General Post-Operative Instructions
Please Read These Instructions Carefully. Sometimes the after-effects of oral surgery are quite minimal and other times more pronounced so please adhere to these instructions to lessen the chance of having significant problems. If you need assistance understanding any of these instructions or are having any cause for concern, call the office 914-277-8777 or 914-241-2121. If the office is closed and you have a true medical emergency, call either of the above numbers and follow the voicemail instructions.
Listed below are the things NOT
- Do not drink anything using a straw, or drink hot liquid (tea, soup, or coffee). Iced tea, cool soup, or iced coffee is acceptable.
- Do not eat hot foods (let everything cool down).
- Do nor smoke, particularly in the first 48 hours. Smoking is detrimental to healing.
- Do not rinse, spit, or brush teeth.
- Do not probe surgical site(s) with objects or fingers.
- Do not exercise or lift heavy objects.
- Do not drink alcohol.
Apply moderate, consistent biting pressure to the gauze. Be sure the gauze is on the gum tissue at the surgical site and not just resting on the adjacent teeth. Change the gauze every 30 minutes while there is active bleeding. Do not assume because there is some blood on the gauze that there is active bleeding; this can only be assessed by directly visualizing the surgical site and observing blood dripping or pooling. Intermittent oozing is normal and can be controlled with a fresh piece of gauze. Bleeding should never be severe; if it is, try repositioning the gauze. Call or come back to the office if you are having active heavy bleeding. If the surgical site continues to ooze for several hours, try wrapping a tea bag, moistened in cool water, in a piece of gauze and bite for 30 minutes.
You can minimize swelling by using a cold pack wrapped in a towel applied directly to the face immediately overlying the surgical site. This should be applied 20-30 minutes on, then 20-30 minutes off over the first 24 hours. Also, the head should be kept elevated to about 30 degrees when resting and sleeping for the first night. Keep in mind that most swelling occurs over-night the first night.
It is best to take pain medication before your local anesthetic wears off. Begin by taking Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), two, 200mg tablets with food, unless you cannot tolerate or have been told by your medical doctor not to use this medicine (i.e.: if taking Coumadin). As the anesthetic feeling wears off, take one tablet of the prescription pain medication if needed. You should continue taking two over-the-counter strength Ibuprofen and one of the prescription analgesics every 4 hours, if needed. Both medications used together will give the greatest pain relief. As the level of pain lessens, discontinue the prescription medication first. The initial 6-8 hours after the anesthetic wears off should be the most uncomfortable, and then it should lessen.
Soft, cool foods are best in the initial post-surgical period. No hot food or drinks (tea, soup, or coffee) in the first 24 hours. Remember, do not use a straw when drinking. Avoid foods like nuts, seeds, popcorn, etc. which could get lodged in the socket. Also, avoid things with sharp edges like pretzels, chips, crusty breads, etc. It is important not to fast; adequate nutrition is needed for proper healing. Diabetics should discuss altering their insulin schedule with their physician.
General anesthetics and most stronger pain medications can cause nausea. Nausea may be reduced by preceding each pill with a small amount of soft food, then taking the pill with a large glass of water. Try to minimize the amount of pain medication used. Call the office if repeated vomiting is a problem.
If you are having any unusual reactions to medication (ie. Hives, rash, difficulty breathing or swallowing), go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room or call 9-1-1. For severe diarrhea, please contact your physician or Dr. Rosenfeld.
Instructions For The Second and Third Days
One-quarter teaspoon salt dissolved in 8 oz. warm (not hot) water. Rinse gently several times per day, particularly after meals.
Begin normal brushing after 24 hours except any teeth immediately adjacent to the surgical site. For these teeth, use a moistened Q-tip and stay on the teeth, not the gums.
By the third day after surgery, there should be gradual, steady improvement in the level of pain. However, a severe, persistent throbbing pain in the jaw, often with radiating pain to the ear or causing other teeth to ache, may represent the symptoms of a dry socket. This typically occurs on the third thru fifth day after surgery. There is no need to suffer needlessly; let us know as soon as possible so a sedative dressing can be placed to help these symptoms.