Postoperative Instructions – Carmichael, CA
Tips for a Healthy Recovery After Surgery
Wisdom teeth removal, surgical extraction and implant surgery are taxing on your body. Post-operative wound care are essential for a speedy recovery. Please use the following guidelines carefully to minimize unnecessary pain and potential complications such as infection and swelling.
Following Oral Surgery
Minor oozing after surgery is completely normal. Please keep a gauze pack over the surgical site for at least 45 minutes, which will tamponade the minor oozing. You can then remove and discard the gauze after. Do NOT vigorously rinse, spit or drink through straws for the first 24 hours after surgery. Spitting and sucking can increase risk of dislodging the clot that was formed and causes excessive bleeding to continue. Slight redness in saliva for the first 2-3 days after the procedure is very common and should not be a source of concern. Excessive bleeding (blood rapidly fills up in your mouth) can be managed with biting down with firm pressure on a new piece of gauze for one hour. Repeat this as necessary. Additionally, you can also place a tea bag over the surgery site to facilitate clotting. If bleeding continues despite all above efforts, please contact our office for further instructions.
After your surgery, take the medication that we prescribed to you as instructed. You can take your first dose with water, but further medication shouldn’t be taken on an empty stomach. Do NOT drive or operate machinery after taking prescription pain medication. If you start developing a rash or other unfavorable reactions following the intake of your medication, please discontinue the use of your medication and contact our office with any questions.
Try to avoid taking any of the narcotic pain medication on an empty stomach. To alleviate nausea, small sips of carbonated drinks will make you feel better. Mild tea or clear soup can also help with terminating nausea. It is not a good idea to consume greasy food/milk products soon following anesthesia or when taking narcotic pain medications. You can also try over the counter medication such as Dramamine® to help with nausea. But, if your nausea continues, please contact our office.
Be sure to maintain a liquid diet on the day of and after your surgery. You can start consuming liquids around 3 hours after you’ve left our office. Over the next few days, it is recommended to consume soft foods/liquids (scramble eggs, yogurts, protein shakes, etc.) that are rich in vitamins and proteins. Also, increase your fluid intake for the first few days after surgery to avoid dehydration. Ideally, you should drink at least 5-6 glasses of liquid. You can resume your normal diet as soon as possible. Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of post-operative healing, so it’s important to follow these diet guidelines as you continue to recover.
Use an ice pack during the first 48 hours to ease swelling and manage pain. A good tip is to apply the cold compress for 20 minutes, then take it off for 20 minutes and repeat. Peak swelling is expected 2-3 days post-surgery and should diminish slowly thereafter.
Avoid vigorously rinsing/swishing your mouth for about 24 hours after your procedure. This could potentially dislodge the formed blood clot over the surgical site, which can initiate recurring bleeding. After one day has passed, we recommend that patients start gentle rinsing with warm saline (1/2 teaspoon salt per half glass of lukewarm water) or prescribed peridex, especially after each meal to minimize food impaction in the surgical site. Avoid using any hydrogen peroxide rinses as this can be irritating to the surgical wound.
You can start gently brushing your teeth on the night of the surgery; however, it is best to avoid areas of surgery for the first few days following the procedure.
You should abstain from smoking for 3-5 days following any oral surgery procedures as smoking has been shown to delay tissue healing, cause an extended period of bleeding, and increase risk of infection.
Adequate rest following surgery is essential for recovery. Do not overexert yourself. Try to avoid any contact sports, exercise or strenuous activities for 2-3 days after surgery.
Sutures are placed during the time of surgery to facilitate tissue healing and minimize bleeding risk. The sutures placed are self-dissolvable, so you do not need an additional appointment for removal. It is normal for these sutures to break apart or come loose after 5-7 days.
Prosthesis (Post Dental Implant Surgery)
If you were wearing dentures/partials/flippers prior to surgery, as discussed in pre-operative consultation, this prosthesis should not be worn after surgery unless advised by Dr. Ji. Often times, dentures need to be altered or adjusted to avoid any negative impact on implant healing.
Post-Operative Follow Up
As each day passes, so will your symptoms. However, if you continue to experience significant pain or worsening of your symptoms after 4 or 5 days, please do not hesitate to contact our office. Your safety and recovery are of utmost importance to all of us.