The removal of impacted teeth is a serious surgical procedure. Post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully.
A. Motrin (Generic Name: Ibuprofen)
B. Tylenol 325 mg (Generic Name: Acetaminophen)
If you are aspirin sensitive or asthmatic, do not take Motrin/ Ibuprofen. Please read the warning labels. These medications will do the best job of controlling pain after surgery. If Dr. Gunn prescribes these medications, take them immediately following surgery, before the numbness wears off. If pain is not subsiding, these medications can be taken as frequent as every 4 hours the first 24 hours. After the first 24 hours, try only taking these medications every 6 hours. It is best to take these medicines on a constant basis, so the medicine can stay in the bloodstream and be effective. These medications are anti-inflammatory and will help reduce swelling and subsequent pain related to surgery. Also try to take these medications with food.
A. Demerol (Meperidine) & Phenergan (Promethazine)
B. Percocet (Oxycodone). This medication has Tylenol already in it.
Please take medications as directed on the label. Do not exceed taking these medications beyond every 4-6 hours the first 24 hours. If you need to take these medications after the first 24 hours, be sure someone is monitoring you and absolutely do not consume alcohol or drive any vehicles. Again, please read the warning labels that come with the prescriptions. Patient should be closely monitored the first 24 hours after surgery. (Someone should assist the patient to the restroom for the first 24 hours.) Someone should attend to small children during this time and while the patient is taking narcotics.
Begin rinsing with warm salt water 48 hours after the bleeding has stopped. This can be done along with the mouth rinse. At this time you can brush the tongue and teeth that are three teeth away from the extraction site. Brushing too close to the extraction site can cause bleeding. Normal brushing can resume in approximately 1 week. Also, ice use can be stopped at this time.
Maximum swelling is expected in 48 hours and may last for several days. Discoloration and slight stiffness of the jaw can be normal postoperative events. Do not be alarmed. If the jaw is still swollen and stiff 72 hours after surgery, you may take a washcloth and place under warm water. Apply to the face. Place the washcloth on the outside of the face, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. This will help reduce the swelling. Do not apply heat sooner than 72 hours. If heat is applied sooner than 72 hours, you may actually increase swelling. Also our head wraps have blue gel packs that are hot or cold packs. Heat them as directed on the package, wet the head wrap and slide the packs in and use this 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
An irrigation syringe will be given after surgery. In 4 solid days (96 hours) after surgery, start using the irrigation syringe on the lower sockets. Place warm salt water in the syringe and place above the socket to irrigate. (Not directly in the socket). It is important to use the syringe for lower sockets only, but not prior to the 96 hours. If you use the syringe any earlier, you can introduce bacteria into the sockets and this will prevent proper healing. The syringe is for use on the lower sockets only and should be used after each meal. Someone needs to help you rinse all lower sockets at night and in the morning to insure that all food particles are out. Gravity and rinsing will keep the upper sockets free of debris in most cases. Syringe use is very important to help prevent a delayed infection caused by trapped food particles.
Depending on the size of the exposure the above restrictions may be longer than a week. Please consult with Dr. Gunn on post op about the time frame.
In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration after 72 hours.
In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on coke, tea or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a fifteen-minute period. When the nausea subsides you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine. If symptoms persist, please let the office know.
Sutures are placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged, this is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. The sutures we use in the office are dissolvable and will fall out on their own.
The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur call my office for instructions.
There will be a cavity where the tooth was removed. The cavity will gradually over the next month fill in with the new tissue. In the mean time, the area should be kept clean especially after meals.
Your case is individual, no two mouths are alike. Do not accept well intended advice from friends. Discuss your problem with the persons best able to effectively help you: Dr. Gunn and his staff.
A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of severe pain at the surgical site and even pain to the ear that is not alleviated with pain medication may occur 4-5 days following surgery. Call the office if this occurs.
No exercising for one week.
If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Gunn can be reached by calling our office phone number: Clarksville Office Phone Number931-648-0819.
Serving the Following CitiesClarksville TN • Nashville TN • Waverly TN • Dover TN • Hopkinsville KY Ft. Campbell KY • Oak Grove KY