Q: When should I take the gauze out?
A: Maintain firm biting pressure on the gauze packing for 30-60 minutes after your surgery.
- Some bleeding or “oozing” is normal for the first 24 hours. Do not be alarmed. Do not replace the gauze unless heavy bleeding is present.
- For heavy bleeding, gauze may be replaced for an additional 30 minutes. If excessive bleeding persists longer than a few hours, contact the office for further instructions.
Q: Is it normal to have pain after surgery?
A: Pain is expected following surgery and normally peaks between 48-72 hours after surgery. Take pain medication(s) as prescribed and/or directed to improve comfort during this period.
Q: How soon can I brush my teeth?
A: Do not brush, rinse or spit for the first 24 hours. Gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush may be resumed after that.
Q: Is it normal to have swelling?
A: Swelling is normal following surgery and usually peaks at about 48-72 hours after surgery. It will slowly subside.
Q: What can I do to reduce swelling?
A: Apply an ice pack for the first 24 hours after surgery. (20 minutes on-20 minutes off) Swelling is normal and usually peaks at about 48-72 hours after surgery.
Q What is a dry socket?
A. A dry socket is when part of the blood clot either dissolves or falls out of the surgical site. This is not a serious complication, but is often a painful one. Symptoms include: severe throbbing pain in the jaw that radiates toward the ear, usually 3-5 days after surgery. Please contact the office, as a medicated dressing may be placed into the site to improve comfort as the healing progresses.
Q: If I was sedated, what should I do when I get home?
A: Immediately lie down with your head elevated until all of the effects of the anesthesia have subsided.
- Anesthetic effects vary by individual and you may feel drowsy for a short period of time or several hours.
- You should not operate any mechanical equipment or drive a motor vehicle for at least 24 hours or longer if you feel any residual effect from the anesthetic.
Q: How soon should I take pain medicine?
A: Pain medicine should be taken before the local anesthetic wears off. Local anesthesia will be present for 1-4 hours.
- Take all medications as prescribed and/or directed.
- Do not take pain medications on an empty stomach. (1 cup of clear liquids should be taken before medications are given).
- Do not mix medications with alcoholic beverages.
- While taking narcotic pain medication that may make you sleepy, it is very important to avoid driving a vehicle or operating any heavy machinery.
- To avoid injury, do not bite or pinch your lip or tongue and avoid very hot liquids until the numbness wears off.
- IMPORTANT: If an antibiotic is prescribed, all female patients utilizing birth control pills must be advised that you need to use an alternative method of birth control during this time.
Q: Is it normal to have bruising?
A: Bruising may be present at varying degrees. It will subside over a period of 5-14 days.
Q: What can I eat?
A: Diet may consist of soft foods that can be easily chewed and swallowed.(pancakes, eggs, pasta, mashed potatoes, yogurt, apple sauce etc).
- Avoid hot temperature foods until the numbness subsides.
- Avoid spicy foods, seeds, nuts, popcorn, etc.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid using a straw for 24 hours; doing so may dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.
- Advance diet as tolerated.
Q: How soon should I start rinsing?
A: Do not rinse or spit for the first 24 hours. After that, use a warm salt-water rinse following meals and before bedtime. (1 teaspoon of salt in an 8oz.glass of warm water.) Continue to do so over the next few weeks.
Q What if I have intolerable pain in my jaw or ear?
A: These could be symptoms of a dry socket and you should contact the office.
Q: How soon can I resume normal activity?
A: Limit physical activity during the first 3 days after surgery. Avoid heavy lifting for 1 week after surgery. Avoid contact sports for 1 week after surgery.
Q: What are things I should avoid?
A: -Do not smoke or use smokeless tobacco for several days to decrease the chance of delayed healing and infection.
- Do not use a straw for 24 hours; doing so may dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while using pain medication.
Q: Will my sutures fall out?
A: If sutures were placed, they will dissolve on their own within 7-14 days. Do not tug or pull on the stitches. For some patients, suture removal appointments will be scheduled after surgery.