Post-operative Instructions

Every effort has been made to give you the best care possible.  Your care is now needed.  The following instructions have been prepared for you in regard to the surgery which has just been performed.  Please read and follow them carefully.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the office.

Discomfort

Some discomfort may be present at first when the anesthesia wears off.  In order to reduce this discomfort,  an analgesic has been given to you following the procedure.  Please continue to take either the acetaminophen (Tylenol-extra-strength) or ibuprofen (Advil 600 mg.) every 4-6 hours for the rest of the day. 

For more severe discomfort, use prescription tablets as directed.  It is best not to take these tablets on an empty stomach.  Do not drive an automobile or work near dangerous machinery for at least 4-8 hours after  taking these tablets.

If these measures do not alleviate the discomfort, please call the office.

Numbness

For several hours following the surgery there may be numbness of the lip or tongue.  Avoid biting them or injury/ulceration may result.

Antibiotics

If prescribed, the antibiotic medication should be taken as directed on the bottle.  It is important to take all of it.  Do not stop taking this medication unless it does not agree with you in some way.  If this occurs, discontinue its use and call the office.

Swelling

Immediately following surgery, place an ice compress to your face over the area operated on. Keep it in place for 20 minutes and then leave it off for 20 minutes.  This should be continued for the remainder of the day to help minimize swelling.  The ice compress is to be used only for the first 24 hours.  It is not unusual for the swelling to increase slightly over the next few days with the greatest swelling 3 days post-operatively.

Dressing

The material around your teeth is a periodontal surgical dressing.  It protects the area and will be removed at your next office visit.

Small  pieces of the dressing may come off, but this does not pose a problem unless you are uncomfortable or bleeding occurs.

In some cases, tin foil has been placed over the dressing.  This foil may fall off or be removed after the first 24 hours unless otherwise instructed.

Bleeding

There may be slight bleeding which mixes with the saliva for up to 24 hours after the surgery.  This is not abnormal. 

If there is considerable bleeding, try to find the spot that it is coming from and place a cold, moist tea bag (or a piece of gauze) with pressure on the area for 20 minutes. 

DO NOT TRY TO STOP THE BLEEDING BY RINSING!

If bleeding continues, call the office.

Smoking

There should be no smoking for a minimum of 24 hours following surgery.  If you must smoke, do not smoke the entire cigarette (it is much hotter and more irritating as you get closer to the filter).

Rinsing

Beginning tomorrow rinse with either Listerine (diluted in half) or Peridex twice a day as directed.  The anti-microbial action will  accelerate the healing process by reducing plaque formation.

You may also rinse with salt water (1/2 tsp. salt & 8 oz. water) as frequently as you wish (4-5 times a day is ideal).

Plaque Control

It is important that you continue to perform your plaque control in the other areas of your mouth even while the dressing is in place.  This will keep your mouth feeling cleaner and promote healing.  Try to avoid contact with  the dressing.

Diet

It is most important that you maintain a nutritious diet during the weeks of healing.  You can chew on the  opposite side of your mout,, but should avoid hard foods.  The patient who maintains a good diet of soft foods generally feels better, has less discomfort and heals better.

Suture Removal

You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us at Robert M. Benedon, DMD Phone Number 856-424-0580.