After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not get alarmed.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously as much as possible for the first 36 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed. High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat. Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.
Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. To optimize your comfort you should take the first pain pill before the numbing medication has worn off. Remember that the most severe pain is usually within six hours after the local anesthetic wears off; after that your need for medicine should lessen. For moderate pain, take a dose of Ibuprofen (Children’s Advil or Motrin) every 4-6 hours as needed for pain. Do not exceed the maximum daily dosage suggested on the bottle. Do not take Ibuprofen if you are intolerant of this medication or have a history of stomach ulcers or kidney disease. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. It is best to take pain medication with a small snack or following a meal to avoid stomach upset. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not operate a motor vehicle or machinery (lawn mower, etc.) while taking the pain medication. Do not drink alcoholic beverages. Notify the clinic if you are experiencing pain that is not improving 3-5 days after surgery. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.
We recommend the following protocol for optimum pain management: Take each medication with a small snack and full glass of liquid.
Immediately Following Surgery: 1 Prescription Pain Pill
3 Hours Later: Ibuprofen dosage
3 Hours Later: 1 Prescription Pain Pill
3 Hours Later: Ibuprofen dosage
NOTE: The dosage of the prescription pain medication can be increased to 1 1/2 to 2 pills if needed for pain management.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is not uncommon after surgery. Sometimes pain medications are the cause. Nausea can be reduced by preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft food, and taking the pill with a large volume of water. In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on coke, tea or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a fifteen-minute period. When the nausea subsides you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine. To help avoid nausea and vomiting do not take pain medication on an empty stomach.
Keeping your mouth as clean as possible following surgery is essential to good healing and one of the best ways to avoid infection. Careful, supervised tooth brushing should be started the night of surgery, avoiding the surgery site. The brush should only make contact with the teeth in the area of surgery. Do not brush the sutures. Brush teeth after each meal. A child’s soft toothbrush can be utilized for this purpose, paying particular attention to keeping the brush in direct contact with the teeth. It is very important to keep you mouth clean as the wounds are healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed medicated mouth rinse (Peridex Oral Rinse) before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Please continue to use the medicated mouth rinse until we see you for your follow-up visit in one week. You can dip a Q-tip in the medicated rinse and wipe gently over the surgery site to keep plaque from accumulating on the sutures or teeth surrounding the area. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day, especially after eating, with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt. Try to avoid over the counter mouth rinses that contain alcohol. Continue this procedure until healing is complete. Do not use a water-pik for 2 weeks after surgery.
REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.
DO NOT SMOKE for a minimum of 4 weeks following surgery. The heat and toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke are harmful to the healing of wounds and increases the likelihood of infection
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have any questions or concerns about your progress please call the office (303) 444-2255. We are available 24 hours a day.
Thank you for trusting us with your oral and maxillofacial surgery needs.