After Surgery & Anesthesia

Post-Operative Instructions for Patients After Surgery and Anesthesia

  1. Return home – must be accompanied by an adult. You should stay home for the rest of the day and do not drive a vehicle for 24 hours.
  2. Bleeding – You have just had one or more teeth removed. Naturally, there will be some bleeding. The pressure from biting on the gauze will help it to stop. Bite down on the gauze until you arrive home and then remove it. If there is any oozing, place a new piece of gauze over the site and bite down for 45 minutes. Repeat these steps until the bleeding stops. It is normal for the gauze that is removed to be red. This does not mean that the site is still bleeding. You will also have a taste of blood and a pinkish color in your saliva for 24 hours. If the bleeding persists after several gauze changes, call the office.
  3. After the bleeding has stopped – You may start with some liquids or soft foods. Do not rinse or spit for the rest of the day. This will dislodge and the clot and bleeding will persist. Return to your normal diet and chewing over the next few days.
  4. DO NOT SMOKE – for 1 week. Smoking may cause a dry socket/pain and slows the healing.
  5. 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 one week. Gently start brushing and return to regular brushing over the next few days.
  6. Swelling – Swelling may start after surgery but is no cause for alarm. Use an icepack applied to the cheek, one half hour on and one half hour off for the first 24 hours.
  7. Discomfort – If you are not allergic to it, take 2 Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) when you get home. Continue to take 2 tablets (400 mg) every 4 hours until everything feels better. If additional pain relief is needed, then you will need to use the prescribed pain medication. Take as directed along with the Ibuprofen. The combination of the 2 medications works well together. When things feel better, return to using only Ibuprofen. Medications should be taken with food to avoid nausea. Do not work, drive or operate machinery when using you are taking the prescribed pain medications.
  8. Antibiotics – if indicated, should be started as soon as you begin to eat and drink after surgery. Some antibiotics may alter the effectiveness of birth control pills.
  9. Some bruising, tenderness or a hard area at the injection site occasionally occurs and usually resolves without treatment.
  10. Sometimes a medicated piece of gauze may be sutured in the extraction site of lower wisdom teeth. This helps prevent swelling, infection and pain. The gauze is removed with the sutures a week after surgery. If it becomes loose or the taste begins to bother you, call the office and the packing can be removed earlier.
  11. In case of unusual difficulty, call the office at any time.

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