Post-operative Surgery Instructions

These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.

Pain Medications | Antibiotics | Swelling | Bleeding | Dressing | Diet | Smoking | Alcohol | Rinsing | Brushing | Suture Removal | After Tooth Extractions

Pain Medications

It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. You will be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.

As an alternative to prescription medications, some patients have found taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol to be effective. You may take the combination in either of the following dosages: 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 2 Regular Strength Tylenol or 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 1 Extra Strength Tylenol, every 4–6 hours as needed.

Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have: James Island Family, Cosmetic, & Implant Dentistry Phone Number 843-795-1111.

Antibiotics

Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.

Swelling

Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 2–3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue using ice for the first 24 hours following the procedure as often as possible.

Bleeding

A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:

Dressing

The dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. If the dressing comes off or is uncomfortable, please call the office for direction.

Diet

Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 1 hour following the surgery so as not to soften the dressing. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.

Smoking

Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.

Alcohol

Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.

Rinsing

Do not rinse for the first 24 hours. After that, you may use a mild, diluted mouthwash. Repeat as necessary to help keep the dressing clean.

Brushing

Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.

Suture Removal

Depending on your doctor’s treatment plan, you may require sutures that need to be removed in an post-operative appointment. You may notice increased discomfort 3–4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.

AFTER TOOTH EXTRACTIONs

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30–45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use the pain medication as directed.

Call the office at James Island Family, Cosmetic, & Implant Dentistry Phone Number 843-795-1111 if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2–3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at James Island Family, Cosmetic, & Implant Dentistry Phone Number 843-795-1111.