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Postoperative Instructions for Minor Oral Surgical Procedures

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

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

There may be some swelling of the surgical area and the adjacent facial tissues. The maximum swelling occurs during the first 24 hours after the procedure. It then starts to slowly recede over the next 5 -7 days. To minimize the 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.

It is also recommended that you elevate your head at night and sleep on a few extra pillows. This will decrease some blood flow to you head and neck region and help to limit swelling.

Postoperative Discomfort

Patients may experience discomfort in the surgical region after procedures. The pain medicine that was recommended or prescribed should be started 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.

Infection

After surgical procedures, there is always a chance that an infection might develop. This does not happen in most cases. After procedures that have a higher incidence of postoperative infection, a prescription for antibiotics may be given. Please take this medication as directed until it is finished. Women taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills) please note: penicillin and penicillin-like drugs temporarily decrease the effectiveness of the birth control pills. Other methods of contraception are recommended while taking these antibiotics.

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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