Extraction Post-Operative Instructions
- A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF BLEEDING, PAIN AND SWELLING IS NORMAL AND SHOULD BE EXPECTED.
- BRUISES MAY APPEAR ON YOUR FACE OR INSIDE YOUR MOUTH AFTER SURGERY.
BLEEDING: Immediately following the procedure, keep steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze pad placed by the doctor. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and permits formation of a blood clot in the surgical site. Gently remove the compress and replace it with a fresh, folded gauze pad every half hour until active bleeding stops (usually 2-10 hours).
It is normal and you should expect to ooze blood from the surgical sites for one to two days after oral surgery. Gauze pads should not be used during this time, as it will delay blood clot formation. It is also normal to have blood in your saliva and/or blood on your pillow after sleeping for a couple of days after your surgery.
PAIN: Immediately following your procedure, begin taking pain medication as directed by your doctor. This will minimize discomfort when the local anesthesia wears off. Continue taking pain medication only if pain persists. Normally patients require prescription-strength pain medication for one to three days for major oral surgery. You can also take over the counter medication for pain and swelling. We recommend that you double up on over the counter, and then begin taking your prescribed pain medication.
SWELLING: You most likely received a therapeutic injection in your I.V. to help with extraction post operative pain & swelling. If you would like, following the procedure, apply an ice bag over the affected area. You can do this for the first two days; apply ice as much as possible to help prevent excessive swelling and discomfort. After two days it is not necessary to continue ice application. If you continue to have discomfort, switch to moist heat after two days. It is also normal for swelling to increase for the first two to three days; then it will subside.
ORAL HYGIENE: Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth the day of surgery. The following day rinse very gently with tap water, salt water or your preferred alcohol-free mouthwash after all meals, and brush your teeth regularly. Lightly brush the surgical sites to prevent food from getting lodged in the cavities left from extracted teeth. A certain amount of bleeding and discomfort should be expected in the surgical site. Continue rinsing after meals until you notice that the surgical site has closed completely, usually one to three weeks. Not maintaining your oral hygiene is one of the main causes of extraction post-operative infection. Be sure to brush & rinse as directed.
PROPER DIET: Eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water. Have whatever food you wish. It does not matter if the food is hot, cold, soft or solid, but do avoid hard, crunchy foods, foods such as rice. You are the best judge of how soon you will be able to tolerate a regular diet. It may take several days to three weeks before you can open your mouth fully to eat regular food. Advance your diet to regular food as early as you can tolerate. You need to exercise you jaw and muscles chewing in order to resume normal strength in your mouth.
EXERCISE: It is important to continue with light activity during your extraction post-operative course. Taking a walk outside and maintaining a routine will help you feel better. It will also allow you to recuperate more quickly than staying in bed.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR IMPACTED TEETH & THE REMOVAL OF WISDOM TEETH
Severity of extraction post-operative pain will depend on the procedure and your physical condition. There are several different types of impactions, and everyone reacts differently to surgery and pain. Age is an important factor in extraction of impacted wisdom teeth. Generally, patients over the age of 20 will experience more discomfort and a longer extraction post-operative course. Some patients will be back to his/her normal routine the next day, and others will be sore and uncomfortable for weeks.
- Healing in the affected area can be slow. It usually takes 3-4 weeks for surgical sites/extraction sockets to close.
- Nausea/vomiting may occur after general anesthesia. Treat these symptoms exactly as you would the flu. Throwing up will not affect the surgical sites, and it will make you feel better. If you do vomit grind your pain pill into a powder, and mix the powder in with food or drink. This will help the medication stay down. If you cannot tolerate the nausea/vomiting, your doctor will prescribe an anti-nausea medication. Please have your pharmacy name and pharmacy phone number available if you are calling the office in need of an anti-nausea medication.
- Large swelling of the face is normal and should be expected.
- Difficulty opening your mouth widely, discomfort upon swallowing and a sore throat are also normal.
- Numbness of lips, chin and/or tongue on the affected side may be experienced for a variable period time.
- ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING, SPITTING OR DRINKING THROUGH A STRAW FOR FIVE DAYS AFTER SURGERY.
- NEVER MIX ALCOHOL AND NARCOTIC PAIN PRESCRIPTIONS.
- IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONTACT THE OFFICE at 615-771-0017. If it is after hours or over the weekend and urgent, please leave a message with your name, number, and reason for your phone call. Messages are check periodically over the weekend. If you feel that you are having a medical or psychiatric emergency, do not call the office, dial 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency room.