Wisdom Teeth Post-Operative Instructions
PLEASE READ ALL PAGES OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.
Sometimes the after-effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, so not all of these instructions may apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt, follow these guidelines or call our office any time for clarification.
DAY OF SURGERY
Limit physical activity during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Over exertion may lead to postoperative bleeding, swelling and discomfort. When you lie down, keep your head elevated on a pillow.
Leave the gauze pads in place for 45-60 minutes, maintaining firm pressure.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24-48 hours. This bleeding/oozing may continue throughout the first 24 hours. If bleeding persists, slightly moisten and place a new gauze sponge, and continue pressure for an additional 30-45 minutes. If bleeding continues please call our office.
If bleeding persists you may substitute a tea bag (soaked in hot water, squeezed damp-dry and wrapped in moist gauze) for 30 minutes. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.
To minimize swelling apply ice 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, throughout the first day. It is not uncommon to have some swelling from this procedure. Swelling usually peaks between days two and four, not including today. After 48 hours, you may switch from ice to moist heat.
Stitches were placed to control bleeding and to aid in the healing process. Do not lift or pull up your lip to look at the stitches. The sutures will usually dissolve in 5-10 days.
Do not smoke. Smoking inhibits healing and may cause a dry socket.
Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort.
Pain medication – Take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off. This will enable you to manage your discomfort more effectively. If you do not achieve adequate pain relief, you may supplement each pill with Advil/Motrin (ibuprofen). The effects of medicines vary widely among individuals. Please call the office if the pain is not controlled.
Please do not drink alcoholic beverages, drive a car or operate machinery while taking prescribed pain medication.
Antibiotics – Take antibiotics on the specified dosing schedule. Yogurt with active cultures and/or acidophilus may be taken while on antibiotics to help minimize gastrointestinal side effects. If you develop severe cramping and/or diarrhea please notify the office.
If you are on birth control pills, please be advised that antibiotics and other medications can and may neutralize the preventive effect of birth control pills, allowing for conception and pregnancy. Please consult your physician to initiate additional forms of birth control during the period of treatment.
Anti-swelling medication – If Dr. Sansevere prescribed medication to help control swelling, please take the medication on the specified dosing schedule.
Nausea is an uncommon event after surgery; it is sometimes caused by stronger pain medications. Preceding each pill with a small amount of soft food and liquids may reduce nausea. If nausea continues please give the office a call.
Food selection is largely a matter of your choice. It is recommended that you confine the first day/week’s intake to soft foods (creamed soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes (no straw), macaroni and cheese, pasta, ice cream, etc.). Over the next several days you can progress to solid foods at your own pace. Eating a nutritious diet throughout your healing process will help you feel better.
Avoid foods such as nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., that may get lodged in the socket areas.
If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible and follow instructions from us or your physician regarding your insulin schedule. You may need to test your blood sugar more frequently during the first 48 hours post-operatively.
Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing of all areas, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Do not rinse the day of surgery because it may disturb the blood clot. Beginning the next day, mix ¼ teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse two or three times daily for the next week.
If you were given an irrigating syringe begin using it the day after surgery to keep sockets clean. Fill it with warm water and gently flush food from the sockets after eating. Use the syringe everyday until the sockets are completely closed.
If a dry socket occurs (loss of blood clot from socket, usually on the third to fifth day) there is a noticeable, distinct, persistent throbbing pain in the jaw, often radiating toward the ear and forward along the jaw causing other teeth to ache. If you do not see steady improvement during the first few days after surgery call the office for a post-operative appointment.
If you feel sharp edges in the surgical areas with your tongue it is probably the bony walls which originally supported the teeth. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the first week or two after surgery. They are not pieces of tooth and, if necessary, we will remove them. Please call the office if you are concerned.
Dr. Sansevere and his staff wish you a smooth and pleasant recovery. Following these instructions will assist in your post operative healing. If you have any questions please call the office during office hours for a faster response. A 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with the doctor.