. If no guaze was placed when you left the office, it means your bleeding was already controlled and clotted.
Surgical Site Care: Avoid touching the surgical site for first 24 hours. Do not stretch the lips or cheeks to look at the area. Do not rinse vigorously, use mouthwash, or probe the area with fingers, tongue or other objects. After 24 hours, you may rinse with warm salt water or regular tap water after meals or use mouth wash if advised/prescribed.
Sutures: If Sutures (stitches) were placed to help control bleeding and promote healing. These sutures will either dissolve in 5-10 days or will need to be removed. Please call the office for your particular situation.
Bone Graft: If a bone graft was placed, a barrier membrane and non-dissolvable sutures will be placed. The barrier membrane and sutures sometimes may need to be removed in 2-3 weeks. Also, you may feel little chips of extra bone graft in your mouth and barrier membrane may feel like a jelly-like substance sticking up from the extraction site for a few days. Avoid exploring this area with your tongue.
Daily Activities: Avoid physical exercise and exertion for 24-48 hours. Return to normal activities as tolerated. Smoking: is best avoided for first 48-72 hours and in general may cause complications like dry socket and infection and failure of implant/bone graft.
Diet: Wait until all numbness is worn off. Stay on soft, non-chewy diet for first 2-3 days and then slowly move to solid foods based on what your mouth can tolerate. Avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, extremely hot or cold beverages for 48 hours. Avoid crunchy, hard, chunky foods that can get lodged in the extraction sites.
Oral Hygiene: Keeping the mouth clean is essential. Today, other teeth may be brushed and flossed gently, but avoid stimulating the surgical site. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing of all areas, but make every effort to clean the teeth within the bounds of comfort as poor oral hygiene may delay healing and causing complications.
Rinsing your mouth: Avoid rinsing your mouth for the first day. You can rinse from next morning with either plain water or salt water or an alcohol free mouth wash. If a mouth wash was prescribed to you, use it as directed.
Pain: Pain after extractions is normal and expected and can last from 2-7 days, depending on the procedure. Unless you are prescribed otherwise, you can take Advil or Tylenol or any pain medicine of your preference as needed, following directions on the label. You can alternate between Tylenol extra strength (1000 mg) and Advil OTC 2-4 tablets (400-800 mg) every 4-6 hours for severe pain. If a prescription is given, please follow directions on the label.
Swelling: Slight swelling and inflammation may occur for the next two days, esp. after lower wisdom teeth removal. If swelling occurs, ice packs may be used for the first 24 hours (10 minutes on then 10 minutes off) to decrease swelling and/or bruising. If swelling persists after 24 hours, warm/moist compresses (10 minutes on then 10 minutes off) may help. If swelling has not improved after 48 hours, call our office.
Dry Socket: Premature dissolving or loss of a blood clot following removal of a permanent tooth may result in a “dry socket”. This typically occurs on the third to fifth day after the extraction, with a persistent throbbing pain in the jaw. Call our office if this occurs.
PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US AT ANYTIME OF DAY OR NIGHT SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS. IF WE DON’T PICK UP IMMEDIATELY, WE WILL GET BACK TO YOU ASAP.