Post-Operative Instructions Following Your Colleyville Dental Extraction
At Texas Oral Surgery Specialists in Colleyville, TX, Dr. Chris L. Tye, MD, DDS has over twenty-five years of experience in surgical treatments. The following information provides some useful tips to help aid in the healing process after dental extractions, exposure and bonding of impacted teeth, removal of impacted teeth, and pre-prosthetic oral surgery.
Immediately Following Your Procedure
When your surgery is over, it is important that you go home immediately and get some rest. These instructions will be helpful for you during the first 24 hours of your recovery:
- Bleeding: Slight oozing of blood and saliva is normal following oral surgery. Gauze packs were most likely placed over the surgical site before you left our office. These can be removed after approximately 30 minutes. Replacing the gauze is not necessary unless bleeding is significant. To slow bleeding, fold a gauze square into a tight knot, and gently bite down on it with firm, steady pressure. If this does not slow the bleeding, you can moisten a caffeinated tea bag and bite down on it for 15 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea will help to shrink blood vessels and slow bleeding. If you still have severe bleeding after using a tea bag, contact our office for further instructions.
- Swelling: While swelling is a normal part of the healing process, it can be reduced with the use of a cold compress. Gently apply an ice pack to the external surface of the area in continuous, 20-minute increments. This is extremely beneficial when done over the course of the first day. Typically, ice packs will not be helpful after 24 hours.
- Diet: Avoid crunchy, spicy, or hard foods for the first week. Instead, eat soft, nutritious foods, such as eggs, yogurt, fish, smoothies, and pasta. Drink lots of water.
- Hygiene: Do not brush the surgical site. Use an antibacterial mouth rinse to aid in healing and keep the area clean. A warm salt water rinse is also helpful in soothing the surgical area. However, when using rinses, do not swish vigorously.
- Medications: Antibiotics and pain medication have been prescribed to you. Take your antibiotics exactly as directed, and finish the entire bottle. For pain relief, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can be used to alleviate discomfort and decrease swelling. Take the prescribed main medication as needed. Other routine medications may be resumed following surgery.
- Sutures: Most of the time, the stitches we place will dissolve on their own in a few days. If we place stitches that will need to be removed, Dr. Tye will inform you.
- Activity Level: Do not participate in exercise or heavy lifting for at least 48 hours following your procedure. Raising your heart rate will result in increased bleeding, swelling, and discomfort. If you underwent IV sedation, you will not be able to operate a motor vehicle for the remainder of the day.
Following surgery, patients want to know they are healing as expected. Listed below are a few common occurrences following oral surgery:
- Swelling does not mean you have an infection. Typically, your swelling will peak around day three and will be completely gone by the fourth or fifth day. If swelling increases again after day five, contact our office.
- Some degree of tenderness and discomfort is normal following any surgical procedure. If you still have severe pain after taking your medications as directed, contact a team member.
- Stiffness in the jaw and face can occur, and is not a cause for concern.
- Some patients may experience bruising. This usually develops by the second or third day, but will gradually fade away over the next several days.
- If you think you may have a dry socket, call our office immediately. A dry socket is characterized by severe, radiating pain. This can occur if the blood clot is washed out prematurely.
- Slight numbness can occur in the lip and tongue areas. If this persists for more than one week, inform Dr. Tye.
- Following IV sedation, drowsiness can continue for up to 36 hours. This is normal and is not an issue. However, do not operate a vehicle or heavy machinery until you are completely alert.
Instructions from Your Colleyville Oral Surgeon
Your recovery time following your dental extraction can vary depending on your specific situation. However, most patients find they can return to school or work within two to four days.
If you have any additional questions or concerns – or in case of an emergency – please contact us online or call our office at (817) 552-3223. We serve Colleyville, TX and the surrounding areas of Grapevine, Southlake, Euless, and Bedford. We look forward to working with you. Thank you for entrusting us to your care.