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Surgical Instructions

Surgery Recovery Instructions
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

If you are a recent patient and have questions, please review the surgical instructions for your dental surgery. If you have any questions or issues not addressed, please contact our office. We strive to make your surgery recovery as smooth as possible.

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Wisdom tooth removal of impacted teeth is a serious surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if wisdom teeth recovery instructions are followed carefully. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons will give you instructions for your wisdom teeth recovery. For questions and concerns please contact the oral pathologists of Wichita OMS.

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Wichita Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates
Keep gauze in place for a half-hour.
Do not vigorously rinse or touch the wound area.
Take the prescribed pain medications as directed.
Restrict your activities on the day of surgery.
Place ice packs on your face where surgery was performed.
Immediately Following Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery
  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded. This is the first step in your wisdom teeth removal recovery.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as directed. For maximum benefit, please read the labels on the prescriptions carefully and follow those directions.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable. 
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for an explanation.
Bleeding after Wisdom Tooth Removal

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected during wisdom teeth recovery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.

Swelling after Wisdom Tooth Removal

The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following wisdom tooth removal surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two plastic bags filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.

Pain after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Our surgeons make every effort to minimize your discomfort following wisdom tooth removal surgery. The local anesthetic provided will typically stop being effective within hours. Your surgeon may choose to utilize long-duration local anesthetics in specific cases. If so, the duration of anesthesia may be 6-8 hours. If recommended or prescribed, you should begin taking prescribed anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen 600 mg, Motrin 600mg) as soon as you begin taking fluids or eating. The Motrin is very effective for the type of surgery performed in our office. Motrin or ibuprofen will not impair your reflexes or limit you ability to work.

If you experience severe pain, the prescribed narcotic pain medication should be taken as directed. The narcotic pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
 
Pain or discomfort following wisdom tooth removal surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists or increases, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Diet after Wisdom Tooth Removal

Drink liquids after general anesthesia or IV sedation. Do not use straws when drinking from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. You may eat anything soft by chewing away from the surgical site(s). High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Try to maintain a normal diet. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least five to six glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort, and heal faster if you continue to eat.

CAUTION: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position, you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following wisdeom tooth removal surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.

Keep the Mouth Clean

You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after wisdom tooth removal surgery you should begin rinsing at least five to six times a day with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt especially after eating.

Discoloration

In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal postoperative occurrence, which may occur two to three days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.

Antibiotics

If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction and call the office immediately, or if you have any questions regarding your medication.

Nausea & Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following wisdom tooth removal surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on water or sports drinks. You should sip slowly over a 15-minute period. When the nausea subsides, you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.

Other Complications

If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. As stated before wisdom tooth removal surgery, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be aware that if your lip or tongue is numb, you could bite it and not feel the sensation. So be careful. Call our office if you have any questions.

  • A slight elevation of temperature immediately following wisdom teeth removal surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office.
  • You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. You were not able to eat or drink prior to surgery. It was also difficult to take fluids. Taking pain medications can make you dizzy. You could get light headed when you suddenly stand up. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute and then get up.
  • Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots; they are the bony walls, which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can be removed by one of our Doctors.
  • If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.
  • Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in two to three days.
  • Stiffness (trismus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following wisdom tooth removal surgery. This is a normal post-operative event that will resolve in time.
Sutures, Dry Sockets and Healing

Sutures are placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. The sutures may be removed, if required, at your post-operative visit. The removal of sutures requires no anesthesia or needles. It takes only a minute or so, and there is no discomfort associated with this procedure. So it’s really nothing to worry about.

The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur, call the office for instructions.
 
There will be a cavity where the tooth was removed. The cavity will gradually fill in with new tissue over the next month. In the meantime, the area should be kept clean especially after meals with salt-water rinses or a toothbrush.

Your case is individual. No two mouths are alike. Do not accept well-intended advice from friends. Discuss your problem with the persons best able to effectively help you. If you have questions, call our office and speak directly to our staff. We are here to help you.
 
Brushing your teeth is okay – just be gentle at the surgical sites.

A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain to the ear may occur two to three days following surgery. Call the office if this occurs because we may be able to diminish you discomfort with special treatments.

If you are involved in regular exercise, be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.

Overall, remember that your case is unique. No two mouths are alike. Do not accept well-intended advice from friends. Follow all wisdom teeth recovery instructions to give your body the best chance to heal. If you have questions about wisdom tooth surgery recovery, call our office and speak directly to our staff. We are here to help you.

Dental Implants Recovery

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting or touching the wound on the day of dental implant surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding minimally through the gum tissue. Follow all dental implant surgery recovery instructions to help the body heal faster. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons will give you instructions for your dental implant recovery. For questions and concerns please contact the oral pathologists of Wichita OMS.

Bleeding

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours during your dental implants recovery. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery and during your dental implants recovery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as often as possible, for the first 36 hours.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of dental implants. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Pain

You should begin taking prescribed anti-inflammatory medication (Motrin) as soon as you begin drinking fluids or eating. The local anesthetic will typically stop being effective within hours. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon may choose to utilize long-duration local anesthetics in specific cases. If so, the duration of anesthesia may be six to eight hours. If you experience severe pain, the prescribed narcotic pain medication should be taken as directed.

