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Surgical Instructions

Surgical Instructions

SURGICAL INSTRUCTIONS

The staff at Dentist of Lake Mary wants all patients to be informed and comfortable during the entire treatment process. Patients should be prepared for their procedure and are encouraged to ask questions about the treatments they will be receiving. The following information is a starting point for patients who want more information about the protocols Dentist of Lake Mary will be following. Patients may want to put together their own list of questions prior to their consultation.

01. PAIN
Some level of discomfort or pain will be experienced by most patients as the anesthesia wears off. Dentist of Lake Mary recommends that you begin taking a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication once you're home. Medications such as Advil/Ibuprofen/Motrin/Aleve can be taken as directed (usually 400 mg every 4 to 6 hours). If you are unable to take anti-inflammatory medications, Tylenol or acetaminophen can be taken as directed on the bottle (usually 650 mg to 1,000 mg every 6 hours). If pain continues, take any prescribed pain medication as directed. Pain medications can cause nausea and vomiting, so follow instructions and always try to eat before taking pain medications. Don't let pain become unbearable before taking some form of medication. Waiting too long will only make the pain more difficult to get under control. Moderate to severe pain usually does not last longer than 24 to 72 hours, and will usually peak on the third post-operative day. You should begin to feel relief by the fourth day following surgery. If not, call your dentist.
02. BLEEDING
Minor bleeding or oozing from a surgical site is commonplace. Some bleeding may continue for as many as 24 hours. Bleeding can be eased by biting on a gauze sponge for 30 minutes, or keeping firm pressure on the surgical site. Once the oozing has slowed, try to avoid placing gauze or any other irritant near the surgical site. This will lead to continued bleeding and discomfort. Biting on a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze could also help control persistent oozing. If a wound starts to bleed again, carefully rinse the mouth with cold water and apply a fresh gauze sponge. Apply firm pressure for 15 to 30 minutes and the bleeding should stop. Should active bleeding persist, call Dentist of Lake Mary immediately and a member of our surgical team will get back to you quickly.
03. THE SURGICAL SITE
If the soft tissues can rest, healing will be expedited. That means no vigorous chewing, excessive spitting, or rinsing for the first 24 hours. Any of those activities could cause active bleeding to begin again which could lead to an infection. When drinking, avoid using a straw. The suction can dislodge the blood clot. No smoking at all. Smoking can slow healing and contribute to an infection. Don't worry if the stitches begin to come loose. The sutures are made to dissolve in 5 to 7 days and should not require removal.
04. SWELLING
Some swelling will occur during the first 12 to 24 hours following surgery, often peaking on the third post-operative day. There should be no visible swelling by the fourth day. Reduce swelling by placing an ice pack on the affected side at 30-minute intervals during the first 48 hours after surgery. Any swelling, soreness, or stiffness in the jaw muscles can be relieved by applying a warm moist towel to the side of the face several times a day.
05. ACTIVITY
Activity should be limited during the first 24 to 48 hours following. Excessive exertion can cause bleeding and discomfort. Elevate your head at a 45-degree angle when you rest. Do not drive for 24 hours, especially if you were under anesthesia or if you're taking a prescription pain medication.
06. DIET
Drinking fluids is mandatory. Dentist of Lake Mary suggests clear liquid beverages such as water, ginger ale, 7-Up, or Sprite during the first 24 hours. Begin to eat soft foods and drink other fluids as your wound heals. Avoid hot liquids until the anesthesia has worn off and the bleeding has stopped. Food selection is a matter of choice, but soft, cool foods that require little chewing are the best.
07. ORAL HYGIENE
Warm salt water rinses (1/4 teaspoon table salt with a small cup of water) should be used to clean the mouth during the first 24 hours following surgery. Rinse in the same manner three times daily for one week. Lightly brush your teeth, being careful not to irritate the surgical site.
08. YOUR MEDICATIONS
Take all medications as scheduled unless advised otherwise by the dentist. Patients who take blood-thinners (i.e., Coumadin) should restart those medications as directed following surgery unless there is continued bleeding.