Immediately after surgery:
To limit bleeding, firmly bite on moist gauze and change it every 60 minutes until the dressing is a faint, light pink color. Try not to eat or sleep with gauze in your mouth.
Place a bag of ice on your face while awake, flipping the bag every 30 minutes. We’ll give you one ice bag after your procedure, which you can refreeze. You can also use a plastic bag filled with ice.
Patients should remain upright to mitigate swelling. Napping or resting on a recliner or while leaning against several pillows is encouraged. Swelling is normal during the first two to three days following surgery.
General instructions for the day of surgery:
- Rest and limit your activity for the first 24 hours after surgery.
- DO NOT rinse or spit the first day after surgery vigorously unless instructed otherwise.
- We encourage a fresh, soft diet. This may include yogurt, pudding, ice cream, or Jell-O, and you should eat some snack 15 to 30 minutes before taking your pain medication.
- DO NOT SMOKE or consume alcohol for seven days after your surgery. Smoking and alcohol intake are the leading causes of dry sockets.
- DO NOT drink with a straw for one week after your surgery.
- Take the medication as prescribed. The anesthesia should last two to three hours on your upper jaw and eight to twelve hours on your lower jaw.
- Take your perscribed medication at the first sign of pain.
- Keep your lips moist using Vaseline.
- Continue resting and limit your physical activities. Do not engage in vigorous exercise (such as weight lifting, jogging, or hard manual labor) for four days after your surgery.
- Brush teeth up to the surgical site(s) for the first week.
- Begin rinsing your mouth on the second day unless you’ve been instructed otherwise using ¼ teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of warm water. Rinse five to six times daily for the first week.
- Begin rinsing with a non-alcohol-based mouthwash (such as Crest ProHealth) the day after surgery. Continue use until your one-week, post-op visit.
- If bleeding persists enough that gauze still turns red when you bite on it, call the office. If the gauze is pink, biting down on moist gauze using firm pressure for several 30-minute intervals should stop the bleeding.
- Continue eating a soft diet, but warm foods are okay to eat at this point. After the second day post-surgery, you can eat whatever you can tolerate.
- Most sutures are resorbable and will begin to dissolve within five to ten days.
Dry sockets: Dry sockets develop when the extraction site is slow to heal, causing pain that generally emerges on the third or fourth day after surgery. Symptoms include pain in the jaw, ear, head, or your entire face. Treat this pain using pain medication or an ice pack. If after 48-72 hours, you’re still having pain that requires medication, you probably have a dry socket. At this point, you should contact our office for further relief.
Sore teeth: Sometimes, teeth adjacent to the surgical area will shift slightly, causing soreness that can last for several days. If this does not improve, please bring it to our attention at your one-week, post-op visit.
Drug reaction: If you experience adverse effects from pain medication such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hives, or itching, discontinue the drugs and call the office.
Temperature sensitivity: Occasionally, teeth adjacent to the surgical area are sensitive to thermal changes for six to eight weeks following surgery. If this sensitivity persists beyond that time, please contact the office.
Postoperative infections: Usual symptoms of infection are swelling and pain. If you experience this, begin rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater and contact our office for antibiotics or an appointment.