POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS: (listed by procedure, i.e., Periodontal Surgery, Gingival Grafting, Scaling/Root Planing, Extractions)
It is important to follow instructions after you have oral surgery to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications. As a rule of thumb, you should always wait two hours after surgery before eating to let the Novocain and/or anesthesia wear off. Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth. The instructions found below are guidelines. After your surgery the doctor or dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover from surgery.
Periodontal Surgery/Gingival Grafting
After the surgery you will need to rest. If you have been given any type of sedation, you will need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia. A surgical dressing may be in place to help keep treated areas comfortable and to help protect the tissues. For the first 24-48 hours, an ice pack can be placed externally on the area to help decrease discomfort and swelling. Pain medication may be prescribed, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. A cleaning solution, such as Peridex, may be provided to clean the extraction site.
Scaling and Root Planing
After this procedure your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times a day. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area. Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area. If you experience any swelling or stiffness in the area you can place a cold compress on the area and take some pain relieving medicine. Avoid any hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days contact your dentist.
After the surgery you will need to rest. If you have been given any type of sedation, you will need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should contact our office. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Pain medication may be prescribed, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. A cleaning solution, such as Peridex, may be provided to clean the extraction site.
You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. A diet high in protein and vitamin C helps aid in healing. Some recommended foods are:
- Fish, soft-cooked meats, eggs, pasta
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ice Cream
- Thin Soups
- ...and other food you can eat without chewing.
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.