Post-Operative Instructions

  • Children’s Dentistry
  • Extractions & Surgery
  • Sinus Graft
  • Sinus Exposure

Post-Op Children’s Dentistry

Please note the following instruction for common children’s treatments:


Stainless Steel Crowns
Your child has had stainless steel crowns placed to restore badly decayed baby teeth. The decay was removed and in some cases, if the decay was into the nerve of the tooth, the nerve was removed and a special medication was used. This procedure is called a pulpotomy.


The crowns are cemented in place. The gums around them may be tender for a day or two. The child may mention that his/her “bite” feels funny at first, but this will correct itself. Brush these crowns just like other teeth. They will get wiggly and fall out with the baby tooth at the normal time.


Your child must avoid sticky foods like toffee, sticky candy, suckers, bubble gum, etc. as these things may pull off a crown. If a crown does come off, they are easily re-cemented, but this must be done as soon as possible. Keep the crown and phone your dentist’s office for an appointment to have this done.


Spacers
Your child has had a tooth removed and a spacer cemented. The spacer is meant to hold the space between two teeth for the adult tooth to erupt into in the future. When the adult tooth can be seen erupting through the gums, it is time for the spacer to be removed.


Brush the spacer to keep plaque and food from sticking to it. Your child must avoid sticky foods like toffee, sticky candy, suckers or bubble gum as these may damage or pull the spacer out of place. If this happens, the spacer can be easily re-cemented if done as soon as possible. Keep the spacer and phone your dentist’s office for an appointment.


Baby Tooth Extraction
Baby teeth are shorter than adult teeth but may be much wider. The socket will typically bleed for half an hour. Biting on gauze for 30 minutes, if possible, will help keep this under control. Any infection or abscess in the baby tooth should go away once the tooth is removed so no additional antibiotics will be necessary. Children’s Tylenol or Advil is all that may be required for the first few hours after treatment. Brushing can be started again the very next day. Choose foods for the first day that aren’t going to hurt the healing gums.


Download and print these instructions.

Post-Op Extractions & Surgery

Medications & Prescriptions
Local anesthetic will wear off within a half hour to 24 hours following surgery. It is important to take your pain medication before discomfort begins.


Pain medication is to be taken as instructed on the label. It is important to eat prior to taking your pain medication. Not eating can cause nausea and vomiting. If nausea and/or vomiting occur, please use Gravol which can be purchased at your pharmacy. Gravol can be purchased for administration by mouth or if nausea and vomiting are severe, please purchase Gravol suppositories. Do not operate any motor vehicle or hazardous equipment for 24 hours post-surgery. After 24 to 72 hours, you may begin using over-the-counter pain medications.


If an antibiotic is prescribed, it has to be taken until all the medication is finished.


Attention: All female patients utilizing birth control pills, please be advised that if the doctor prescribes antibiotics, an alternative form of birth control must be utilized during the period of time you are taking antibiotics.


Control of Bleeding
Gauze is placed over the surgical site to serve as a pressure bandage when you bite down. We recommend leaving it in place until the numbness of the local anesthetic wears off and brisk oozing no longer occurs. Replace the gauze hourly, when eating or taking medications. Excessive bleeding can be controlled by placing a cool, moistened tea bag over the surgical site for one hour while applying pressure. Pink or blood-tinged saliva may be present for 24 to 48 hours; a small amount of oozing is normal. Rest with your head elevated on two or more pillows for the first day. You may want to cover your pillows with a towel to protect your bedding.


Swelling
Swelling after surgery is normal. It may take up to three days for swelling to reach a peak before subsiding. Ice packs should be applied during the first two to three days after surgery to reduce swelling and produce numbness. Fill a plastic bag with crushed ice and wrap it in a damp towel. Apply for 20 minutes – leave off for ten minutes. After discontinuing ice, switch to moist heat like a warm wash cloth. Utilize the warm cloth for 15 minutes for every hour you are awake for two days. If swelling increases past the fourth post-surgical day or if swelling re-appears after initial healing, an infection may be present. This swelling will quite often be accompanied by feeling un-well and having a fever. Please contact our office if this should occur.


Normal jaw opening and movement may take up to one month to return after surgery. Jaw exercises (trying to open the jaw and stretch) should commence the day after surgery. Popsicle sticks or fingers can be used to help stretch the jaw. Please contact our office if you require further guidance on jaw stretching.


Bruising
Bruising may be present to varying degrees. It will subside within five to ten days.


