Surgical Instructions

It is important to follow instructions after you have oral surgery to ensure proper healing and to avoid complications. As a rule of thumb, you should always wait two hours after surgery before eating, to let the anesthesia wear off.  Trying to eat before this could result in soft tissue damage because you are not able to feel all of your mouth.  The instructions found below are guidelines.  After your surgery, Dr. Martinez or Bhansali and our dental assistant will give you full instructions on how to properly recover from surgery.

* Keep firm pressure with gauze on surgical area for the first hour, by biting on the gauze given to you.  Change the gauze, as necessary for a fresh one.  *Expect minor bleeding or oozing from the site.  This bleeding may continue throughout the first day or two.  If bleeding persists, continue pressure on a fresh sponge for an additional 30 min.  Biting on a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze can help control constant oozing.  Tea has a natural ingredient that promotes blood clotting. Do not sleep or eat with gauze in your mouth.

*Do not disturb the area of surgery.  The first stages of HEALING are aided by keeping tissues at rest.  Avoid vigorous chewing, excessive spitting or rinsing.  Avoid using a straw.

* Limit physical activity 24-48 hours after surgery.  Over-exertion may lead to post operative bleeding.

 *Some degree of discomfort may arise as numbness subsides.  Take OTC pain medicine or ibuprofen or any prescribed medication as directed. It is important to have food in your stomach before taking any medication.  Some pain medication can cause nausea and vomiting.

*Swelling related to the surgical procedure usually develops during the first 12-24 hours and sometimes increasing to the third day.  It should begin to subside after day 3.  Swelling can be minimized by using an ice pack on the side of your face for 30-45 minutes every hour you are awake for the first 24 hours.  Bags of frozen vegetables are very effective to use as a substitute to ice bags.  Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen also help decrease swelling.  Try & keep your head elevated while sleeping for the first 3-5 days to keep swelling to a minimum.  Swelling may be greater in the morning when you first awaken.

* Fluid intake is important.  Drink plenty of fluids and we suggest you start with clear fluids.  Avoid hot liquids until your numbness wears off.  A nutritious diet throughout your healing is also imperative.  These things promote a speedy recovery.

*Avoid using a straw for several days and avoid crunchy; hard; spicy foods.  A soft diet may be necessary for the first few days.

* Avoid Smoking completely, as it tends to slow the healing process and may contribute to a dry socket.  

**On the morning of the day following your surgery, carefully rinse your mouth with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a large glass of warm water.  Repeat this (3) times per day until remaining soreness subsides.  

*Do not avoid brushing; Resume brushing all remaining teeth, while avoiding the brush on the surgical areas.

*Bruising areas may appear on the the skin during the first few days after surgery.  Moist heat application will help relieve this condition.

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