Oral Maxillary Post Op
A follow up appointment has likely been scheduled for you; although occasionally post-operative appointments are not made. However, if you are having any difficulty, have questions or would like to be seen for any reason, please call the office. Please anticipate any needs you may have before the weekend and call the office during normal hours. If you have any reason to believe that you are not recovering or healing satisfactory from any operation, or are in doubt about anything at any time, notify us by telephone.
Essentials of Post-Operative Care
- Avoid aggressive rinsing, spitting, or sucking through a straw for 24 hours.
- Do not Smoke.
- Do not drink Hot, Carbonated or Alcoholic beverages for 24 hours.
- Bite on gauze as directed.
- Pain medications should not be taken on empty stomach.
- Apply ice to face as directed.
Avoid aggressive rinsing of your mouth for the first 24 hours. Gently rinse your mouth using a solution of ½ spoon of table salt dissolved in a glass of warm water. If you are on a low sodium diet or salt restriction at the advice of your physician, warm water without salt should be used. If prescription mouth wash is given, use it instead of salt- water mixture. Do not use a Water-Pik. You may gently brush your teeth following surgery. Avoid toothpaste for the first 3 days.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. If excessive bleeding continues, wipe the blood from mouth. Cut a piece of sanitary napkin or gauze, place the pack directly over the wound and bite down firmly for
30 minutes. Sit upright, keep quiet, and avoid spitting or talking while biting on the pack. When the gauze is saturated, it should be replaced. Repeat this procedure if necessary. To further treat bleeding, moisten a tea bag and place it directly on the bleeding area with gauze on top of it. Bite down gently. The tannic acid in the tea is a mild coagulant. If excessive bleeding continues following 24 hours after surgery please call our office.
Following surgery, swelling is expected. To minimize swelling, place crushed ice in plastic bags and wrap them in a thin towel to avoid frost bite. Place the ice packs against the affected area. Ice should be used for the first 48 hours only. Prolonged use of ice is of no value. Swelling is greatest on the second or third day after surgery. Do not use heat packs unless specifically instructed to do so.
It is imperative that you force yourself to drink cool fluids following surgery. Start with a light and soft diet immediately following surgery. Advance your diet as you feel more comfortable. In most instances, your normal diet may be resumed shortly following surgery. Maintain a protein rich diet and avoid excessive carbohydrates. Drink as much fluids as possible; dehydration is a common but preventable problem following oral surgery. No harm will result to the wounds from eating solid foods.
This is uncommon and is the result of free blood leakage into the tissues of the face. This condition is associated with bleeding, clears up in about a week, and ordinarily is not a cause for alarm. This may also occur at the injection sites on your arm. If there is pain, redness, or hardness please contact our office. Application of moist heat to the discolored areas will speed up resolution.
The following are some guides to help prevent the occurrence of nausea and if it should occur, to recover from it as quickly as possible.
- If medication has been prescribed which is to be taken with food, it is very important to get food into the stomach prior to taking this medication.
- If nausea or vomiting should occur, take nothing by mouth (not even plain water) until the nausea has resolved. Then clear liquids can be tried. After clear liquids have been tolerated for a while, then bland foods such as cottage cheese or Jell-O is recommended for the next 12 hours.
- Pain medication may be taken after bland food diet has been started.
- If you have nausea that persists for more than 12 hours please call the office so that we can give you further
Surgery for the removal of impacted teeth is quite different from the removal of erupted teeth. Swelling, difficulty in swallowing and opening your mouth are not uncommon with removal of impacted teeth. If a lower impacted tooth was removed, you may have numbness of the lower lip on the side from which the tooth was removed. This is almost always a temporary condition. After surgery, the adjacent teeth may feel odd or tender. Sores may develop at the corners of your mouth and lips. These areas should be covered with a mild ointment such as Vaseline.
Dental Implants / Grafts
Your Dental Implants and/or bone grafts having been placed require special attention to a few further instructions listed below.
- Dental implant surgeries vary, in both the number of implants and the need for other adjunctive procedures such as bone and tissue grafts, nerve repositioning or sinus grafts. Your surgeon will have identified and discussed these procedures with you so that you will feel comfortable with your postoperative course.
- If you are given a prescription mouth wash start using it 12 hours following surgery. This mouth wash should be used instead of toothpaste. Dip your toothbrush in the rinse and brush your teeth with them. Then use a small amount of mouthwash in your mouth and rinse with it for 30 seconds. Repeat this process 3 times a day.
- Sutures that are placed may remain in place for up to three weeks. They will be removed by our staff at the appropriate time.
- A member of our staff or your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding the wearing of any temporary or permanent dental appliance such as dentures. If you are unsure of how and when to wear your appliance please call our office immediately.
- Exposed implant surfaces should be cleaned with a cotton swab moistened with the prescribed mouthwash three times a day.
- Avoid using an electric toothbrush until cleared to do so by your doctor.
- Discharge of some graft material in the mouth is normal for some time following surgery. They will feel like small granules of sand.
- If you note any movement or mobility of exposed implant parts please let us know immediately.
- If you find a screw or any metal parts in your mouth following surgery do not panic, those are typically temporary caps placed on implants.
- Maintain a softer than usual diet for the first few days following implant or graft surgery.
Sinus Bone Grafts and perforations
- Do not blow your nose or otherwise create blowing or sucking motion. These actions would prevent the normal healing of the opening.
- If you have to sneeze, do it with your mouth and nose open.
- Take medications as prescribed.
- Report any sensation of transfer of food and fluids through your mouth into your nose or vice versa.
- Do not be alarmed if you experience nasal bleeding. Be sure to keep your follow up appointments.
- Take antibiotics prescribed exactly as directed on the bottle. Do not skip doses and try to “catch-up” later.
- Pain relievers are to be taken only when needed. Avoid constant usage.
- Use warm salt water (½ tsp. In a glass of water) to rinse your mouth every two hours for 5 minute periods, while awake
- Do not apply heat to your face unless directed. Dehydration is your enemy. You must make an effort to take twice your usual daily input of fluids (15 full glasses). Juices and soups are helpful along with water.
- Take and record your temperature 4 times a day. Bring your recording to your follow-up visits.
- Rest, but do not confine yourself to bed.
- Most oral/facial infections are treated well with the above regimen. If hospital admission is necessary, your oral surgeon will admit you and manage your care at the hospital.
Do not drive or operate mechanical equipment after taking prescribed narcotic pain medications.
Following anesthesia your reflexes and judgement may be altered, therefore, you are advised not to drive an automobile or operate machinery for 24 hours.