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  • After Extractions

    Bleeding after tooth extraction

    After a tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

    After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

    Pain after tooth extraction

    After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

    Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

    Oral Hygiene

    It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

    General

    After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at 615-822-8403.

  • Before Anesthesia
    • Before anesthesia, you may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for six (6) hours prior to the appointment.
    • No smoking at least 12 hours before surgery. Ideally, cut down or stop smoking as soon as possible prior to the day of surgery.
    • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home.
    • The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience.
    • Please wear loose fitting clothing with sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow, and low-heeled shoes.
    • Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
    • Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
    • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
    • If you take routine oral medications, please check with OMSNashville prior to your surgical date for instructions.
  • After Wisdom Teeth Removal

    The removal of impacted wisdom 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.

    Immediately Following Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery

    • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.
    • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following wisdom tooth removal surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
    • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.
      Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
    • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for explanation.

    Bleeding

    A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.

    Swelling

    The expected swelling following wisdom tooth removal is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.

    Pain

    For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every three to four hours or Ibuprofen, (Motrin or Advil) two-four 200 mg tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours.

    For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

    Diet

    After general anesthetic or I.V. sedation, liquids should be initially taken. Do not use straws until the bleeding has completely stopped. Drink from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. You may eat anything soft by chewing away form the surgical sites. High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Refer to the section on suggested diet instructions at the end of the brochure. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.

    Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.

    Keep the mouth clean

    No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day especially after eating with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.

    Discoloration

    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.

    Antibiotics

    If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions.

    Nausea and Vomiting

    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.

    Other Complications After Wisdom Tooth Removal

    • If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. As stated before surgery, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be aware that if your lip or tongue is numb, you could bite it and not feel the sensation. So be careful. Call OMSNashville if you have any questions.
    • Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Tylenol or ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.
    • You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. You were not able to eat or drink prior to surgery. It was also difficult to take fluids. Taking pain medications can make you dizzy. You could get light headed when you stand up suddenly. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute then get up.
    • Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots, they are the bony walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can be removed by Drs. Burchfield, Richardson, McLeod, Shea, West, Hamilton, Wicke and Mort.
    • If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as vaseline.
    • Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in 2-3 days.
    • Stiffness (Trimus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event which will resolve in time.

    General

    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 will be removed approximately one week after surgery. The removal of sutures requires no anesthesia or needles. It takes only a minute or so, and there is no discomfort associated with this procedure. So it’s really nothing to worry about.

    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 our 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 with salt water rinses or a toothbrush.

    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: Drs. Burchfield, Richardson, McLeod, Shea, West, Hamilton, Wicke and Mort or your family dentist.

    Brushing your teeth is okay – just be gentle at the surgical sites.

    If you are involved in regular exercise, be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.

  • After Multiple Extractions

    Bleeding after Multiple Dental Extractions

    A small amount of bleeding is to be expected following the dental extraction operation. If bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad directly over the bleeding socket and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, a moist tea bag can be used for 30 minutes. If bleeding occurs, avoid hot liquids, exercise, and elevate the head. If bleeding persists, call our office immediately. Do not remove immediate denture unless the bleeding is severe. Expect some oozing around the side of the denture.

    Swelling

    Use ice packs (externally) on the same side of the face as the operated area. Apply ice for the first 36 hours only. Apply ice continuously while you are awake.

    Pain

    For mild discomfort use aspirin, Tylenol or any similar medication; two tablets every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg can be taken 2-3 tablets every 3-4 hours.

    For severe pain use the prescription given to you. If the pain does not begin to subside in 2 days, or increases after 2 days, please call our office. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, finish your prescription regardless of your symptoms.

    Diet

    Drink plenty of fluids. If many teeth have been extracted, the blood lost at this time needs to be replaced. Drink at least six glasses of liquid the first day.

    Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods, which are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance your diet.

    Oral Hygiene after Multiple Tooth Extractions

    Do not rinse your mouth for the first post-operative day, or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use a warm salt water rinse every 4 hours and following meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. (One-half teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water.). After you have seen your dentist for denture adjustment, take out the denture and rinse 3 to 4 times a day.

    General Expectations after Multiple Dental Extractions

    The removal of many teeth at one time is quite different than the extraction of one or two teeth. Because the bone must be shaped and smoothed prior to the insertion of a denture, the following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal:

    The area operated on will swell reaching a maximum in two days. Swelling and discoloration around the eye may occur. The application of a moist warm towel will help eliminate the discoloration quicker. The towel should be applied continuously for as long as tolerable beginning 36 hours after surgery (remember ice packs are used for the first 36 hours only).

    A sore throat may develop. The muscles of the throat are near the extraction sites. Swelling into the throat muscles can cause pain. This is normal and should subside in 2-3 days.

    If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment like Vaseline. There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours. If the temperature continues, notify our office.

    If immediate dentures have been inserted, sore spots may develop. In most cases, your dentist will see you within 24-48 hours after surgery and make the necessary adjustments to relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may result in severe denture sores, which may prolong the healing process.

  • After Exposure of An Impacted Tooth

    Do not disturb the wound after exposure of an impacted tooth. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not get alarmed.

    Bleeding

    Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.

    Swelling After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

    Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously as much as possible for the first 36 hours.

    Diet

    Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

    Pain

    You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed.

    Oral Hygiene

    Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete.

    REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.

    Activity After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth

    Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.

