After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

Try not to disturb the wound. If a surgical packing was placed, try to leave it alone. The packing helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not become alarmed; call our office for further instruction.

Bleeding

Immediately following the procedure a small amount of bleeding is normal. This is generally controlled by keeping steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze pad placed by the surgical assistant. Once home, the pad can be gently removed. If bleeding persists, place a fresh gauze pad over the area and apply pressure by biting firmly for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues in spite of the above, moisten a tea bag in cold water and place the bag over the area, biting firmly for 30 minutes. Remain calm and if you are unable to control excessive bleeding, call our office.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. The day of your procedure and the day following, ice packs applied for 30 minutes on, then 30 minutes off, will aid in controlling the amount of swelling, but will not prevent it completely.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid using a straw. Water and juices are good choices. Soft foods such as ice cream, pudding, gelatin, soups and applesauce should be eaten at meal times, the day of and the day following your procedure. After 24 hours add more solid foods to your diet as it becomes more comfortable to chew. It is best to avoid crunchy, hard foods like popcorn, nuts and chips for one week following surgery.

Pain

Immediately following procedure begin taking medication as prescribed by your Doctor. It is best to take the initial dose before the anesthesia wears off. Don’t be afraid to use the medication as it is designed to make those first days after surgery more comfortable. When taking oral medication, drink at least 1/2 cup of water, or juice to aid in absorption and reduce stomach irritation. After 24 hours continue to take your medication if pain persists. Unusual side effects from the medication should be reported to the Doctor.

Oral Hygiene

The day of surgery avoid rinsing or spitting as this may dislodge the blood clot and delay healing.

The day after surgery begin rinsing every four to six hours, especially after meals, with a solution of warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1/2 glass of lukewarm water). Continue oral rinses at least four times a day for the first week following surgery. As tenderness decreases, you may resume your regular oral hygiene. Cleanliness is important for uncomplicated recovery, as food left in the surgery area may slow healing and promote infection. Avoid commercial mouthwashes as they may irritate the area and delay healling.

Activity

Immediately following procedure reduce your activity as much as possible. Too much chewing or talking will contribute to greater swelling. It is best to nap with your head elevated on several pillows. Rest is important to start you on a good recovery.

After 24 hours and the few days following surgery, you may increase your activity as tolerated, but avoid bending and heavy exercise throught the first week.