post op instructions

Post-Op Instructions

Caring for the Mouth

Brushing and Flossing

Begin brushing and flossing your other teeth the day following surgery. AVOID THE SURGICAL SITES until given specific instructions at your postoperative visit.

Mouthwash

Use the prescribed mouthwash twice daily, gently, beginning the morning after surgery until instructed to discontinue. Warm salt water rinses can be used as needed, beginning the morning after surgery.


Eating

First 24 Hours

Adequate nutrition is essential for healing. Following surgery, your diet should be restricted to cold, soft foods. Dietary supplements such as healthy smoothies or Ensure are good choices. Avoid alcohol, carbonated beverages, and drinking through a straw.

Gradually progress to soft foods such as cooked vegetables, baked fish, tuna, pasta, and beans, which are easily chewed and swallowed. DO NOT SKIP MEALS. If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better and heal faster.


Activities

Rest

Plan to rest at home the remainder of the day of surgery and as needed the following day. When sleeping, elevate your head for the first two nights to decrease swelling.

After 24 Hours

You may return to a normal daily routine, but for one week following surgery, avoid strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or exercise programs which elevate your heart rate.


Medications

Pain Medications

Take pain medication with milk, fruit juice, or a full glass of water. Never take pain medication on an empty stomach. This medication can be taken every four to six hours as needed for discomfort.

Antibiotics

Take prescribed antibiotics as directed until gone.


Swelling

Ice Packs

Some swelling occurs after surgery. To minimize swelling, place the ice pack on the outside of your face, over the area for ten minutes and then take it off for ten minutes. Continue to apply ice packs for the first 48 hours after surgery.

Please replace ice packs with warm compresses after the first 2 days post-operatively. This will help with resolution of swelling and/or bruising. Some brusing may be normal. This may be more pronounced, if you are taking blood thinners such as aspirin. Swelling will reach its maximum three days after surgery, and should gradually decrease after that.


Bleeding

Slight bleeding or oozing is normal during the first one to two days following surgery. If bleeding starts, apply gentle pressure to the area by biting on a roll of gauze for one hour or placing a moistened tea bag over the site. Avoid blowing your nose. If excessive bleeding occurs, please call our office at 540-373-3066.


Sinus Precautions

Sneeze with your mouth open. Do not blow your nose, you may wipe it gently. Use Afrin nasal spray for the 1st two days following sinus procedure. Bleeding slightly from the nose is normal. Signs of infection: drainage, bad taste, pain persisting or getting worse after 3 days. Notify us if you have any of these signs or symptoms immediately.


Sutures

Sutures will be removed at your post-operative visit.  Please do not attempt to remove them on your own. 


Dentures

Do not wear your dentures until advised by Dr. Pitman or Dr. Ntounis.


Sedation

A responsible adult should remain with you for the remainder of the day. Limit your activity for the remainder of the day since full alertness will not return for several hours.  Do not take other sedative mediations after you return home after sedation. 


Smoking

DO NOT SMOKE for three weeks after surgery. Smoking compromises healing and will negatively affect the results of surgery.


It is our sincere desire that you are as comfortable as possible following surgery. If you should have any questions or problems, please call our office anytime. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 immediately.