WHAT TO EXPECT FOLLOWING EXPOSURE OF AN IMPACTED TOOTH
- If you are experiencing any problems during your postoperative healing, please call the office during office hours to speak with one of our nurses.
- If you are experiencing an urgent problem after office hours, call the office and you will be connected, via our after-hours service, with our on-call doctor who will address your concerns.
- Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not get alarmed.
A small amount of bleeding after surgery is normal within first two days. If bleeding continues or is excessive:
- 1. Place a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick pad of moistened gauze over the surgery/bleeding site as needed
- 2. Firmly bite down on the gauze for 30 minutes
- 3. Repeat the first two steps, as needed, with fresh gauze, using finger pressure to hold the gauze if you cannot firmly bite on it;
- 4. You may also use moistened Tea Bags.
Swelling is a normal result from any type of surgery and may take up to three days to reach its maximum, after which it should start to decrease. To minimize swelling:
- Elevate your head on pillows for the first few days to help minimize swelling
- For the first 3 days following your surgery, consistently apply a cold pack to your jaw for 15 minutes at a time (remove for 15 minutes before re-applying) to help decrease swelling.
- After day 3, you may apply heat to the sides of the face, massage the cheek area gently, and exercise the jaw by opening and closing the mouth, two to three times a day.
- You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off.
- For moderate pain, take 1 to 2 regular or extra strength Tylenol every 3-4 hours while needed. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed.
Proper nutrition plays a role in your recovery.
- Upon arriving at home following your surgery, immediately begin drinking clear fluids at room temperature (e.g. apple juice or broth). Increase your fluid intake for several days after surgery
- If tolerated, return to soft foods such as fresh pasta, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, etc., as soon as possible
To prevent post-operative infections, it is important to keep your mouth as clean as possible:
- After your surgery, do not rinse the mouth, clean your teeth, spit, or swish fluids in the mouth
- Do not smoke the day of surgery and avoid smoking for at least 24 hours or more following surgery, as this will affect healing.
- 24 hours following surgery: begin rinsing the mouth with warm saltwater and clean teeth with your new toothbrush enclosed in the post-op kit and throw out your old toothbrush
- Rinsing and cleaning should be done in the morning, after eating and before bed
Immediately following your surgery, there are some restrictions to adhere to:
- Do not drive for 24 hours after your surgery
- No exercise, strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 24-48 hours after surgery.
- Increase activity as tolerated post operatively.
How To Schedule An Appointment
To receive your initial consultation with one of our oral surgeons, please contact your family dentist and ask to be referred.