Post Operative Instructions
- Patients who have undergone IV sedation should be carefully attended by a responsible person for at least 4-6 hours after leaving the office. The patient is not permitted to drive the day of surgery. The patient may be weak and fall when trying to get up, so help is advised the first day.
- Prescriptions – take prescriptions as advised. Take 1 Tylenol (500mg) and 2 Advil (400mg) every 6 hours. Most post-surgical pain lasts for 2-3 days after surgery so continue your Tylenol and Ibuprofen regimen for this duration. For break through pain you may add the narcotic that was prescribed, but discontinue the Tylenol if you start this medication. Follow the direction on your prescription bottle as to how many and how often it may be taken.
- Narcotic pain medications – may cause drowsiness so you should not drive or operate machinery while taking these. Also watch for the sedative effects which may cause dizziness or falls if getting up rapidly without assistance.
- Antibiotics –If prescribed; take antibiotics until all are taken, unless there are adverse side effects, which should be reported to our office. Rare reports of interference with birth control pills have been published. It is recommended that additional birth control measures be utilized while taking birth control pills and antibiotics. Contact your physician for further information.
- Bleeding – follows any surgery and should not alarm you unless it is excessive or persistent. Biting on a damp roll of gauze causes enough pressure to slow the bleeding. A fresh pack is placed once every 20 minutes until the bleeding has essentially stopped. The gauze should be removed before eating, drinking, or sleeping. Occasional oozing is normal for 2-4 days, and does not require gauze during that time.
- Swelling and Bruising are a normal part of the healing process and unless extreme, are of no practical importance. Place an ice pack on your face for the first day (30-minutes on, 10 min off) or less if it is more comfortable for you. The earlier this is started the better. After the first day, the ice packs are stopped and heat should be applied for 20-minute intervals 4-5 times per day; this helps with minimizing both swelling and bruising. Swelling is usually the greatest 48-72 hours after surgery, and typically improves after that. It is helpful to keep your head elevated on two pillows when resting or sleeping for the first two days.
- Diet – a cool soft diet is preferred (pudding, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese) Hot foods or hot liquids should be avoided the day of surgery as you are numb and may burn your mouth and it also increases bleeding (cold, cool, or room temperature is okay). Day 2- warmer foods are okay but still soft. As they are tolerated better (eggs, mashed potatoes, macaroni, etc.). Advance to a regular diet as tolerated from the third day on.
- DO NOT SPIT EXCESSIVELY for the first 24 hours. This prolongs bleeding. Also take care to keep your tongue away from the surgery site. No aggressive cleaning of the extraction site or self-irrigation. Start rinsing with warm salt water starting the day after surgery 4-5 times per day, especially after you eat to keep the extractions sites free of food and debris. Continue this for 1 week.
- Smoking – is not advised for the first 2 weeks after surgery. This increases the chances of dry sockets and delays healing. This is a great opportunity to quit smoking if you are up for the challenge.
- Temperature – elevation may occur after surgery. If your temperature is above 101* (oral) take Tylenol or Ibuprofen as needed. If persistent, please call the office.
- Brushing – you may brush your teeth as usual, using caution in the surgical site(s).If you feel that you have a MEDICAL EMERGENCY that requires immediate attention, you may call or text our on-call provider number at 713-206-7876
- MEDICATIONS WILL BE REFILLED DURING BUSINESS HOURS ONLY.
(MOST PERTAIN TO TOOTH REMOVAL)
- DRY SOCKET – This usually manifests as a significant jaw or ear pain that is not relieved by your pain medications. It usually starts 3-5 days after surgery. Please call the office for advice.
- SORE TEETH – Teeth adjacent to the surgical area will sometimes shift slightly and become sore for several weeks. Sensitivity to heat and cold may also occur.
- DRUG REACTIONS – If you experience adverse effects from drugs such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hives, itching, headaches, rashes, or other effects: DISCONTINUE AND CALL OUR OFFICE FOR ADVICE.
- NUMBNESS – may occur after surgery. Within the first 24 hours it is usually caused from local anesthetic. In most cases, it will resolve without any treatment. Please advise the doctor if this persists.
- INFECTIONS – Occasionally following surgery, food becomes impacted in the sockets. (Use of an irrigation syringe starting the fourth day is helpful). You will have swelling and pain. This can occur up to several weeks after surgery. Contact the office for advice.
- LIMITED OPENING – There is normally a period of several days that you might have limited jaw motion after surgery. This will improve with normal jaw use and application of heat. Anti-inflammatory medicines such as Ibuprofen are also helpful. Stretch your mouth open as wide as you can once every 2 hours for 1 week.
- SORE JOINTS – The temporomandibular joint (TMJ, jaw joint) is located in front of the ear and may be tender after surgery. Call our office for an appointment if this persists or is severe in nature. Again, heat application and anti-inflammatory use is advised.