We always give written and verbal instructions after surgery but we find many people still may have questions when they get home.
1. Some bleeding after surgery is normal even when sutures are placed. First thing to control any bleeding is pressure, pressure, pressure. That is putting pressure on the wound with the aid of a gauze. Roll up a gauze and place it over the wound and bite down for 20 to 30 minutes, then replace until gauze is no longer red. Don’t chew on the gauze, just bite steadily. Once it is pink only it’s a sign bleeding has slowed down. If wisdom teeth (or 3rd molars) were removed, gauze needs to be placed all the way to the back of the mouth, behind all the other teeth.
2. Liquid diet like smoothies and milkshakes are preferred the first day. After that soft/ mashed up diet is usually recommended for the week. No junk food or hard or crunchy foods like chips. Avoid sucking like using a straw first day or two.
3. Elevate your head on a few pillows at night usually helps with swelling. Swelling peaks first 48 to 72 hours then starts to subside. Steroid injection such as dexamethasone given with the IV helps decrease swelling some.
4. Take all post op pain meds as prescribed with food or else may cause more nausea. It’s recommended to take the first dose of antibiotic together with Motrin or ibuprofen as soon as possible after surgery, before the local anesthetic wears out. Local anesthetic can last for a few hours after oral surgery. If wisdom teeth under IV sedation are removed, we usually administer a long lasting local anesthetic eg Marcaine. Motrin/ibuprofen can be taken together with narcotic pain medications such as hydrocodone/acetaminophen combination, however we discourage narcotic use unless absolutely necessary. In majority of people Motrin 800mg works as well or better than narcotic medications for post op discomfort.
Placing ice wrapped in a towel on the face 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off helps with discomfort as well. Most people don’t have a lot of discomfort after surgery but some is normal. People who were infected prior to procedure tend to have a little more discomfort than those who had teeth with no symptoms removed.
5. Begin brushing teeth and rinsing mouth with salty water twice a day on the NEXT day after surgery. But don’t brush the surgical area as it will likely bleed or stitches can fall out. If a stitch becomes loose or comes out, usually it’s OK in most cases. Call us should you have any concerns.
6. On your followup appointment usually a week later, we will go over further instructions and may clean the areas and give you an irrigating syringe that you can use to keep areas clean at home.
7. When can you return to work or school? If a single tooth was removed, most people return to work or school the following day. If a set of impacted wisdom teeth were removed usually best to take a few days off. If surgery is done on Friday, most people can return to work or school by Monday. Everyone is different. Light exercise usually is fine the following day, nothing strenuous.
8. If you had IV sedation, do not drive or operate machinery the day of your procedure.
If you have any questions, please call us! Our phone number is 770-984-9000. Dental World is located at 1410 Terrell Mill Rd Marietta GA 30067.