Suture and Dressings
Sutures and dressings may be used as part of your treatment. You may feel them with your tongue. They will either dissolve or be removed at a post-operative appointment.


Tooth Brushing
No brushing the day of surgery! Do not brush the immediate surgery site for one week. The remainder of the mouth should be brushed normally. This will prevent the disruption of the blood clot, healing tissues and sutures. A small amount of bleeding or discomfort may occur when you resume brushing at the surgical site.


Rinsing
For the first 24 hours, avoid rinsing, spitting, drinking through a straw or using an alcohol based mouthwash as it may prematurely dissolve the blood clot.


Gently rinse with warm, salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in a large drinking glass) after meals and at bedtime. After 72 hours, vigorous rinsing is encouraged after meals and at bedtime for a two week period.


Diet and Nutrition


  • For the first 24 hours, eat cold, soft foods like ice cream, Jell-O, pudding, yogurt, cottage cheese and applesauce.
  • Follow a soft diet like eggs, mashed potatoes and pasta for the next four days.
  • Increase your fluid intake. Do not drink carbonated beverages or alcohol for four days after your surgery.
  • Do not drink from a straw for 24 hours. The sucking action may dislodge your blood clot and cause dry socket.
  • Proper nutrition is necessary for healing.


Smoking
If you must smoke, do not do so for the first 28 days after surgery to reduce chances of having post-operative problems. Smoking can increase pain and lead to poor healing. Smoking can increase the risk of infection.


Physical Activity
Avoid excessive physical exertion and fatigue for 14 days following surgery. Obtain adequate sleep.


When to Call the Dentist

  • Noisy or difficult breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Swelling around the eyes not related to surgery
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Persistent pain
  • Itching or appearance of a rash
  • If any other matter causes you concern


If unable to contact the dentist and you are experiencing severe bleeding or breathing problems, call 911 or proceed to the nearest hospital emergency room.


Please contact Gateway Dentistry Group immediately if you are admitted to the hospital for any reason within ten days of surgery.


Download and print these instructions.

Post-Op Instructions for a Sinus Graft

Swelling
Ice packs will help reduce the swelling but should never be placed directly on exposed skin. Rather, wrap an ice pack (or package of frozen vegetables) in a damp towel and place gently on the sides of your face, 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off.


Severe cheek swelling is normal following this procedure. If your eyes swell shut, please call our office.


Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds are normal and may occur for several days following surgery. Treat by leaning your head back. Apply an ice pack and direct pressure. Don’t be alarmed by the presence of bone granules. Drainage is normal from both the nose and mouth – wipe gently away.


Sneezing
Try to avoid sneezing. If one comes on, sneeze through your mouth – don’t pinch your nose.


Medication
Start taking your prescribed pain medication before the freezing wears off, and take as directed by your dentist.


Actifed or Sudafed can be purchased from your pharmacist. Take for one week as directed on the bottle to reduce sneezing and congestion.


Smoking
Do not smoke at all during the first 72 hours after surgery to reduce your chances of having post-operative problems. Smoking can increase pain and lead to poor healing.


Blowing Your Nose
Avoid blowing your nose. When necessary, gently sniff and wipe the end of your nose.


Download and print these instructions.

Post-Op Instructions for Sinus Exposure

You have an opening between your maxillary sinus and your oral cavity. Typically, these openings spontaneously heal. Sometimes, one or more corrective surgeries are necessary to correct this problem. If the following instructions are followed then there will be a greater chance that your maxillary sinus exposure will heal without further intervention.


Swelling
Ice packs will help reduce the swelling but should never be placed directly on exposed skin. Rather, wrap an ice pack (or package of frozen vegetables) in a damp towel and place gently on the sides of your face, 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off.


Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds are normal and may occur for several days following surgery. Treat by leaning your head back. Apply an ice pack and direct pressure. Drainage is normal from both the nose and mouth – wipe gently away.

Sneezing
Try to avoid sneezing. If one comes on, sneeze through your mouth – don’t pinch your nose.

Medication
Start taking your prescribed pain medication before the freezing wears off. Take as directed by your dentist.
Actifed or Sudafed can be purchased from your pharmacist. Take for one week as directed on the bottle to reduce sneezing and congestion.

Smoking
Do not smoke at all during the first 72 hours after surgery to reduce your chances of having post-operative problems. Smoking can increase pain and lead to poor healing.

Blowing Your Nose
Avoid blowing your nose. When necessary, gently sniff and wipe the end of your nose.


Download and print these instructions.

Copyright Gateway Dentistry Group 2017 - Legal
Created by

Legal notice