Our practice is dedicated to making sure your post-op recovery is as comfortable as possible. Dr. David L. Sykes will discuss any specific post-op instructions before your procedure to help you maintain a healthy, happy smile. As a reference, we have included the general pre-op and post-op instructions below. If you have any questions, please contact our oral surgeon in Linwood, New Jersey.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR ANESTHESIA & SURGERY
BEFORE YOUR PROCEDURE
- DO NOT have anything to eat or drink for at least 6 hours before your procedure.
- Take any medications that you normally do, or, any premedication Rx’s that Dr. Sykes has prescribed for you, with WATER ONLY, as little as possible, one hour before you arrive to the office.
- You must have someone bring you to the office. This person MUST stay in the waiting room during the procedure. You may not drive yourself home.
- Please wear loose short-sleeved shirt. This enables us to easily attach monitoring devices for your procedure.
- Please leave jewelry at home, and wear comfortable shoes no flip-flops or clogs.
AFTER YOUR PROCEDURE
- Have a responsible person with you for 2-3 hours after your procedure.
- On your way home, please wear a seat belt. It is also best to sit in the front seat and to keep the car cool. This will help prevent motion sickness.
- Due to the effects of the anesthesia, and /or any of the narcotic pain medications that have been prescribed for you, your coordination and judgment may be impaired. Do not drive, or take care of young children within 24 hours.
- You should plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Avoid exercise for 1 week, as this will increase your heart rate and cause bleeding.
CARE OF THE MOUTH FOLLOWING ORAL SURGERY
- Do not touch or place anything in the tooth socket.
- Do not rinse or spit out for the first 24 hours. The next day, you may rinse with 1/4 tsp salt mixed in a glass of warm water. Do not use mouthwash (Listerine, drugstore Scope, check etc.) for one week.
- Brush your teeth like you normally do, avoiding the area of surgery for the first day. After that, you can brush the area gently.
- You may eat whatever food you can tolerate. Clear broths, saltines, Jell-O, tea, and apple juice are suggested for the first day. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid citrus and carbonated beverages for 24 hours.
- Avoid jogging, weightlifting, and vigorous exercise for one week, as this can increase pain and bleeding.
- Do not smoke for 24 hours after surgery. This interferes with the formation of the blood clot and overall healing.
- Take pain medication as needed. It is recommended that pain medication be taken with food or liquid as soon as you get home. This will help to keep you remain comfortable as the Novocain wears off. Do not use Vicodin or prescribed narcotics unless you have severe pain.
- You may take an over-the-counter pain medication, such as Advil or Tylenol, instead of the prescription pain medication.
- If taking narcotic pain medication, you should not drink alcoholic beverages, drive, or operate heavy equipment, since it can make you drowsy.
- Narcotics (pain medication) can constipate you. If necessary, take a laxative.
- The first day or two will be the most uncomfortable. You should progressively feel better. If the pain gets worse instead of better, call the office. You may be developing a dry socket, which can be resolved by having the doctor place a medicated dressing in the socket.
- Bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth until you get home; then, you may remove it. You do not need any more gauze in your mouth unless you have a problem with bleeding.
- Slight bleeding is normal. You may taste blood in your mouth for up to one week. The blood clot is grayish white in appearance.
- If your mouth fills with blood, place gauze or moistened tea bags at the area of bleeding and bite down hard for 15 to 30 minutes. Sit or lie down while biting on the gauze.
- If heavy bleeding continues after biting hard on gauze for 30 minutes, call the office.
- If you have dentures, control bleeding by biting down hard with dentures in your mouth.
- Apply ice to the jaw, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Swelling is normal. The worst swelling will be in the first 24 to 48 hours. It will gradually go down after 48 hours. Bruising or discoloration on the cheeks and jaw is also normal and can be seen up to 2 weeks after surgery.
- Sutures have been placed to control the bleeding and hasten healing. They will either a) be removed painlessly or b) dissolve.
- You will be numb for 4 to 6 hours. If a long-acting Novocain is given, you may be numb for up to 12 hours. Numbness and tingling may occur after having certain surgery. This is usually temporary, and normal feeling will usually return.
- Take antibiotics until finished. If you develop a rash, diarrhea, or any other reactions, call the office.
- After general anesthesia, IV sedation, or nitrous oxide, you should not drive until the next day.
- Use Vaseline ointment on your lips.
- Leave immediate dentures in your mouth until you see your general dentist or return to our office.
- Sinus Instructions:
a) Do not rinse, spit, suck from your mouth, or blow your nose for one week.
b) Use nasal decongestants as needed.
c) Sniff back gently and spit out any drainage.
d) Take all of your antibiotics.
- Incision and drainage instructions:
a) Rinse your mouth with salt water (1/4 tsp. salt to a glass of water that is as hot as you can stand)
b) There is a drain sutured in place. It is the color of a rubber band. Do not pull this out. It will be removed by the doctor once the infection has cleared up.
ATTENTION: Medications prescribed for pain and sedation may cause drowsiness, which will be increased by the use of alcohol or other drugs. You are advised to avoid operating any motor vehicle or dangerous devices while taking this medication.
For Patients on Birth Control
ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. Alternative methods of birth control must be used until antibiotics are finished.
PAIN AND INFECTION
- The first two weeks will be the most painful. Pain and swelling will decrease as healing progresses. We recommend you sleep with your head elevated. Use ice on the swollen areas for at least the first 24 hours.
- Take pain medication as needed. It is recommended that pain medication be taken with liquids as soon as you get home. This will help keep you comfortable as the numbness wears off.
- You may take an over-the-counter-pain medication, such as Extra Strength Tylenol or aspirin, instead of the prescription pain medications. You will also be given a liquid antibiotic as a protection against infection. If you develop a rash or any other reaction, call the office.
- You may be taking a liquid narcotic pain medication. You should not drink alcoholic beverages, drive, or operate heavy machinery, since it can make you drowsy.
- If a long-acting Novocain has been used, you may be numb (have no feeling in your jaw) for 6 to 12 hours. Numbness may last longer if nerve damage occurred from the break in your jaw.
After general anesthesia, IV sedation, or nitrous oxide, you should not drive until the next day.
IMPORTANT: Your jaw can become infected, and jaw function can be permanently impaired if these instructions are not followed. You may then require extensive additional surgery and hospitalization, all of which may never return your jaws to normal function or appearance.