These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.
It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. You will be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. If necessary, you may take your pain medication more frequently than every 4-6 hours to stay ahead of the soreness. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.
As an alternative to prescription medications, some patients have found taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol to be effective. You may take the combination in either of the following dosages: 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 2 Regular Strength Tylenol or 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 1 Extra Strength Tylenol, every 4-6 hours as needed.
Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Do not exceed 3000mg or 3 grams of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) in a 24 hour period. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.
Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.
Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 3-5 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue using ice for 2-3 days following the procedure as often as possible.
A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:
Avoid any activity that may increase bleeding such as strenuous physical activity, vigorous rinsing, sucking through a straw, and smoking, as it will irritate your mouth and interfere with normal clotting.
The dressing (which acts as a bandage) is used to protect the surgical site and help reduce discomfort. It is normal for the dressing to come off a few days after surgery. If the dressing remains, we will remove it at your next appointment.
Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid any foods likely to cause bleeding or discomfort such as hot temperatures, spicy foods and anything that can poke or lodge in gums such as chips, popcorn, and nuts. A soft diet is recommended, but not necessarily liquid. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.
Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.
Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.
Do not rinse for the first 24 hours unless instructed to do so. After that, gently rinse twice a day with your prescribed antiseptic mouth rinse.
Do not brush the surgical site until instructed to do so. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.
You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.
Should you have any questions or concerns after surgery, please do not hesitate to contact us at our emergency line Erik Low, D.M.D., M.S., Inc. and Howard Low, D.D.S., Inc. Phone Number 408-746-3878 DAY OR NIGHT.
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