Sometimes the after-effects of dental procedures are quite minimal, so not all of the instructions may apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification.
DAY OF PROCEDURE
EXERCISE CARE: Do not disturb the procedure area today. Do NOT rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects. You may brush your teeth gently. PLEASE DO NOT SMOKE for at least 2 weeks.
OOZING: Intermittent bleeding or oozing overnight and the next few days is normal. Bleeding may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the areas for 30–45 minutes at a time.
SWELLING: Swelling is to be expected after your procedure. It can be minimized by using a cold pack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the chin area. This should be applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 hours after the surgery. It will help the swelling and your discomfort if you will prop yourself up on 2 pillows while lying down. If you have been prescribed medicine for the control of swelling, be sure to take it as directed.
PAIN: Unfortunately, surgery can be accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. If you take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, you should be able to manage any discomfort better. Some patients find that stronger pain medicine causes nausea, but if you precede each pain pill with a small amount of food, chances for nausea will be reduced. The effects of pain medications vary widely among individuals. Some patients may even require 2 of the pain pills at one time. Remember that the most severe pain is usually within 6 hours after the local anesthetic wears off; after that, your need for medicine should lessen. If you anticipate needing more prescription medication for the weekend, we appreciate your making every effort to call for a refill during weekday business hours. After orthognathic surgery, you may find that it is beneficial to take 2 pain tabs every 3 hours for the first 2 days. After that, take 2 every 4–6 hours. In the unlikely situation that you need a prescription over the weekend, please call our emergency number.
NAUSEA: Nausea is not uncommon after surgery. Sometimes pain medications are the cause. Nausea can be reduced by preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft food and taking the pill with a large volume of water. Try to keep taking clear fluids and minimize dosing of pain medications, but call us if you do not feel better. Classic Coca-Cola® may help with nausea.
DIET: For the first 2 weeks after your surgery, you will be restricted to a liquid/pureed diet. After we see you for your 2-week post-op visit, you can increase to soft foods (nothing harder than mashed potatoes) for the next month. After we see you for your 6-week post-op visit, you can increase your diet to anything tolerable.
MOUTH RINSES: Keeping your mouth clean after extractions is essential. Use the prescribed Peridex™ Rinse at least 3 times a day. Gently swish a capful of solution for approximately 1 minute.
BRUSHING: Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after the procedure. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office where you had your procedure. A 24-hour answering service is available to contact the doctor on call after hours. Calling during office hours will afford a faster response to your question or concern.