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Post-Op Instructions

Post-Op Instructions

Pre- and Post-Op Instructions

No matter what dental surgery you have, taking care of your oral health before and after the surgery is important. Knowing these pre- and post-op care instructions will help you recover from surgeries faster and maintain a healthy oral condition in the long run. Here are some helpful tips:

Tooth Extraction Home Care Instructions
  • Bleeding Control: Leave the gauze pads in place for approximately 30 minutes and replace as needed. It can take three to six hours for the bleeding to stop. A small amount of oozing is normal during the first day. Avoid heavy spitting and drinking through a straw the first day. If bleeding is excessive, place a roll of clean, moistened gauze over the site and keep firm pressure for 30 minutes. Elevate your head on two pillows or sit in a semi-reclined position the first evening. You can also bite on a wet tea bag for 30 minutes.
  • Pain and Infection Control: Take all medications as prescribed. If you have any type of unusual reaction, please call the office. Take your first pain medication before the numbness wears off completely (approx. 2 hours after surgery). Then take the medication as needed.  Usually Ibuprofen or Tylenol will relieve most surgical soreness the following day.  DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE MACHINERY IF TAKING THE NARCOTIC PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATIONS.
  • Swelling Control: Apply an ice pack to your jaw on the side of surgery, rotate sides if surgery was done on both sides of your mouth, 30 minutes each side. SWELLING TAKES TWO DAYS TO PEAK. So, don’t be alarmed if your jaw is puffy two or three days after oral surgery. Apply moist heat to your face the day after surgery. Ice is only good for 24 hours. Heat will increase your comfort and decrease swelling.
  • Diet: A soft diet is recommended for the first day. Avoid chewing while your mouth is numb. Stiffness of your jaw is normal after surgery. It will take three to five days for most stiffness to resolve, so try a soft diet the first few days and increase your chewing as the stiffness improves.
  • Oral Hygiene: The day after surgery, start salt water rinses over the surgery site. A mixture of ½ teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water will make a good rinse. Rinse after each meal if possible. You may brush your teeth gently near surgery site and can brush the other areas normally.
  • Smoking: Avoid smoking for a minimum of two days and preferably for the entire healing period.
  • Dry Socket: If pain or unusual symptoms appear three to four days after surgery, you may be developing a dry socket. Please call the office if you feel that this is occurring.
  • Rest: Avoid excess exercise or heavy lifting for at least one to two days. Drink plenty of fluids and rest as needed.
  • Nausea: Nausea is rare after oral surgery. If you had an empty stomach before surgery, please try to drink something within the first few hours to prevent nausea from medications or blood in your stomach. Carbonated drinks (Sprite, Coke, or Ginger-Ale) can help alleviate nausea. Nausea is also a side effect if taking narcotics.
Instructions For Your TMJ Appliance
  • You must wear your appliance according to the directions given to you.
  • Remove it when eating and brushing your teeth. When removing your appliance, immediately put it in the special container provided for you. When eating a meal, do not place appliance in a napkin or leave it on the dinner table.
  • Wash the appliance with soap and warm water. You may use little bit of non-abrasive toothpaste and brush the appliance gently with a soft bristle toothbrush.
  • Do not clench your teeth hard into the appliance. Keep lips together, teeth apart.
  • Changes in the amounts of saliva are common in the initial phase. After a week or so, you will adapt and salivation will return to normal.
  • Keep your appliance away from dogs and cats. For some reason they attempt to chew and eat the appliance. Besides damaging the bite-plate, they may be injured.
  • When you remove your appliance, you may notice that your teeth do not meet as usual. This is okay and is to be expected. It means your jaw is finding its proper position.
  • Your appliance may not feel comfortable all the time. This is normal and means adjustments may be needed.
  • Notify our office if the edges are sharp or uncomfortable but don’t be alarmed.
  • Some people actually increase their clenching in the appliance. This is quite normal for about 50% of the appliance wearers. This will not alter the beneficial effects.
  • Wearing the appliance too long a period of time can shift your natural teeth. This is why it is imperative to keep your routine appointments and follow your dentist’s instructions.
  • Speaking and pronouncing certain words will be difficult at first. Practice reading out loud for 10 to 15 minutes each day and you will soon adapt and speak well.
  • There will be a full charge for lost appliances.
  • If you have any questions about the proper use and care of the appliance, please call our office at 973-838-1177.
Self Help Program With Your TMJ Appliance
  • Dietary instructions:  no bagels; no hard crusts of bread/pizza; no gum or any chewy candies; no hard and crunch fruits; vegetables unless they are cut into very small pieces; no eating meat off the bone
  • Rest it, don’t test it
  • Dots: lips together, teeth apart (position your tongue as if you’re pronouncing “N”)
  • Two finger rule: avoid opening your mouth wider than two fingers
  • Exercises/massages as indicated

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