After Exposure OF an Impacted Tooth
Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The packing helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out, do not get alarmed but please contact our office for instructions.
You can expect a limited amount of bleeding from the surgical sites after surgery. Although there will be some discomfort after surgery at the surgical sites, most patients find Tylenol or Advil to be more than adequate to manage any pain they may have. Within two to three days after surgery, there is usually little need for any medication at all. There may be some swelling from holding the lip up to visualize the surgical site; it can be minimized by applying ice packs to the lip after surgery. A soft, bland diet is recommended at first, but you may resume your normal diet as soon as you feel comfortable chewing. It is advised that you avoid sharp food items, like crackers and chips, as they will irritate the surgical site if they jab the wound during initial healing. Your doctor will see you seven to ten days after surgery to evaluate the healing process and make sure you are maintaining good oral hygiene. You should plan to see your orthodontist within 1-14 days to activate the eruption process (applying the proper rubber band to the chain on your tooth). As always, your doctor is available at the office and can be contacted after hours if any problems should arise after surgery.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding that rapidly fills your mouth with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling apply an ice bag or a plastic bag filled with ice cubes to your cheek near the area of surgery. Apply the ice as much as possible for the first 36 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or hard foods. Only consume soft food and liquids on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18. Do not take the two medications at the same time.
For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medications if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take them. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.
Oral cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal, beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth normally if possible. Rinse with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete.
REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get lightheaded, stop exercising.
If you wear orthodontic appliances, replace them immediately after surgery unless otherwise instructed. If these appliances are left out of the mouth for any length of time, it is often difficult or impossible to reinsert them.