What to expect following surgery:
- Some discomfort will usually be present. Severe pain seldom occurs. If aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil) does not restore comfort, please have the prescription filled and take as directed. Remember that narcotic medications may make you drowsy. Caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking narcotics, and they should not be taken with alcohol. Also, to avoid nausea, do not take narcotics on an empty stomach.
- There will be some swelling and discoloration present for 3-5 days following surgery and there may be bruising of your cheek and/or neck. This is a normal part of the healing process.
- There is often a temporary loss of feeling in the operated area.
- The operated tooth may feel loose for a time.
- The surgical area may "ooze" blood for several days, resulting in a slightly red color in your saliva.
What to do following surgery
- After leaving the office, rest and avoid strenuous activities for the remainder of the day.
- Take 1-2 aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil) for relief of discomfort. For severe pain, take 4 ibuprofen (Advil), and then three hours later take 2 acetaminophen (Tylenol) OR 1-2 of your prescribed pain pills. You can repeat this regimen every 3 hours as needed for pain. Do not take acetaminophen (Tylenol) with the prescription pain pills. This regimen is for short term use.
- To minimize swelling and discoloration, apply an ice bag or cold compress to the outside of your face over the surgical area. Apply for 20 minutes, remove for 20 minutes, and repeat for the first 4-6 hours of the first day only.
- Do not drink through a straw, rinse vigorously, smoke, or use tobacco products for at least the first 48 hours.
- Eat only soft foods for the first 24 hours. Avoid foods with seeds, popcorn, etc.
- Avoid chewing in the surgical area until the sutures are removed.
- Do not brush the teeth in the immediate surgical area until the day after the sutures are removed, but be sure to brush the rest of your teeth regularly. Keep your mouth as clean as possible to expedite healing.
- After 24 hours, gently rinse your mouth using warm salt water following meals (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 glass of water).
- Avoid lifting or unnecessarily exercising your lip. It is possible to accidentally tear the sutures, which opens the incision and delays healing.
If all went well, please let your dentist know—if not, please let us know