  • After Dental Implant Surgery

    Do not disturb the wound after your dental implant surgery. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.

    Bleeding

    Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.

    Swelling

    Swelling is a normal occurrence after dental implant surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag, or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.

    Diet

    Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

    Pain

    You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.

    Antibiotics

    Antibiotics are prescribed with dental implant surgery secondary to a slight improvement in implant success rates.

    Oral Hygiene

    Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of dental implant surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.

    Activity

    Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following dental implant surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

    Wearing your Prosthesis

    Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after dental implant surgery and for at least 10 days, as discussed in the pre-operative consultation.

  • After Bone Grafting

    The following information applies when bone grafting material has been placed into extraction sites to help preserve your jawbone in preparation for possible implant replacement of the extracted tooth.

    Your bone graft is made up of many particles. You may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days. Do not be alarmed by these. It’s normal to have some of them come out of the bone grafting site and into your mouth. There are some things you can do to minimize the amount of particles that become dislodged:

    • Do not disturb or touch the wound.
    • Avoid rinsing or spitting for 2 days to allow blood clot and graft material stabilization.
    • Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, as the material is movable during the initial healing.
    • Do not lift or pull on the lip to look at the sutures. This can actually cause damage to the wound site and tear the sutures.
    • Do not smoke.

    Following the second day, gentle rinsing is allowed but not too vigorously as you can again disturb some of the bone graft granules. If a partial denture or a flipper was placed in your mouth, you may have to see your restorative dentist to have it adjusted and learn how to remove and replace it appropriately.

    It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with a doctor. The after hours telephone number is 615-822-8403.

    After Sinus Lift

    The following information applies when upper jaw bone height or width have been lost. The bone grafting is placed to help restore your jawbone in preparation for possible implant replacement of the missing tooth or teeth.

    Sinus Lift Augmentation procedure in your upper jaw regains lost bone height in the area of your first and second molar and occasionally second premolar. It is an important procedure as it allows implant placement in an area that could not be implanted otherwise because of insufficient bone height due to an enlarged sinus.

    The bone that has been grafted is most commonly a combination freeze-dried bone, artificial synthetic bone and your own bone. Because of this you may have two post-surgical wounds: the donor site and the recipient site.

    DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. BLOW YOUR NOSE FOR THE NEXT FOUR (4) WEEKS. This may be longer if indicated. You may sniff all you like but NO BLOWING. You may gently dab and wipe your nose as needed.

    • Do not blow your nose or sneeze holding your nose. Sneeze with your mouth open.
    • Do not drink with straws and do not spit.

    Scuba diving and flying in pressurized aircraft may also increase sinus pressure and should be avoided. Decongestants such as Drixoral, Dimetapp, or Sudafed will help reduce pressure in the sinuses. You may also be given a prescription for antibiotics. Please take these as directed. Anything that causes pressure in your nasal cavity must be avoided. Avoid “bearing down”—as when lifting heavy objects, blowing up balloons, playing musical instruments that require a blowing action or any other activity that increases nasal or oral pressure. Smoking must be stopped. If necessary Drs. Burchfield, Richardson, McLeod, Shea, West, Hamilton, Wicke and Mort can prescribe Nicoderm patches.

    Antibiotics

    Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection

    Oral Hygiene

    Do not rinse or spit on the day of your bone grafting surgery. This tends to disturb the blood clot, open the wound and can prolong bleeding and slow healing. You should not have a significant amount of blood in your mouth. Saliva can be swallowed, even if slightly blood tinged.

    Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential to reduce the risk of infection. Start salt water rinses the day following your procedure. Use one-half teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but at least four to five times daily and always after eating for the next five days.

    Do not brush the teeth in the area of surgery for 48 hours. When brushing and spitting, be very gentle.

    We may prescribe an antibiotic rinse (Chlorhexadine, Periogard, Peridex) for certain procedures. This rinse should be used in the morning and at bedtime after routine mouth care. Do not eat or drink or rinse your mouth after using the medicated rinse. Using this rinse more than two times a day will cause staining of your teeth.

    Smoking

    Do not smoke for at least two weeks after surgery, if at all. As discussed at your consultation, smoking dramatically increases the risk of bone graft and sinus augmentation failure. Drs. Burchfield, Richardson, McLeod, Shea, West, Hamilton, Wicke and Mort can prescribe a Nicoderm patch if you feel you need it.

    Wearing your Prosthesis or Nightguards

    Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery until your post-operative appointment unless specifically instructed otherwise. Please contact the office if there is any question. If you have a temporary “flipper” to wear do not place it until the numbness in the area is gone. When it is placed it should not touch the gums in the area of the surgery. If it does, this can cause ulceration of the wound edges and breakdown of the suture margins. This can lead to loss of the graft. If you have questions about the fit of your flipper, partial or complete denture, do not wear it until your general dentist or our office can see you.

    Post-Operative Problems or Complications

    As with any procedure, unexpected post-operative healing can occur after bone grafting. If you notice the unexpected flow of air or liquids between your mouth and nose, please let us know immediately.

    • If you are aware of several small particles of bone grafting material being discharged from your nose, let us know as well.
    • If you experience sinus or nasal congestion on the side your surgery was performed, let us know.
    • If there is an increase in swelling in your mouth, cheek or under your eye after 3 days, let us know.

    It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with a doctor. The after hours telephone number is 615-822-8403.