At Lakeside Daytona Dentist, we ensure that our patients are numb, comfortable, and relaxed before beginning their bone grafting or tooth extractions. However, slight soreness or discomfort is to be expected afterward. To minimize this and give yourself a safe recovery, remember these important post-operative instructions:
If you’re prescribed an antibiotic, start taking it the first day (unless directed otherwise) and use to completion. This medication can sometimes cause an upset stomach, which is why we recommend taking it with food and plenty of liquid.
If we prescribed ibuprofen, start taking it the day of the bone graft or extraction and continue for 2 days. After that, you can still take it as needed for pain. Do not use ibuprofen for more than one week.
Take one pain pill as soon as you can after surgery because it will usually work better if taken before the numbness wears off. After that, take only as needed. Take any narcotic pain pills with food and/or plenty of liquid. Do not drive after taking any narcotic pain pill and do not take them with sleeping pills or alcohol.
Use a cold pack (or a plastic bag of frozen peas) to the face over the area where the procedure was done for 10 minutes at a time, twice an hour, for the first 6 hours. You can periodically use an ice bag the rest of the day of surgery and the next day. If you use the ice bag as directed, you should have less swelling than you would have otherwise. Less swelling means less pain. Do not use hot packs or a hot water bottle.
For the first 2 nights after the procedure, sleep in a recliner chair or with your head propped up in bed. However, a recliner is better because it ensures that your head stays upright. If you keep your head above your heart level for the first 2 days, it will significantly cut down on post-op swelling, leading to less discomfort.
Most people get some swelling and, if they do, it usually happens about 48 to 72 hours after the surgery. Using an ice bag and sleeping inclined as directed above will help a great deal with keeping it to a minimum.
Use chlorhexidine (Peridex®), a topical antiseptic, if necessary. Use a Q-tip to apply it. The ear cleaning Q-tips work best because they are very absorbent and hold a good size drop of liquid. Apply about 3 times a day for 4 weeks to the surgical site by dabbing the chlorhexidine soaked Q-tip to the surgical area. Do not scrub it in. During the first 4 weeks, whenever you do start any tooth brushing in the surgical site, dip the toothbrush in the chlorhexidine as well. If you run out, call us to pick up more. Once this liquid is applied, do not eat, drink, or rinse your mouth for 30 minutes.
Do not use a water-pik or an electric toothbrush around the surgical area for 6 weeks after the procedure. After that, it should be OK. Do not floss around the tooth/teeth worked on for 1 week, so you don’t accidentally take out any of the stitches.
The stitches and the barrier membrane over the extraction site are usually non-dissolvable and will need to be removed about 3 to 4 weeks later.
Rinse your mouth out, but don’t swish, with warm salt water (1/2-tsp. salt in 8-ounce glass of warm water). Hold this in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit out. Repeat. Do this 4 to 5 times per day, for 7 days. Be sure to start this routine the day after your procedure.
It’s important to avoid strenuous exercise for the first 7 days. Strenuous physical activity may increase post-operative pain or cause post-operative bleeding and swelling. Less activity will result in less pain.
It is important that the surgical site remains untouched during the initial stages of healing. We recommend that you avoid stretching your mouth to look at the site and avoid playing with your tongue on the surgical sites.
It’s completely normal to have “pink” saliva for a few days after surgery. If you have bleeding, wipe the area clean of any “blood clots” first. It has to be thoroughly cleaned first. Then, apply gentle (it doesn’t have to be real hard) pressure to the extraction site for 10 straight minutes with a soaking wet tea bag (black tea works the best), or a soaking wet gauze pad, or clean washcloth, etc. Be sure it is soaking wet because if not, the clot will stick to it and it can start bleeding again once you pull away. If it won’t stop, call us.
Stay on a soft diet, chew away from the extracted tooth/teeth and avoid any foods that would be more likely to get stuck in the extraction site—popcorn, corn, nuts, and seeds are some examples. Do this for at least 5 weeks (if we used a non-resorbable barrier we removed, then for 1 week after the barrier is removed)/ Citric juices, carbonated beverages or acidic foods, like tomatoes, may make it hurt, but won’t damage the graft healing.
For the first 7 days, avoid really hot foods or drinks. Consider a nutritional food supplement like Carnation Instant Breakfast, Ensure, or Slim-Fast. Ensure also makes a product called Glucerna for diabetics. After 5 weeks, there should be no eating restrictions. Don’t use straws for the first week, and no milkshakes with straws for the next 6 weeks.
Smokers have a much higher incidence of dry sockets. If you do smoke, keep it 5 cigarettes or less per day and only smoke half of the cigarette. No cigars or pipes. Do this for at least 6 weeks, but it’s best to avoid smoking altogether.
Unless you have a special medical reason for taking aspirin (tell us a week ahead of time if this is the case), do not take aspirin products for 7 days prior thru 7 days after the extraction procedure. Aspirin can cause bleeding.
If you have any questions, call our office today to speak to one of our friendly team members.