Postoperative Instructions Following Oral Surgery

SURGICAL SITE CARE

The best treatment for post operative bleeding is constant, firm pressure applied by biting on gauze for 1-2 hours. 

AFTER 1-2 HOURS, with clean hands, gently remove gauze and replace only if needed. Slight bleeding is normal after biting on gauze. If bleeding continues, place new gauze or a moist tea bag on extraction site and bite firmly for an additional hour. 

DO NOT change gauze frequently as it can dislodge the clot and make you bleed more. If you continue to bleed after 4 hours, please call Dr. Stivers

DO NOT SPIT, USE A STRAW, SMOKE or DRINK ALCOHOL!  This promotes bleeding, can lengthen your recovery time, and may cause a painful dry socket. 

Swelling after surgery is a normal body reaction. Applying an ice pack over the surgical area, 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off, and keeping your head elevated helps limit swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. 

ICE PACK SHOULD ONLY BE USED FOR 24 HOURS AFTER SURGERY

AFTER 24 HOURS – Apply warm moist heat with a moist washcloth heated in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, as needed, and continue to sleep with your head elevated until swelling resolves. 

Cold, soft foods, such as, ice cream or yogurt may be the most soothing and helpful the first day. Advance your diet as tolerated. Rest is recommended the first day. 

DISCOMFORT 

Some discomfort is normal after oral surgery. It can be controlled, but not eliminated by taking pain medications as prescribed. 

IF DR. STIVERS PRESCRIBES ANTIBIOTICS, IT IS IMPORTANT TO TAKE AS DIRECTED AND UNTIL GONE. 

ORAL HYGIENE

Do not rinse your mouth after surgery. After 24 hours, begin gently swabbing the area(s) with Chlorhexidine daily for two weeks. DO NOT rinse your mouth with Listerine, Scope, or any mouth rinses containing alcohol for one week. Brush your teeth gently and regularly, being careful in the area of surgery until healed. If sutures were placed, they will usually dissolve in 4 to 10 days, unless told otherwise. 

FOLLOWING ANESTHESIA

You are cautioned to not make any important decisions, and operate a motor vehicle, or heavy machinery for the next 24 hours. Alcohol should not be used for 24 hours after surgery or in combination with any medications.