We have prepared the following post-operative instructions
for you. If you have questions please do not hesitate to
bring them to our attention.
KEEP THE PROTECTIVE GAUZE PACK in position
for TWO HOURS after surgery or until bleeding has stopped
(just as it has been placed- out in the cheek areas and
back as far as possible). Try to avoid opening the teeth.
This pack serves several useful purposes, and your long-range
postoperative course will be more comfortable and shortened
appreciably if the pack remains undisturbed as directed.
PAIN may be expected soon after the surgery
and reaches its maximum during the first few hours. It is
recommended that one of your prescription tablets be taken
approximately TWO HOURS after surgery, with a drink of water.
Thereafter, take one only as needed (at 3 to 4 hour intervals,
or according to your individual instructions). To allow
a good night’s sleep the first nights after surgery,
it is helpful to set your alarm clock to take a pain pill
every 3.5 hours throughout the night. Although the medications
are desirable to control pain, excess may result in nausea.
To increase tolerance for drugs, it is helpful if the patient
remains inactive or, better still, go to bed during the
period of discomfort. One should not drive while taking
medication for pain. In most cases, prescription medication
is only necessary for the 24-36 hours. Beyond that, over
the counter pain pills such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol may
be used to relieve any discomfort. The sooner you begin
non-prescription medication, the sooner you will recover.
BLEEDING is to be expected in variable
amounts for several hours and oozing may continue throughout
the night. This is normal and should not be cause for alarm.
Saliva may be pink for 2-3 days. Control of this normal
process is best affected by keeping the gauze sponges where
they have been placed. If the bleeding seems to be excessive,
there are several things to do. First, remove any superficial
blood by thoroughly rinsing the mouth one time with cold
water. Then, lace a tightly folded piece of clean gauze
over the bleeding area, using enough gauze to apply firm
pressure to the tissues when jaws are closed. Maintain pressure
with the gauze pack for a full 30 minutes. Remain quiet
and keep the head elevated. If this does not control the
bleeding, wrap a moist black tea bag in gauze, place this
over the socket and bite firmly. There will also be an increase
in the amount of saliva as the anesthetic agents wear off
one to three hours after surgery. This is also normal and
should not be cause for alarm. Bleeding plus saliva therefore
does cause a noticeable increase in the total volume of
secretions. Hemorrhage (bright red bleeding that wells up
rapidly from the socket) rarely occurs, but should this
be a problem, please call.
SWELLING may be expected in variable amounts
for one to three days after surgery. MORE swelling may occur
on the SECOND OR THIRD day after surgery than on the first
day. This is normal. It should decrease within a day. To
minimize swelling, place an ice pack on the outside of the
cheek in the area of the surgery. Use the ice pack intermittently
(20 minutes on / 20 minutes off) for the first 24 hours
after surgery. Hot packs should be used after 48 hours,
such as a hot washcloth, hot water bottle or a heating pad
on low (20 minutes on / 20 minutes off).
NOURISHMENT should not be neglected. During
the day of surgery, liquids such as carbonated beverages,
ice tea, milk shakes, instant breakfast, jello, etc are
recommended. Colder foods are best on the day or surgery.
If the sponges are in the proper position in the check area,
their presence should not interfere with drinking fluids.
After the packs are removed, soft solid foods may be taken
if desired (cereal, egg, etc.). Do not use a straw for drinking
for 2 days. Drink enough water the first two days to urinate
every 2-3 hours (8-10 eight oz. Glasses a day).
NAUSEA If nausea is a problem, drink using
small sips of clear liquids or carbonated beverages. Sipping
frequently is better than taking large, single gulps. Also,
sometimes the prescription pain medication can cause nausea
or vomiting so try changing to an over the counter pill
such as Advil (2-4 tablets every 4 hours) or Tylenol. You
may decide to break the prescription pill to use ½
dose which may also help. Dairy products can sometimes cause
nausea, so stay with clear liquids. Dehydration is often
a main cause for nausea, so be sure you are well hydrated.
CONTINUED GOOD ORAL HYGIENE is important
to normal healing. Starting the day after surgery, frequent
gentle rinsing with very mild salt water solution (one teaspoon
of salt to 8oz. Of warm tap water) or diluted mouthwash
is encouraged. Brushing should also be resumed. Use salt
water or mouthwash until the second day after surgery then
rinse twice daily with hydrogen peroxide (followed with
mouthwash for a more pleasant taste) for as long as required
to keep the sockets clean.
OTHER important instructions to follow:
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco for 48 hours after
- Discoloration of the skin is frequently seen in
patients who “bruise” easily. It is due to bleeding
from the operative site into the tissues.
- Sutures may have been used to hasten the healing
of the tissues. The sutures will dissolve on their own.
It usually takes about 2 WEEKS for all awareness of a tooth
extraction or other surgery procedure to be gone.
Our interest in your progress does not cease with the completion
of the operation. We surely hope your postoperative course
is reasonably comfortable and uneventful. Our office cares
about you. And if there are any questions, please contact