Patient Information

Surgical Instructions

I. Preoperative Instructions for Patients Undergoing General Anesthetic

In order to ensure an uncomplicated day for your upcoming surgery, there are a few things you will need to know.

  1. It is very important that you have NOTHING to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to your surgical appointment, not even water, gum or candy. If you have a 1:00 pm appointment, you are required to have a full breakfast before 7:00 am and then nothing at all thereafter.
  2. Please refrain from smoking on the day of surgery.
  3. Please wear clothing with a loose collar and short sleeves.
  4. Please do not wear nail polish.
  5. Please do not wear contact lenses.
  6. You will be here approximately one and a half to two hours.
  7. You must arrange for a responsible adult to pick you up from inside the office.
  8. We will give you instructions for post-operative care before you leave the office.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

The removal of impacted wisdom teeth and surgical extraction of teeth is quite different from the extraction of erupted teeth. The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:

  1. The surgical area will swell.
  2. Swelling peaks on the 2nd or 3rd post -operative day
  3. Trismus (stiffness) of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a period of days.
  4. You may have a slight earache.
  5. A sore throat may develop.
  6. Your other teeth may ache temporarily. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.
  7. If the corners of the mouth are stretched out they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with cream or ointment.
  8. There will be a space where the tooth was removed. This cavity will gradually fill in with new tissue.
  9. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If temperature continues, notify us.
  10. It is not unusual to develop bruising in the area of an extraction.

Please take all prescriptions as directed.

Women please note: Some antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of your birth control pills. Please check with your pharmacist.

II. Care of Mouth After Oral Surgery

  1. Keep fingers and tongue away from socket or surgical area.
  2. Use ice packs on surgical area (side of face) for first 48 hours, apply ice 20 minutes on - 20 minutes off. Bags of frozen peas work well.
  3. For discomfort take pain medications as directed.
  4. Drink plenty of fluids. (Do not use a straw)
  5. If the muscles of the jaw become stiff, chewing gum at intervals will help relax the muscles, as well as the use of warm, moist heat to the outside of your face over these muscles.
  6. Follow salt water rinse instructions as given on the day of surgery. (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.)
  7. Diet may consist of soft foods which can be easily chewed and swallowed.
  8. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure to the surgical area using gauze. Gauze should be applied for 20 minutes at a time until bleeding has stopped. If bleeding persists, a moist teabag should be placed in the area of bleeding and bite firmly for 20 minutes. This will aid in clotting blood. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding still persists call our office.
  9. We suggest that you do not smoke for at least 5 days after surgery, as this increases the risk of a dry socket.

Feel free to contact us if any doubt arises as to your progress and recovery.

III. Post-Op Instructions

Remember your follow-up visit

It is often advisable to return for a postoperative visit to make certain healing is progressing satisfactorily. A follow-up visit will be scheduled if necessary. In the meantime, maintain a healthy diet, observe rules for proper oral hygiene, and visit your dentist for regular checkups.

What you should do following extractions and other oral surgery procedures

A certain amount of bleeding, pain, and swelling is normal. Reduce your activity as much as possible for several hours. Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth until the morning after surgery. These activities may hinder formation of a blood clot which is necessary for proper healing.

Do not be alarmed if your vision is blurred for a time following anesthesia. It is only temporary and will disappear as the anesthetic wears off.

Follow the simple instructions below to minimize complications and help ensure prompt recovery.

To control bleeding

Immediately following the procedure. . .keep a steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze placed there by your doctor. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and permits formation of a clot in the tooth socket. Some oozing of blood may persist. If necessary, please resume use of moist tea bags in place of the gauze.

To relieve pain

Immediately following the procedure... begin taking medication as directed by your doctor to minimize discomfort when the anesthesia wears off and feeling is back to normal. Application of an ice bag can also help relieve discomfort. Continue to use pain medications to manage any dicomfort.

After 24 hours, continue to take your medication if pain persists, and use an ice bag if needed.

To minimize swelling

Immediately following the procedure. . .apply an ice pack over the affected area alternating for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off over a period of 24 hours. This will help prevent development of excessive swelling and discomfort. If an ice pack is unavailable, simply fill a plastic bag with ice cubes. Cover with a soft cloth to avoid skin irritation.

After 24 hours. . . it should not be necessary to continue with cold applications. You may expect swelling for 5 to 7 days.

Special considerations following removal of impacted teeth:

  • Removal of impacted teeth is a surgical procedure. Postoperative problems are not unusual, and extra care must be taken to avoid complications.
  • Severity of postoperative pain will depend on the procedure and your physical condition. Take medication for pain precisely as directed.
  • Healing of the surgical site is variable.
  • Swelling can be expected. Be certain to apply ice bags as directed above.
  • Difficulty in opening your mouth widely and discomfort upon swallowing should be anticipated.

Oral hygiene is important

Rinsing is important because it removes food particles and debris from the socket area and thus helps prevent infection and promote healing. Follow salt water rinsing instructions as given on the day of surgery. Resume your regular tooth brushing, but avoid disturbing the surgical site so as not to loosen or remove the blood clot.

Maintain a proper diet

Eat soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of liquids with meals and in between. Have what you wish, and add solid foods to your diet as soon as they are comfortable to chew.

In case of problems

You should experience no trouble if you follow the instructions and suggestions as outlined. But if you should have any problems such as excessive bleeding, pain, or difficulty in opening your mouth, call our office for further instructions or additional treatment.