Post Surgical Instructions

You will have had a dental anesthetic and you will be numb for 2-4 hours after the procedure.  Take care not to bite your cheeks, lips or tongue.

You may have some dissolvable sutures over the wound(s) which will come out on their own in 3-7 days.

Oral Hygiene
Brush very gently, avoiding the wounds(s). Do not rinse for 24 hours, then begin rinsing very gently with the Chlorhexidine solution provided.  Use it twice daily, once in the morning after breakfast and once before bed.  Hold the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds and then gently spit out.  You can rinse mid-day with warm water and salt.  As the days progress, you can be more vigorous with your rinsing.  Do not use mouthrinses containing alcohol as this can slow the healing process.

Diet
Adequate nutrition is important for proper healing.  Drink plenty of liquids (not hot ones!) and eat a balanced diet.  Avoid dairy for the first day to avoid nausea and vomiting.  Also avoid small hard foots like popcorn and nuts that could get lodged in an open socket. Do not use a straw when drinking as the sucking action can dislodge the blood clots and lead the dry socket.

Smoking
Do not smoke for at least 72 hours – longer if possible – as smoking slows wound healing and greatly increases the chance of developing dry socket.

Rest
This slows down your circulation, reduces the bleeding and helps you to heal faster.  Avoid vigorous exercise for 24 hours.

Bleeding
Keep biting on the gauze for at least half an hour.  Keep firm and consistent pressure on the wound(s) by applying a gauze pad to the surgical site and closing your teeth firmly over the pad.  In case of prolonged or excessive bleeding, change the pad every 30 minutes or so.  Do not change the pad too frequently as this can disrupt the blood clot.  It usually takes 2-3 hours for the bleeding to stop although oozing can last for a few days.  If the bleeding persists try biting on a moist teabag (the type of tea must be black) – if it does not help, CALL US.

Pain & Stiffness
You may experience sore jaw muscles and have difficulty opening your mouth for 5-7 days.  Massage your jaw muscles gently and eat food that is easy to chew (eggs, milk shakes, bananas, juices).  Do not force your mouth open.

Swelling
If swelling occurs, apply a cold compress to the swollen area alternating (10 minutes on/10 minutes off) for 4 hours.  Some swelling may last for 5-7 days.  Bruising may appear when the swelling subsides, but should quickly disappear.

Medication
You may be given a prescription for some medications to ease the pain and swelling.  Take the pain medication as soon as possible to prevent severe pain when the local anesthetic wears off.  Take all other medications as directed.  Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking the pain medication.

If you have prolonged or severe discomfort, persistent swelling or bleeding, or experience nausea, vomiting or fever, CALL US IMMEDIATELY.