accessibility ACCESSIBILITY

Post-Op Instructions

*Please note that drug refills will only be done during normal business hours.

DO’s

  • Do eat prior to taking any pain medication. This will help avoid nausea.
  • Do have an adult with you for the first 24 hours after IV anesthesia
  • Do drink plenty of fluids after surgery; sports drinks are an excellent supplement.
  • Do plan on resting 1-2 days after wisdom teeth extractions.
  • Do resume normal brushing and flossing 24 hours after surgery- as tolerated.

· Do restrict your diet to soft foods. You can resume your normal diet as tolerated.

  • Avoid direct sun and tanning if you are on an antibiotic. Certain antibiotics can make you sensitive to the sun and cause a severe burn.
  • Avoid excessive rinsing and swishing as it may lead to a dry socket.
  • Avoid excessive exercise and heavy lifting as these can cause increased pain and bleeding.

DON’T

  • Don’t drive or operate any equipment for 24 hours after IV anesthesia.
  • Don’t apply ice to an infected area.
  • Don’t drink alcoholic beverages while taking pain medication.
  • Don’t stand up quickly from a couch or bed after surgery with IV anesthesia. You could become lightheaded, dizzy, or faint.

 

After surgery to the mouth and jaw area certain things can and will occur. Most of these are completely normal. The following is to help you understand, manage and minimize these expected occurrences. Please read all of the following as it contains information that pertains to the most common post-operative problems and questions that you may have.

BLEEDING

  • Bleeding from the surgery sites is expected after surgery. This should be only oozing and not perfuse. Bleeding is best controlled by placing a piece of moistened gauze directly over the surgery sites and applying adequate pressure by biting down on the gauze. You should bite on the gauze for approximately 1 hour before removing the gauze. This process may need to be repeated several times if the oozing continues. However, if the bleeding persists, you can place a “black” tea bag wrapped in the center of the moisten gauze and again apply adequate pressure by biting down on the gauze with the tea bag for 1 additional hour.
  • While you are biting on the gauze, it is important that you do not attempt to eat, drink or “take a peek” at the surgical site during the hour. Continuous pressure on the gauze is the key to stopping bleeding.
  • If bleeding continues after doing the above or if you feel your bleeding is severe, please call the office.

PAIN

  • Pain is to be expected after surgery. Our goal is to minimize the amount of pain that you experience. Please realize that it is nearly impossible to eliminate all of your pain.
  • Pain medication should be taken before the local anesthetic subsides and never on an empty stomach. Pain is easier to control by “staying ahead” of it instead of trying to “catch-up” to it. Therefore, for the first 24 hours it is recommended to take the pain medication as scheduled (i.e., every 4 hours or however it is prescribed). Then it is recommended to take as needed. Obviously, your own judgment is needed and if you are doing well without the pain medication, that is ok too.
  • Pain after surgery usually peaks by 48 hours.
  • Pain medication can make you feel “strange”, light-headed, and dizzy. This is a normal side affect. You can often reduce this by taking less of your pain medication or increase the interval at which you take the pain medication.
  • If you are having pain- take your pain medication.

SWELLING

  • Swelling occurs in almost all cases. It is normal to reach peak swelling approximately 48 hours after surgery. The swelling will then slowly resolve over the next 3-5 days.
  • You may use ice on the surgical site for only the first 24 hours.
  • Do not apply ice to an infected site.

JAW STIFFNESS

  • Trismus is a term meaning stiffness in the jaws. Some people relate that they “can’t open their mouth” or it is painful to do so. This is a normal occurrence. This resolves with time as the swelling decreases and with the use of slow active motion exercises. This means moving your jaw open and closed, left and right approximately 10 times each way and 3-4 times a day. This can also be accomplished by chewing gum, but it is advised not to start this until day 3 postoperatively.

STITCHES

  • The stitches that are used are dissolvable. This means that they will “fall out” by themselves and do not require removal.
  • You may experience the feeling of a “string” of “something” at the surgery site.
  • It is normal for these stitches to come out anywhere from 2-20 days postoperatively.

INFECTION

  • Infections can and do occur with the mouth and jaw surgery, whether you have been given an antibiotic or not.
  • You may or may not receive antibiotics. The decision will be based on clinical judgment.
  • Infections for wisdom teeth extractions occur between 2-4 weeks postoperatively.
  • If you think you have developed an infection you need to call the office and arrange to come in for evaluation.
DRY SOCKETS
  • A dry socket is pain, almost always from a lower wisdom tooth extraction, which occurs around day 5-7 postoperatively.
  • Pain immediately after surgery is not a dry socket.
  • The normal dry socket is a throbbing pain that often radiates to the ear.
  • If you suspect a dry socket you need to call the office and arrange to come in for evaluation.

NUMBNESS

  • Numbness from the local anesthetic may last up to 12 hours postoperatively.
  • This is totally normal.
  • As discussed at the time of your consultation, persistent numbness may occur. Although permanent numbness is rare, if your numbness continues longer than 24 hours, please contact our office.

NAUSEA AND VOMITING

  • Nausea and vomiting can and does occur after surgery.

  • The 2 most common causes are swallowing blood and stomach irritation from pain medications.

  • If your vomit is dark brown colored then you most likely are swallowing blood. You need to make sure your gauze is in proper position, directly over the surgical site and apply pressure- as directed in the bleeding section.

  • If you seem to get sick after taking your pain medication, then you need to make sure you always have some food on you stomach prior to taking the pain medications.
  • You can also try cutting your pill into smaller pieces and taking them with a bite of a cracker every 10-15 minutes.

If your nausea and vomiting continue

  • Stop all medications
  • Take sips of ginger ale, 7-up, or sprite.
  • Eat 4-5 saltine crackers. Take small bites, moisten with the soda, and mush it with your tongue before you swallow. Make sure you removed your gauze prior to doing this.
  • Allow at least 2 hours before resuming medications and follow the directions pertaining to cutting the pill as above.
  • If nausea and vomiting continue please call the office.