Oral Surgery Post-Operative Instruction Sheet Extractions and/or Dental Implants
Dr. Hamrah’s Cell: 703-269-8467
Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place. Do not change the gauze for the first hour unless the bleeding is not being controlled. If active bleeding persists after one hour, place enough new gauze to obtain firm pressure over the surgical site for another 30-60 minutes and the bleeding should stop. Do not attempt to put more gauze after that since it will only disturb the healing wound. Oozing (minor) is expected for 48 hours.
Do NOT disturb the surgical area today. Do NOT blow your nose for 3 days. Do NOT rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects or your fingers. Do NOT smoke for at least 72 hours, as this is very detrimental to the healing process. DO NOT SPIT OR USE A STRAW for the first 24 hours.
Liquid diet only!
Bleeding should never be severe. If it is, it usually means that the packs are being clenched between your teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical site. Try repositioning fresh gauze packs. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, you may substitute a moistened tea bag wrapped in moist gauze for 20-30 minutes. It is not unusual to have small amounts of excess bleeding up to 24 hours after your procedure especially after eating or brushing your teeth. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.
Often there is swelling associated with oral surgery. Most swelling reaches its peak around the 3rd day. You can minimize this by using a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a towel and applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 after surgery. After 24 hours, it is best to switch from ice to moist heat (heating pad, hot water bottle, moist towel) *using a moistened washcloth warmed in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or simply running hot water over the washcloth and applying to the area(s). In order to keep swelling minimal, elevate your head while laying down (2-3 pillows) for the first 48 hours.
Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. We suggest that the first dose be taken before the anesthetic has worn off to manage the discomfort better. Please remember to have a small amount of food in your stomach before taking the medication. Effects of pain medicines vary widely among individuals. If you do not achieve adequate relief, you may supplement each pill with an analgesic such as Ibuprofen. Some people may even require two (2) of the pain pills at one time during early stages (but this may add to the risk of an upset stomach). Remember that the most severe discomfort is usually within the first six (6) hours after the anesthetic wears off, after that your need for medicine should lesson.
Nausea is not an uncommon event after surgery, and it is sometimes caused by stronger pain medicines. Preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft food, then taking the pill with a large glass of water may reduce nausea. Try to keep taking clear, non-carbonated fluids and minimize the pain medication. Call us if you do not feel better or if repeated vomiting is a problem.
It is important to maintain a healthy diet to promote healing, gain strength, and have less discomfort and feel better. For the first day or so, a soft diet will probably be more comfortable. Creamed soups, pudding, jello, and pasta are good choices. Avoid extremely hot and cold foods. Avoid foods like chips, nuts, sunflower seeds, rice, popcorn, etc. which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you can progress at your own pace. If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible and follow instructions regarding insulin schedules. No Milk products for 24 hours after surgery.
No vigorous rinsing of your mouth should be performed on the day of surgery, as this will dissolve the clotted blood and cause additional bleeding. Begin gently rinsing twenty-four (24) hours after surgery. Keeping your mouth clean following surgery is essential. Using one-quarter teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse your mouth. Repeat at least five or 6 time daily, particularly after meals for the next five (5) days. Begin your normal oral hygiene for brushing the day after surgery. Remember to be gentle. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing of all areas, but please make every attempt to clean your teeth.
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Please make sure to read these instructions carefully. Sometimes the after effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, so not all of these instructions may apply to all patients. Follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call our office. The 24-hour answering service is available for after hour’s emergency contact with a doctor, however, calling during office hours will afford a faster response. Our office and after hour phone number is Novasurgicare Phone Number 703-288-4495.