Our Staten Island oral surgeons have provided you with post-operative instructions for all oral surgery procedures. Read below to find out more.
Bleeding is controlled by biting on gauze pads, especially for the first hour or two after surgery. Remember that pressure is the key to stopping bleeding. Please bite on the gauze for about one hour and then remove it. If the bleeding stops, discontinue gauze use. However, if the bleeding persists, place more gauze in for about 1 hour with pressure and keep repeating this until the bleeding stops. You may place a couple of tea bags wrapped in gauze if the bleeding is persistent. Additionally, do not sleep with gauze in your mouth.
Swelling is diminished by the application of ice packs to the area, alternating ½ hour on and ½ hour off (ice also helps to control any bleeding during the first day). Ice to minimize swelling only has a practical effect for the first 24-36 hours after surgery, so further use of ice after that is not recommended. The swelling usually peaks in about 3 days after surgery and then begins to decrease.
If you had an infection that caused visible swelling on your face (or a swelling from infection you could feel with your tongue), you must avoid the use of ice completely! Beginning the day after surgery, it is best to apply warm (not hot) packs to the swollen area to increase the circulation, which helps fight remaining infection; these are applied alternating ½ hour on and ½ hour off, usually four to six times per day.
Continue to take any prescriptions from your medical doctor, as well as those prescribed for your surgery. If you are taking a narcotic pain prescription, do not drive a car or performs activities that require you being alert. It is also important that you do not take sedative medication along with narcotic pain medication, unless this was discussed at your visit. Do not drink alcohol while taking narcotic pain medication!
If you received any Intravenous medication at the office, it is likewise extremely important not to drive a car or engage in activities that require your alertness for at least 24 hours after your appointment. Taking prescribed narcotics after Intravenous is safe, but you must still avoid hazardous activity. Likewise, do not use alcohol for the 24 hour period following Intravenous medications (or as long as you are taking narcotic medication)!
Do not rinse and/or brush your teeth on the day of the surgery. Beginning the day after your surgery, you should rinse with warm salt water several times a day as well as after eating. You may start to brush your teeth the day after surgery, be careful around the surgical sites; light brushing only around the surgical sites. You may utilize a Water-pik device or a plastic syringe (provided by our office) to assist in rinsing your mouth. If you had an implant(s) placed you may brush lightly around the implant and utilize the syringe or water-pik.
Avoid very hot foods or drinks for two days, as that may provoke bleeding. Warm food or drinks are not harmful. It is best to have a normal diet (calories and nutrients) as soon as possible, although it may have to be a softened diet for several days. If you had an implant(s) placed do not eat anything hard over the implant site for about 3 months. Following oral surgery, many patients fail to take in enough protein or fluids, which leads to fatigue and mild dehydration. Scrambled eggs, tuna casserole, yogurt, even “power drinks” are just some examples of protein with a soft consistency. Please view your protein and fluid intake to be as necessary for your recovery as any prescriptions you are taking.
Your return to work or recreation must be guided by your level of strength. The pressures of today’s busy lifestyles work against better healing in that regard. The rate of healing is affected by many factors, only some of which are within our control. But a major controllable factor is merely “listening to your own body.” Different patients heal at different rates. The same patient heals at different rates depending on his or her physical reserves. Many people mistakenly feel that they “should” heal at the same rate as a relative, a classmate, or a friend. Don’t place that unnecessary psychological frustration on yourself. Rest until you feel your strength return.
Lastly, if you smoke, please do not smoke for 5 days from the time of your surgery. Smoking can cause a dry socket which is a painful condition that warrants further treatment. Do not hesitate to contact usif you need to receive further information.