Instructions Following Oral Surgery and Dental Treatments

DO NOT: Rinse mouth, spit, smoke, drink or suck through a straw, drink carbonated beverages and/or alcohol for 24 hours after oral surgery.

DENTURES: After extractions and insert of denture/partials, DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT! They will be taken out and cleaned at your post-op appointment the following day. If you take them out, you might have swelling and they will not go back in and may not fit correctly after the swelling goes down. Bite dentures together to cause pressure to help stop bleeding. You may develop sore spots, keep wearing them and schedule an appointment to have your dentures adjusted as soon as possible.

TEMPORARY FILLINGS: Do not floss around temporary fillings. Brush and eat normally, if comfortable. It is normal to have some sensitivity to temperature and sweets around new dental work. Also, some discomfort to biting is normal.

ROOT CANAL: If your temporary crown comes out, please call us to schedule an appointment to re-cement your temporary. In the meantime, gently clean it and place it back onto your tooth using a small amount of temporary cement (temporary cements such as Fixodent, Toothpaste or Vaseline). You should not feel any discomfort; however, do not leave it out of your mouth, as it can lead to problems with your permanent crown and could result in a contaminated root canal.

DRY SOCKET: A dry socket can occur when the blood clot for healing doesn’t form or becomes dislodged. When that happens, the bone and fine nerve endings are not protected and can be exposed to air, food and liquids. Dry socket can be very painful and delays the healing process. Please call us, if you suspect that you have dry socket. He will place a medicated dressing in the socket to relieve the pain. If the area is infected, he may also prescribe a course of antibiotics. We will give you instructions for continued care if you develop dry socket.

PAIN: Pain is to be expected following oral surgery. Take pain medication as directed. If you have not filled your prescriptions and the pain is not severe, then take 2 Ibuprofen or 2 Tylenol capsules every 4 hours. Please call us if you have excessive pain. Most medications are best taken with food in the stomach, unless specially told not to do so on any labeled instructions. You should not drink alcohol, drive a motor vehicle or work around any machinery when taking pain medications.

BLEEDING: A certain amount of bleeding is normal and can be expected for at least 24 hours. To control bleeding, place gauze, doubled twice, directly over the surgical site and bite firmly, holding pressure for at least one hour. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding is excessive, a tea bag, moistened in warm water can be applied to the site in the same manner can be very beneficial. Keep head elevated in a semi-reclined position.

SWELLING: Apply an ice pack to the outside of face, in area of surgery site, for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off; alternate for about 8 hours after surgery. This will lessen the amount of swelling, but will not eliminate it. Normal swelling may be quite severe depending on the procedure and may increase for 3-4 days before beginning to resolve.

SORE JAW: Most dental procedures keep your mouth open for an extended period of time and can cause soreness and stiffness in the TMJ and surrounding jaw muscles. If this occurs, avoid foods that cause discomfort when you chew them and opening your mouth extremely wide. Ice packs can be used along with anti-inflammatory drugs.

INFECTION: The best way to prevent infection is to keep your mouth clean. Don’t brush for the first 24 hours after an extraction. After that, brush your teeth normally each time after you eat. You can also gently rinse with warm salt water several times a day, beginning no sooner than 6 hours after surgery.

RINSING: Avoid rinsing mouth until the day after surgery. Then, gently rinse mouth with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of warm water). Do this every 2-3 hours or as many times a day as possible for 7 days. Do not swish hard or use mouthwash, gently rinse with water.

EATING: Do not chew on the treated tooth area. Only eat soft foods and drink lots of liquids. All foods and drinks should be room temperature. DO NOT eat while you are numb, as you can burn or bite yourself without knowing. Numbness usually lasts about 2 hours.

BRUSHING: Beginning the day after surgery, use a soft tooth brush and brush as normal. Carefully avoid the surgical area.

BONY EDGES: During the healing process, it is normal for small pieces of bone to work through the gums. Most will come out by themselves. In rare cases, they may need to be removed at the dental office.

SUTURES: If sutures were placed, DO NOT fail to return for their removal in 1 week.

GUM SENSITIVITY: If gum tissue is sensitive, we recommend a topical anesthetic, like Orajel Maximum Strength that can found at most drugstores.

TOOTH SENSITIVITY: Any sensitivity that occurs will most likely go away within a few weeks; however, every tooth is different. When is most important is that the tooth progresses in the right direction. Some teeth are sensitive for a few days, even a few weeks, but rarely a few months.

HEALING: It takes the gum tissue about 3-4 weeks to heal. It can take bone up to 6 months to heal completely. The pain should lesson by the second day; however this varies from person to person and also depends on how easy or difficult the tooth extraction was.