Post Operative Instructions
Patients who have recently undergone an invasive dental procedure should follow the tips below to minimize the risk of complications and to ensure proper healing of the surgical area.
- Protect the blood clot at the surgical site.
Maintain gentle pressure by biting on the gauze sponge that has been placed over the surgical area, or by biting on a tea bag which has been gently moistened and wrapped in a piece of gauze. Keep steady firm pressure for 45 minutes only. After 45 minutes it is important to remove the gauze or tea bag.
- Do not rinse or use mouthwash for at least 24 hours.
After twenty-four hours, you should rinse with warm salt water (½ teaspoon of table salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water) or a prescription mouthwash every two to four hours. We do not rccomend the use of commercial mouthwashes during the healing period.
- If medications were given or prescribed, take them as instructed.
This will help reduce the discomfort that normally follows a dental surgery.
- If the extraction area becomes more uncomfortable with time, call our office immediately.
The extraction area should be reasonably comfortable for the first two or three days.
- Avoid brushing the area of the mouth affected by the surgical procedure at first.
Continue to brush your teeth carefully in the rest of the mouth. Over time, as the area heals, you may carefully include the teeth around the surgical site. A clean mouth will heal faster.
- Eat appropriate foods and drink enough fluids.
Nutrition is crucial to the healing process. You may want to try prepackaged protein shakes for the first few days following the procedure. When you feel as though you are able to, then you can begin to include soft foods in your diet again. Avoid spicy or grainy foods as they can stick to the surgical area.
- Avoid excessive activity and external contaminants.
Do not pick at the surgical area. Do not consume liquids through a straw. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Refrain from smoking until healing is well established.
- Control swelling though medication and by gently applying ice packs.
Ice packs should be applied to the area for periods of 20 minutes, with breaks of 10 minute intervals, for the first twenty-four hours.
- For generalized rashes, itching, etc., call your dentist immediately.
- Do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions.