Surgery Instructions

Pre-Surgery Instructions

Before any oral surgical procedure you should:

  • Eat a light and easily digestible meal the night before your appointment
  • If you are going to be sedated, DO NOT eat or drink anything on the day of your appointment
  • Wear short sleeves and loose-fitting clothing
  • Arrange for a relative or friend to stay in the office with you and be ready to drive you home
  • You may NOT drive a car on the day of the surgery if you are to be sedated!

Post-Surgery Instructions

Fold a piece of clean gauze into a pad thick enough to bite on and place directly on the extraction site. Apply moderate pressure by closing the teeth firmly over the pad. Maintain this pressure for about 30 minutes. If the pad becomes soaked, replace it with a clean one as necessary. Do not suck on the extraction site (as with a straw). A slight amount of blood may leak at the extraction site until a clot forms. However, if heavy bleeding continues, call your dentist. (Remember, though, that a lot of saliva and a little blood can look like a lot of bleeding.)

The Blood Clot

After an extraction, a blood clot forms in the tooth socket. This clot is an important part of the normal healing process. You should therefore avoid activities that might disturb the clot.

Here's how to protect it:

  • Do not smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously or drink through a straw for 24 hours.
  • Do not clean the teeth next to the healing tooth socket for the rest of the day. You should, however, brush and floss your other teeth thoroughly. Gently rinse your mouth afterwards.
  • Limit strenuous activity for 24 hours after the extraction. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot to form. Get plenty of rest.
  • If you have sutures, your dentist will instruct you when to return to have them removed.

Medication

Your dentist may prescribe medication to control pain and prevent infection. Use it only as directed. If the medication prescribed does not seem to work for you, do not increase the dosage. Please call your dentist immediately if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever.

Swelling & Pain

After a tooth is removed, you may have some discomfort and notice some swelling. You can help reduce swelling and pain by applying cold compresses to the face. An ice bag or cold, moist cloth can be used periodically. Ice should be used only for the first day. Apply heat tomorrow if needed. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.

Diet

After the extraction, drink lots of liquids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Avoid alcoholic beverages and hot liquids. Begin eating solid foods the next day or as soon as you can chew comfortably. For about two days, try to chew food on the side opposite the extraction site. If you are troubled by nausea and vomiting, call your dentist for advice.

Rinsing

The day after the extraction, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water). Rinsing after meals is important to keep food particles away from the extraction site. Do not rinse vigorously!

Before Intravenous Anesthesia Sedation

  • Do not eat or drink anything including water for eight hours prior to the scheduled appointment.
  • No smoking at least 12 hours before surgery.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home after recovery.
  • Wear loose fitting clothing with either short sleeves or sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow.
  • Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
  • Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
  • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
  • The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the procedure.
  • If you take any oral medications, please check with Reflections Family Dentistry prior to your surgical date for instructions.

After Extraction Care

  1. DO NOT RINSE MOUTH TODAY
    Tomorrow rinse mouth gently every 3 to 4 hours (especially after meals) using one quarter teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. Continue rinses for several days.
  2. BLEEDING
    Following extractions, some bleeding is to be expected. If persistent bleeding occurs, place gauze pads over bleeding area and bite down firmly for one-half hour. Repeat if necessary.
  3. SWELLING
    Ice bag or chopped ice wrapped in a towel should be applied to the operated area; one-half hour on, and one-half hour off for 4-5 hours.
  4. PAIN
    For mild to average pain, use any non-aspirin type of medication you like. If the doctor prescribes a specific pain medication, follow the instructions and do not mix with other medications unless approved by your doctor.
  5. FOOD
    Light diet is advisable during the first 24 hours.
  6. BONY EDGES
    Small sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots; if annoying, return to our office for their simple removal.
  7. If any unusual symptoms occur, call the office at once.
  8. The proper care following oral surgical procedures will hasten recovery and prevent complications.