Post-surgical Instructions for Patients

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Please read and follow these instructions carefully. The after-effects of oral surgery vary with each individual, so not all of theseinstructions may apply. Please feel free to call our office any time should you have any questions, or if you are experiencing anyunusual symptoms following your treatment.

DAY OF SURGERY

IMMEDIATELY AFTER SURGERY. Patients who received intravenous sedation during their procedure should return home fromthe office immediately following discharge, and lie down with the head elevated until all the effects of the anesthetic have disappeared.You should not operate any mechanical equipment or drive a motor vehicle for at least 24 hours following intravenous sedation.Anesthetic effects vary with each individual, and you may feel drowsy for a short period of time or for a number of hours.

ORAL HYGIENE AND CARE. Do not disturb the surgical area today. Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze pack that wehave initially placed over the surgical area, making sure that they remain in place. Do not change them for the first hour unless thebleeding is not being controlled. This is important to allow a blood clot to form at the surgery site. The gauze may be changed whennecessary and/or repositioned for comfort. DO NOT rinse or brush your teeth vigorously or probe the area with the tongue, yourfingers, or any objects. You may brush your teeth gently, carefully avoiding surgical sites. DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours,since it is very detrimental to the healing process.

BLEEDING. Some bleeding is normal and blood tinged saliva may be present for 24 hours. This may be controlled by placing freshgauze over the surgical areas and biting down firmly for 60 minute intervals. If bleeding persists, this may be due to the gauze padsbeing clinched between the teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgery site. Try repositioning the gauze. If bleeding persistsor becomes heavy, substitute a moist tea bag (first soaked in hot water, squeezed dry and wrapped in a moist gauze) on the area for20 to 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call our office.

SWELLING OR BRUISING. Swelling is to be expected, and usually reaches its maximum in 48 hours. To minimize swelling,cold packs or an ice bag wrapped in a towel should be applied to the face adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied 20minutes on, then removed for 20 minutes for the first 12 to 24 hours after surgery. After 48 hours, it is usually best to switch fromusing the cold pack to applying a heating pad or hot water bottle to the same area, until swelling has receded. Bruising may alsooccur, but should disappear over several days. Tightness of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening the mouth. This shoulddisappear within 7 days. Keep lips moist with cream or Vaseline to prevent cracking or chapping.

DIET. Eat any nourishing food that can be taken in comfort. It is advisable to confine the first days food in take to bland liquids orpureed or soft foods. Avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds or popcorn, which may get lodged in the surgery areas. Over the nextseveral days, you may progress to more solid foods. Proper nourishment aids in the healing process, therefore a multivitamin takendaily following surgery will insure that you receive necessary nutrients. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal diet as much aspossible and follow your physician’s instructions regarding your insulin schedule.

PAIN AND MEDICATIONS. Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. Take the painmedication prescribed as directed. The local anesthetic administered for your surgery normally has a 6-8 hour duration, and it maybe difficult to control the pain once the anesthetic wears off. We therefore, advise you to have some food no longer than 3 to 4hours after your surgery, and then take your first dose of pain medication 1 hour following your meal. Taking the pain medicationafter food and with a large volume of water will lessen any side effects of nausea or stomach upset. If you do not achieve adequatepain relief, you may supplement each pill with an analgesic such as aspirin or ibuprofen.If you are prescribed an antibiotic and are currently taking oral contraceptives, you should use an alternate method of birth controlfor the remainder of this cycle.

ORTHODONTIC APPLIANCES. If you wear orthodontic appliances, replace them immediately after surgery unless otherwiseinstructed. If these appliances are left out of the mouth for any length of time, it is often difficult or impossible to reinsert them.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE FOLLOWING DAYS

ORAL HYGIENE. Keeping your mouth clean after oral surgery is essential. Begin your normal tooth brushing routine as soon aspossible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may prevent rigorous brushing of all areas, but make every effort to clean your teethwithin your comfort level. The morning after surgery start rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water rinse (1/2 tsp. salt with 1 cupwarm water) every 2 to 3 hours. Continue this for several days then rinse 3 or 4 times a day for 2 weeks. It is imperative to keepyour mouth clean, since an accumulation of food or debris may promote infection.

CARE OF SURGICAL AREA. Apply moist heat (heating pad or hot water bottle) to the skin overlying areas of swelling for 20minutes on and 20 minutes off to help soothe these tender areas. This will also aid in reducing swelling and stiffness. If you weregiven an irrigating syringe, start using it the 7th day after surgery to keep the sockets clean. Fill it with warm salt water and irrigateany open sockets gently, especially after eating.

OTHER POSSIBLE POST-SURGICAL EFFECTS

DRY SOCKETS. The blood clot in the surgical site may be lost causing a dry socket (usually on the 3rd to 5th day after surgery).There will be a noticeable, distinct, persistent pain in the jaw area, often radiating towards the ear and forward along the jaw whichmay cause other teeth to ache. If you do not see steady improvement during the first few days after surgery or if severe pain persists,please call the office to report these symptoms.

SKIN DISCOLORATION. This may be expected and is usually limited to the neck or cheek area near the surgical site. This iscaused by bleeding in the soft tissues of the mouth beneath the skin and appears as a bruise. If discoloration occurs, it often takes7 – 10 days for this to completely disappear. Occasionally, the arm or hand at the site where the needle was placed to administer IVdrugs may bruise or be tender. Aspirin and application of heat to the area will usually correct these symptoms.

NUMBNESS. Loss of sensation of the chin and lip may occur usually following lower wisdom teeth removal. This is usually temporaryand disappears within a few days or weeks. Occasionally, some numbness may persist for months due to the close association ofthe roots of the teeth to the nerve that supplies sensation to these areas described.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. If you have any questions about your progress or anysymptoms you are experiencing, please call our office at (864) 585-3318. After office hours, instructions will be given on the answeringmachine enabling you to contact the doctor.

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