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Postoperative Instructions After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

These instructions will help you to understand the expected post-operative condition and explain the recommended care while you are healing.

Orthodontic Brackets and Chains

Many times after the exposure of an un-erupted tooth, an orthodontic bracket or button and chain device may be bonded to the tooth that was exposed. Once the tissues have healed, these devices will be used by the orthodontist to guide the tooth into proper position. Right after the procedure, Dr. Nickel or Dr. Steinberg will fix the chain to the braces to keep it from hanging down and interfering with chewing. If the chain becomes loose, this is not usually something to worry about. It can be re-secured by your oral surgeon or orthodontist.

Diet

After oral surgery it is advised that you maintain a liquid and soft, non-chew, diet for the first 3 days. Eat only on the side of your mouth opposite the surgical site. Do not use drinking straws as the suction created may disturb the surgical site.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, place ice packs over the affected area 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for the rest of the day. It is not necessary to sleep with the ice pack on. After the first 24 hours, it is not necessary to continue the cold application.

Postoperative Discomfort

Patients may experience discomfort in the surgical region after procedures. If pain medicine was recommended or prescribed, patients should start as soon as possible, before the local anesthetic wears off. This will allow time for the medicine to be absorbed from the GI tract into the blood stream. Please take the medicine as directed. If you feel that the medicine is not working, please call your doctor for further advice.

General Care and Oral Hygiene:

After oral surgery it is all right to brush your teeth. However please avoid the area around the surgical site for 4-5 days. After 5 days you may brush carefully and avoid the sutures that may be present.

Gentle rinsing with water or salt water is recommended. Occasionally a prescription rinse will be recommended. Smoking may impair healing of oral wounds. It is recommended that patients not smoke during the healing period.

Warning Signs

If any of the following should occur, contact us during the day at (847) 272-9516, or during the evening or night call (847) 272-9516 and ask the answering service to page the doctor on call.

  • Bleeding which cannot be controlled by biting firmly on gauze for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Pain which is not alleviated by the prescribed dose of medication. Do not experiment with higher doses.
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting.
  • An increase in swelling after the first 48 hours, or swelling which interferes with swallowing.
  • A very foul-tasting discharge that is unrelieved by normal oral hygiene.
  • Temperature greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other Instructions

If you have received I.V. sedation for your procedure, you should rest at home with moderate activity as tolerated.

For the next 24 hours:

  • Do Not drive a car, operate machinery or power tools.
  • Do Not drink any alcoholic beverages including beer.
  • Do Not engage in any athletic sport activities, such as, basketball, jogging, etc.

Questions or Problems

If you feel that you are experiencing any problems or have any questions please call either Dr. Nickel or Dr. Steinberg at (847) 272-9516. On weekends or after hours this number transfers to the answering service and the “on call” doctor will be contacted.

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