After Tooth Removal
Please read and follow these instructions carefully. The after-effects of oral surgery vary per individual, so not all of these instructions may apply. Please feel free to call our office anytime should you have any questions, or are experiencing any unusual symptoms following your treatment.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER SURGERY
Patients who have received a general anesthetic should return home from the office immediately upon discharge, and lie down with the head elevated until all of the effects of the anesthetic have disappeared. Anesthetic effects vary by individual and you may feel drowsy for a short period of time or for several hours. You should not operate any mechanical equipment or drive a motor vehicle for at least 12 hours or longer if you feel any residual effect from the anesthetic.
Do not drive, use appliances or equipment that could be dangerous, such as power tools, stove, burners, lawn mowers, and garbage disposals.
Walk slowly and take your time. Sudden changes of position can cause dizziness.
Do not make any important decisions. You may change your mind tomorrow.
Do not drink any alcoholic beverages. The drugs in your body may cause a dangerous reaction to alcohol.
If you feel nauseated or sick to your stomach, drink clear liquids (water, 7-Up, broth, apple juice, ginger ale). If these liquids do not make you sick to your stomach, try eating soft foods like potatoes, rice, applesauce, pasta and oatmeal.
Avoid strenuous activity for a minimum of one week.
CARE AND CLEANING OF YOUR MOUTH
Do not disturb the surgical site. Continue to bite down gently but firmly on the gauze pack that we have initially placed over the surgical area, making sure that they remain in place. You may remove the gauze once you return home from our office. Do not replace them unless bleeding is not being controlled. It is important to allow blood clot formation of the surgery site. DO NOT drink with a straw, smoke cigarettes or suck on hard candies for a minimum of three days. This can rupture the blood clot, which can be detrimental to the healing process. DO NOT rinse or spit for 24 hours. DO NOT rinse or brush your teeth vigorously or probe the area with the tongue, any objects or your fingers. You may brush your teeth gently avoiding the surgical site.
Some bleeding, oozing and blood tinged saliva is normal and may be present for 24 hours. When you return home, remove gauze immediately and do not replace unless there is steady bleeding. Gauze should not be left in mouth longer than 30 minutes. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, substitute a dry tea bag on the area for 20-30 minutes. If there is not a steady flow of blood nothing should be placed in your mouth. If steady bleeding persists, please call our office.
SWELLING OR BRUISING
Swelling is to be expected, and usually reaches its maximum in 3-5 days. To minimize swelling, cold packs or ice bags wrapped in a towel should be applied to the face adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied 20-30 minutes on and then removed for 20-30 minutes during the first 12-24 hours (no ice should be applied if there was infection). If you were prescribed a medication for swelling, be sure to take as directed. Bruising may occur but should disappear soon. Tightness of jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening the mouth. This should disappear within 7 days. Keep lips moist with cream or Vaseline to prevent cracking or chapping.
It is important to eat as soon as you get home. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and eat soft foods for the first 2-3 days. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds or popcorn, which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days, you may progress to more solid foods. Proper nourishment aids in the healing process. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal diet as much as possible and follow your physicians instructions regarding your insulin schedule.
We advise you to take the pain medication as prescribed, after eating something nourishing. Taking medication with soft food and a large volume of water will lessen any side effects of nausea or upset stomach. If you were prescribed an antibiotic please take to completion unless otherwise informed by our physician. If you do not achieve adequate pain relief, you may supplement each pill with an analgesic such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If you wear orthodontic appliances, replace them immediately after the surgery unless otherwise instructed. If these appliances are left out of the mouth for any length of time it is often difficult or impossible to reinsert them.
The blood clot on the surgical site may be lost causing a dry socket. There will be a noticeable, distinct, persistent pain in the jaw, which may cause other teeth to ache. If you do not see steady improvement during the first few days after surgery, or if severe pain persists, please call our office to report the symptoms.
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. When our staff calls to check on your progress, if you have any questions or you are experiencing any symptoms, please inform us. After office hours you will be directed to our answering service, which will contact Dr. Cohen.