Post Operative Care Instructions
The length of time you experience numbness varies depending on the type of anesthesia you received. While your mouth is numb you will want to be careful not to bite your cheek, lip or tongue. The numbness from the anesthetic should subside within a few hours. It is normal to experience drowsiness that persists for several hours after sedation. Be aware that pain control prescriptions also cause drowsiness. If you are drowsy, do not drive an automobile or operate machinery.
Your dentist will place a gauze pack in the extraction site to limit the bleeding and confirm the blood while clotting takes place. Remain biting on the gauze pad in your mouth for thirty (30) minutes. DO NOT chew on the pack. Change the pad every thirty (30) minutes, or as needed, until the bleeding stops by folding a piece of gauze into a pad thick enough to bite on. Place pad directly on the extraction site. Maintain biting pressure for thirty (30) minutes. If the pad becomes soaked, replace it with a clean one as necessary. DO NOT lie down until the bleeding has stopped. DO NOT suck on the extraction site. It is normal that blood streaked saliva may persist for twenty four (24) hours or more. If bleeding is excessive during the night and you are concerned, please call the office . If unable to contact us, go to the nearest hospital emergency room for treatment. (Recall that a lot of saliva and a little blood may look like a lot of blood).
Facial swelling is normal following most extractions. You may reduce swelling and pain by applying cold compresses to the face. An ice bag or cold moist cloth can be applied for twenty (20) on and five (5) minutes off for the first four (4) to six (6) hours as necessary. Swelling normally increases for the 3 days and begins to subside about the fifth day.
If the medication prescribed does not seem to work for you DO NOT increase the dosage. If you have prolonged severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever please follow the directions listed under emergency.
DO NOT rinse your mouth or brush your teeth immediately following surgery. The day after surgery you may gently rinse your mouth with warm water (1/2 teaspoon of salt to a large glass of warm water). You should rinse with this warm water solution in the morning, after meals and before bed. Rinsing after each meal is important to keep food particles out of the extraction site. Remember to rinse gently and avoid using commercial mouthwash or mouth rinse during the healing period. Beginning the day after surgery you may brush your teeth using care in the surgical areas. Use a soft bristled brush so that you do injure the tissues in your mouth. The tongue should be brushed to help eliminate the bad breath and unpleasant taste that is common after an extraction.
A good diet is essential, especially following surgery. Initially soft foods high in nutritional value are recommended. Return to normal diet as soon as possible. Stay with cool or lukewarm foods. Fluid intake following surgery should be increased with emphasis on water and fruit plates. DO NOT suck fluids through s straw.
DO NOT smoke for at least three (3) days following surgery. Smoking slows the healing process and is the major cause of dry sockets, a very painful healing process.
If following the surgery you feel the need for emergency treatment please…
- come to our office if it is during office hours
- if closed, please call our office at 718-518-8100
- if unable to reach our office please go to the nearest hospital emergency room.