Our goal is for your healing process after minor oral surgery to be as comfortable as possible. Please follow all instructions carefully to avoid any unnecessary pain and possible infection.
Immediately Following Surgery
- Take painkillers as soon as possible (e.g. Paracetamol, ibuprofen etc,). Do not wait for the local anaesthetics to wear off!
For mild pain use Paracetamol regularly until the pain subsides- for approximately 2-3 days (DO NOT EXCEED THE MAXIMUM DOSAGE). For moderate pain use Ibuprofen /Nurofen 400 milligrams every 8th hourly for 3- 5 days. Sometimes for more severe pain, you may require a combination of Paracetamol and ibuprofen
- Do not suck on a straw, spit, or smoke.
- Restrict your activities the day of surgery, and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
- Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the affected area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding caused by dislodging the blood clot that has formed. Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use warm salt-water rinse every 4-6 hours and after meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the area.
- Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods that are comfortable for you to eat.
Bleeding- A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following a surgical procedure. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Bleeding is best controlled by the use of pressure. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for 20-30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. DO NOT SPIT. Swallow your saliva.
Swelling- The amount of swelling that is normally expected after the procedure depends on the type of surgery. Swelling around the mouth, check, eyes, and side of the face is not uncommon. The swelling sometimes may not appear immediately, and it may occur up to 2-3 days post-surgery. You can help to minimize the swelling by applying ice packs to the affected area. Applying ice after 24 hours has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. Swelling may take up to 2 weeks to resolve completely.
Pain- Post operative pain will be the most severe the first day after surgery. It is beneficial to take your pain medication before your numbness wears off. For moderate pain, 400mg of Ibuprofen/ Nurofen may be taken every 8th hourly. DO NOT take the pain medication on an empty stomach as nausea may result. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more each day. If pain persists, it may require attention, and you should contact our surgery.
Antibiotics- If you have been prescribed antibiotics, take the medicine as directed. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavourable reaction. PLEASE NOTE: if you are currently taking birth control pills, the antibiotic may inactivate them.
Sutures- If any sutures were required, they will dissolve on their own in 3 to 21 days. It will not be necessary to return to the surgery for sutures to be removed.
Activity- Over-exertion may start or intensify your pain. AVOID excessive work or play. It is not necessary to stay indoors following uncomplicated surgery. However, rest and minimal activity will help to minimize pain, swelling, and bleeding. Normal activity may be resumed the following day as tolerated.
Cleaning- Do not rinse or spit vigorously for the first 24 hours following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of the surgery, but rinse gently. The day after surgery, you should begin rinsing four times a day and after eating. Do this gently as to not dislodge the blood clot. To rinse, mix a teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water. Clean the rest of your mouth as usual.
Diet- It is advisable to eat only soft, non-spicy food for the first few days following surgery. AVOID hot food or liquid that could agitate the already inflamed area.
Special Considerations- Trismus (stiffness) in the face muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a period of days and rarely for few weeks. Moist heat compresses can minimize this condition. You may experience aching from other teeth. This discomfort is caused by referred pain and is a temporary condition. It is not unusual to develop bruising in the area of the extraction. There may be a slight elevation in temperature for 24-48 hours.
Dry Socket- A “dry socket” is the loss of the blood clot in the socket. This condition creates a delayed healing at the extraction site and presents symptoms such as pain in the ear, chin, adjacent teeth, and jaw. The discomfort usually begins about the third or fourth day after the surgery and can last for many days. The cause of a dry socket is unknown, but it can be attributed to pre-existing infection, the difficulty of the surgery, increased age, medications (such as birth control pills), and smoking. Treatment is for the symptoms only.