Lincoln Park Institute

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At Lincoln Park Institute, we understand the difficulty that lies in having major surgery. In order to help reduce pain, prevent complications, and speed up your recovery time, we suggest that you follow these pre and post-operational instructions. We also provide a number of helpful tips for a successful and prompt recovery.

Pre-Operative Instructions

For patients undergoing intravenous anesthesia, please follow these instructions:

  1. You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for six (6) hours prior to the appointment.
  2. A responsible adult must be able to drive the patient home.
  3. The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience.
  4. Please wear loose-fitting clothing with sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow and low-heeled shoes. Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures should be removed at the time of surgery.

Post-Operative Instructions

For patients who have just undergone intensive oral surgery, please follow these instructions:

  1. Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after surgery.
  2. Keep fingers and tongue away from socket or surgical area.
  3. Use ice packs on surgical area (side of face) for first 48 hours, apply ice 20 minutes on – 10 minutes off. Bags of frozen peas work well.
  4. For mild discomfort, take Tylenol or Ibuprofen every three to four hours.
  5. For severe pain, use the prescription given to you.
  6. Take all prescriptions as directed.
  7. Drink plenty of fluids. Do not use a straw.
  8. If the muscles of the jaw become stiff, chewing gum at intervals or applying of warm, moist heat to the outside of your face will help relax the muscles.
  9. After the first post-operative day, use a warm salt-water rinse following meals and a few times in between for the first week to flush out particles of food and debris which may lodge in the surgical area. This should be done 6-8 times a day using 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
  10. Your diet may consist of soft foods which can be easily chewed and swallowed. No seeds, nuts, rice, popcorn, etc.
  11. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure to the surgical area using small rolled gauze for 90 minutes. After that time, remove the gauze and you may eat or drink. If bleeding persists, place a moist teabag in the area of bleeding and bite firmly for one hour straight to aid in clotting blood. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding still persists, call our office.
  12. If you are a smoker, we suggest that you do not smoke for at least five (5) days after surgery. Nicotine may break down the blood clot and cause a “Dry-Socket.”

Post-Operation Tips for a Prompt Recovery

To control bleeding

Immediately following your procedure, keep steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze placed there by your doctor. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and aids in the formation of a clot in the tooth socket. Gently remove the compress approximately 45 minutes later. After 24 hours, some oozing of blood may persist. If necessary, resume the use of moist tea bags. After the bleeding has stopped, cautiously resume oral hygiene.

To relieve pain

Immediately following the procedure, begin taking the prescribed medication as directed by your doctor to minimize discomfort when the anesthesia wears off. Application of an ice bag can also help relieve discomfort. If pain persists after 24 hours, continue to take your medication.

To minimize swelling

Immediately following your procedure, apply an ice bag over the affected area. Use 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 24 hours to help prevent the development of excessive swelling and discomfort. After 24 hours, it should not be necessary to continue with cold applications. You may expect swelling to last for 10 to 12 days, and you may develop a fever of 99 degrees F to 100 degrees F.

Oral hygiene is important

24 hours after surgery, rinse your mouth gently with a solution of one-half teaspoonful of salt dissolved in a glass of water. Repeat after every meal or snack for seven days. Rinsing is important because it removes food particles and debris from the socket area, and thus helps prevent infection and promote healing. Brush your tongue with a dry toothbrush to keep bacteria growth down, but be careful not to touch the extraction site. You can resume your regular tooth brushing, but avoid disturbing the surgical site so as not to loosen or remove the blood clot.

Maintain a proper diet

Have your meals at the usual time, and remember to eat soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of liquids. Have what you wish, but be careful not to disturb the blood clot. Add solid foods to your diet as soon as you are comfortable to chew.

In case of problems

You should experience little, if any, trouble if you follow the instructions and suggestions as detailed.However, if you should have any problems (such as excessive bleeding, pain, or difficulty in opening your mouth), call our office immediately for further instructions or additional treatment.

Follow-up visit

Postoperative visits are available on an as-needed basis. In the meantime, maintain a healthy diet, observe the rules of proper oral hygiene, and visit your dentist for regular checkups.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or complications relating to your progress and recovery.