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After Surgery

SWELLING
You may experience some swelling. This can be minimized by applying ice packs to the outside of your face in the area where surgery was performed. We ask that you apply ice for the first 24 hours post-surgery; 20 minutes on the area, then 20 minutes off. Swelling is a normal part of the healing process and it may be visible for up to a week. This can also include some bruising.

BLEEDING
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected after surgery. It is normal to see slight blood or pink saliva for the first 24-48 hours post-surgery. Moisten a piece of the gauze that we have supplied in your take home bag and apply light pressure to the area of concern for about 30 minutes. If the area continues to bleed, replace the gauze with a moistened teabag and repeat process. If you cannot seem to get the bleeding under control, please contact our office.

We recommend that you keep your head in an elevated position for the remainder of the day and night, and refrain from any physical activity for the first 24 hours as to limit your bleeding.

MEDICATIONS
Take as prescribed on the bottle; refer to the Medication Checklist for further instruction.

RINSING
Please refrain from doing any rinsing, splitting, swishing, drinking through a straw or any kind of sucking motion; this includes smoking. These types of actions can loosen blood clots and cause you to bleed. In the worst case scenario, it may also cause dry socket (a low-grade bone infection that can cause pain) Please wait 24 hours to resume any of these activities.

PACKING
We may place a periodontal packing in the area once we are done with surgery. This is a putty-type product that helps make the surgical area more comfortable. It does not promote healing at all. It may stay on for a few days, or for the entire two weeks; let it come out on its' own. Mechanically disturbing the packing may result in the removal of sutures prematurely and cause discomfort.

SUTURES
If we place sutures in the surgical area, they are dissolvable and should disintegrate within a 2 week period. If sutures remain at your post-op appointment, the dental assistant will remove them for you that day.

DIET
We recommend a softer diet for the first 2 weeks after surgery. These foods include, but are not limited to; chicken, fish, pasta, mashed potatoes, applesauce, yogurt, pudding, soups, ice cream, etc. Avoid foods such as; pretzels, potato chips, corn on the cob, apples, taffy, or anything crunchy, chewy or sticky. These types of foods may disrupt the area in which we did surgery and cause you further discomfort.

SMOKING
We recommend that if you are a smoker, to refrain from smoking for at least the first 24-48 hours. Smoking makes it more difficult to keep your teeth clean, increases bacterial growth, increases sensitivity and prolongs the healing time. It may also cause dry socket.

FEVER
Please call if you have a persistent low-grade temperature or one above 102 degrees.

YOU HAVE HAD A SURGICAL PROCEDURE AND SHOULD EXPECT TO BE MODERATELY UNCOMFORTABLE. THE DISCOMFORT WILL BE MINIMALIZED IF YOU REMEMBER TO:


  1. Apply an ice pack to the outside of your face as soon as possible.
  2. Take medication as directed on your medication checklist/bottles.
  3. Eat an adequate soft diet.
  4. Rinse with 1/2 tsp. salt mixed in an 8 oz. glass of warm water 5 times daily (after initial 24 hour period).

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS TO MAKE YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE:


  1. Keep fluid intake high for the first 24 hours.
  2. Brush your teeth normally after the first 24 hours but do not brush or floss the areas in which we did surgery.
  3. Do not use a Water Pik or electronic toothbrush until your observation visit.
  4. Those with palatal stents should wear it continuously for the first 48 hours. The appliance should then be consistently worn until the post-op visit, except when removed 2 times per day for cleaning. Orabase can be applied to the palate as often as needed - it is supplied in your take-home bag.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL US AT ANY TIME FOR ADVICE OR HELP. IT IS OUR DESIRE TO HAVE YOU AS COMFORTABLE AS POSSIBLE DURING THE HEALING PROCESS. AFTER OFFICE HOURS, THE DOCTOR CAN BE REACHED FOR EMERGENCIES THROUGH THE 24 HOUR ANSWERING SERVICE BY CALLING OUR OFFICE AT (717) 761-8611.