Antibiotics

Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection during your dental implants recovery.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of dental implant surgery, use the prescribed Oral Rinse (Chlorhexadine) before bed. The day after dental implant surgery, the rinse should be used twice daily. Perform the medicated rinsing after breakfast and normal tooth brushing and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least one minute, then spit it out. Do not rinse your mouth afterward or drink fluids for 30 minutes. Warm salt-water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least four to five times a day as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth with the healing abutments is not a problem. Be gentle initially when brushing the surgical areas.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following dental implants. Treadmill walking and recumbent bicycling are acceptable the first few days. If you choose to exercise vigorously (running, weight lifting and aerobics, for example), throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this happens, you should discontinue exercising. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. If you get light-headed, stop exercising.

Wearing Your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers or full dentures should be used only as recommended by your oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This was discussed in the preoperative consultation. If you have any questions, call Wichita OMS immediately to avoid injury to your surgical site.

Single Tooth Extractions

After tooth extractions, for wisdom teeth, dental implant or other surgery, it’s important for a blood clot to form. Blood clots help stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes after the appointment to begin your surgery recovery. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, insert another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons will give you instructions for your extraction recovery. For questions and concerns about your tooth extraction please contact the oral pathologists of Wichita OMS.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids your surgery recovery. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws or smoke for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and slow the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extractions site.

After tooth extractions, you may experience some pain and swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen veggies applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually begins to subside after 48 to 72 hours.

Use pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time. It may be that the signs and symptoms of infection have resolved before completion of the prescription. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft foods on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth frequently. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for two to three days or a reaction to the medication, call the office immediately.

Follow all surgery recovery instructions to give your body the best chance to heal.

Impacted Tooth Exposure

Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out, do not get alarmed it was only intended to be a temporary step in your surgery recovery. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons will give you instructions for your exposure of an impacted tooth recovery. For questions and concerns please contact the oral pathologists of Wichita OMS.

Bleeding

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours after an impacted tooth exposure. Excessive bleeding that results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously as much as possible for the first 36 hours.

Diet

Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid the surgical site as much as possible. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Pain

You should begin taking prescribed anti-inflammatory medication (Motrin) as soon as you begin drinking fluids or eating. The local anesthetic will typically stop being effective within hours. Your surgeon may choose to utilize long-duration local anesthetics in specific cases of an impacted tooth exposure surgery. If so, the duration of anesthesia may be six to eight hours. If you experience severe pain, the prescribed narcotic pain medication should be taken as directed.

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. You should be very gentle in the area of your surgery. Rinse with warm salt water (one-eighth teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) frequently.

REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Treadmill walking and recumbent bicycling are acceptable the first few days. If you choose to exercise vigorously (running, weight lifting or aerobics, for example), throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this happens, you should discontinue exercising. If you get light headed, stop exercising.

Follow all surgery recovery instructions to give your body the best chance to heal.

What to Expect After Multiple Extractions

A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following multiple extractions of teeth. If bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding socket and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, a moist tea bag can be used for 30 minutes. If bleeding persists, call our office immediately. Do not remove immediate dentures unless the bleeding is severe. Expect some oozing around the side of the denture.

Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons will give you instructions for your multiple extraction recovery. For questions or concerns, please contact the oral pathologists of Wichita OMS.

Use ice packs (externally) on the same side of the face as the operated area. Apply ice for the first 36 hours only, and continuously while you are awake.

You should begin taking prescribed anti-inflammatory medication (Motrin) as soon as you begin drinking fluids or eating. However, the local anesthetic will typically wear off within hours. Your surgeon may choose to utilize long-duration local anesthetics in specific cases of multiple extractions. If so, the duration of anesthesia may be six to eight hours. If you experience severe pain, the prescribed narcotic pain medication should be taken as directed.

If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, be sure to finish the prescription. You may experience a resolution of the signs and symptoms of infection before completing your prescription.

In addition, it's important to drink plenty of fluids. In the case of multiple extractions, the blood you lose needs to be replaced. Drink at least six glasses of liquid the first day.

Do not rinse your mouth vigorously. After the first day, use a warm salt-water rinse (one-eighth teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water) every four hours and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. After you have seen your dentist for denture adjustment, take out denture and rinse three to four times a day.

Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods that are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance your diet.

Lastly, follow all surgery recovery instructions to give your body the best chance to heal.

Surgery Day — What You Need to Know

Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons will give you instructions for your intravenous anesthesia. For questions and concerns please contact the oral pathologists of Wichita OMS.

  • Do not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for eight (8) hours before intravenous anesthesia sedation and dental surgery.
  • A driver must remain in the office with the patient. A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the surgery and drive the patient home.
  • Do not wear excessive makeup on the day of surgery.
  • Please remove nail polish and artificial nails on at least one finger prior to arrival.
  • Please wear loose-fitting clothing with short sleeves and low-heeled shoes.
  • Contact lenses, jewelry and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
  • Do not smoke before surgery. Ideally, cut down or stop smoking as soon as possible prior to the day of surgery.
  • The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the intravenous anesthesia sedation.
  • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
  • If you take routine oral medications, please check with our staff prior to your surgical date for instructions.
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