Successful recovery following oral surgery, such as placement of dental implants or extraction of wisdom teeth, depends on the patient taking good care of the surgical site at home after leaving our office.
It’s also important to be aware of the signs of post-operative complications so that you can follow up with the oral surgeon to determine what additional care might be needed.
Your oral surgeon will give you detailed written instructions for home care when you are ready to leave our office. Here are just a few things to consider.
Taking Care Of The Surgical Site At Home
Before your oral surgery procedure, you will want to gather supplies, such as sterile gauze, ice packs and heating pads, as well as filling any prescriptions for pain killers or antibiotics provided by the oral surgeon. You probably won’t be feeling good enough to run errands after your appointment.
Certain symptoms, like bleeding, swelling and pain are to be expected and can be managed with a reasonable amount of effort.
- For bleeding – place a moistened piece of gauze on the site and apply pressure for 30 minutes. Repeat as needed for up to 24 hours. You can also use a dry tea bag to encourage clotting.
- For swelling – For the first 24 hours, apply an ice pack externally for 20 minutes, then take 20 minutes off. Repeat as needed. After 24 hours, switch to a moist heat source.
- For pain – Take your painkillers as directed. If you are taking prescription painkillers, don’t operate heavy machinery or drive while under their influence.
Infection is also a consideration after oral surgery, so it’s important to clean your teeth and gums as directed. At first, that may just be by rinsing with warm salt water. Typically the day after surgery, patients can resume brushing, but take care to be gentle so that you don’t disrupt the healing process.
When To Follow Up With Our Office
Certain symptoms may indicate the presence of an infection or some other post-operative complication. If you experience any of the following, contact our office as soon as possible for further guidance.
- Persistent bleeding beyond 24 hours after the procedure
- Severe pain that could indicate dry sockets (associated with wisdom teeth extraction) or another issue
- Noticeable signs of infection, such as pus or a bad taste in the mouth
We want to treat any post-operative complications that arise as quickly as possible, so please reach out to our team at Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates whenever you notice a concerning symptom.