Pre/Post Surgical Instructions

PRE-SURGICAL INSTRUCTIONS

Aspirin and any medication containing aspirin should be discontinued prior to the surgical appointment – directions will be given to you regarding the length of time.

Discontinue Vitamin E one week prior to your surgical appointment.

Inform the office if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood thinning) medication. i.e. Plavix, Coumadin, etc.

Take any prescribed antibiotics as directed by your medical doctor for certain heart conditions (i.e. mitral valve prolapse, heart murmur, etc.) and total joint replacement (i.e. knee, hip).

Please inform our office of any allergies to medications.

Eat a light meal prior to your surgical appointment. Avoid heavy or greasy foods.

No tea or coffee the day of surgery.

Please be clean-shaven on the day of surgery.

SUGGESTED FOODS – SOFT IN TEXTURE

  • soup
  • oatmeal
  • cream of wheat
  • baby food
  • apple sauce
  • yogurt
  • smoothies
  • over-cooked pasta
  • cottage cheese
  • fish
  • eggs
  • rice
  • jello
  • ice cream
  • mashed vegetables
  • vegetable drinks
  • soft casseroles
  • ensure

FOODS TO AVOID – HARD FOODS

  • spicy foods
  • acidic foods & drinks
  • raw vegetables
  • crusty or hard bread
  • hard fruits
  • small seeds (poppy/sesame)

NO SMOKING for 2 weeks following the surgery.

 

DRIVING

Your doctor may recommend that you do not operate a motor vehicle for 24 hours if you are given oral sedation, such as Valium or IV sedation for your surgery. Some medications cause drowsiness and slow down your reflexes. You must arrange for someone to drive you home. Other medications may not have this effect and you will be advised accordingly. Plan to rest at home the remainder of the day and the day following if necessary. Directions will be given to you regarding physical activity on the day of surgery.

PERIODONTAL SURGERY INFORMATION

Please prepare yourself for surgery by reading the following sections thoroughly and carefully. The information provided will assist you in making the healing process comfortable and successful, minimizing any chance of unnecessary complications.

CHLORHEXIDINE RINSE

Following the surgical procedure, a dressing may be used to cover the surgical site(s). Let the dressing harden for one hour before eating or drinking anything warm. You may drink cold beverages immediately. Loss of the periodontal dressing is common. If your mouth feels comfortable, it is perfectly safe to have the area uncovered until your next appointment. If the dressing is dislodged or falls off, and you are uncomfortable, it is not an emergency. Simply contact the office for further instructions.

GAUZE

Gauze is a 2.2 square pad used to control bleeding after surgery. Please remove the gauze after one hour.

SUTURES (STITCHES)

Dissolvable stitches will usually break down, loosen or disappear by the time you return for your first post-operative visit. Non-dissolvable stitches will remain in place until after your first or second post-operative visit at which time they will be removed.

TOOTH BRUSHING AND FLOSSING

Do not brush or floss the surgical area(s) until you are instructed to do so on the post-surgical visit. Instructions will be given to you about when you can return to a regular oral hygiene routine. An electric toothbrush should not be used at any time in the surgical area(s) UNTIL FURTHER INSTRUCTION. A Waterpik should not be used in the surgical area(s) for 6 weeks. DO NOT brush the surgical dressing, if one was applied.

MOUTH RINSING

  • DO NOT rinse for 24 hours after surgery. Vigorous rinsing can lead to bleeding.
  • DO NOT spit the day of surgery.
  • Warm salt water rinsing should start the day after surgery.

SENSITIVITY

Some periodontal surgery may cause sensitivity of the teeth, especially to cold drinks. If this occurs, we will recommend special desensitizing toothpastes and fluoride rinses to help relieve the sensitivity.

SYMPTOMS YOU CAN EXPECT AFTER SURGERY

SWELLING

Expect swelling. It may take 2-3 days of increased swelling before the area begins to return to normal. To help minimize the swelling, you will be advised to apply ice packs on the outside of your face, over the treated area for 15 minutes. Keep the ice pack in position for 15-minute intervals throughout the day (i.e. 15 minutes on the surgical site(s) and 15 minutes off). Ice packs should not be used after the first 24 hours. 48 hours following the surgery, you may apply a warm, moist compress (i.e. a wet face cloth) to the side of the face where the swelling is present.

BLEEDING

Slight bleeding or oozing is normal during the first 1-2 days following surgery. If excessive bleeding occurs, place a wet tea bag (regular not herbal) directly on the area that is bleeding and apply firm pressure for 30 minutes. Do not rinse or spit for 12 hours. If excessive bleeding continues, contact our office immediately.

BRUISING

In the first 24-48 hours after a surgical procedure, slight bruising may occur. If a bruise appears, there is no cause for alarm. It is not a sign of a complication. Bruising will resolve on its own, usually over a period of 1 week. However, if bruising seems excessive or at all questionable, do not hesitate to contact our office.

DIET

Diet is restricted to soft foods and moderate temperature liquids. Avoid hard, extreme hot or extreme cold, chewy or spicy foods for the first 2 weeks following surgery. Food with small seeds should also be avoided since they may get caught under the surgical dressing or surgical area(s). Supplement your diet with any over-the-counter multi-vitamin pills. Do not skip meals. Regular food intake will make you feel better and aid in a faster recovery. Do not drink from a straw as the suction it creates may cause bleeding problems. No alcohol or smoking after a surgical procedure. Alcoholic beverages can slow down the healing process and may cause bleeding problems. Alcoholic beverages also interact with the pain medication to cause adverse reactions. Do not drink alcohol while taking medications. Do not smoke for 2 weeks following surgery. Smoking is an irritant to healing tissues and will delay the healing process.

SUGGESTED FOODS – SOFT IN TEXTURE

  • soup
  • oatmeal
  • cream of wheat
  • baby food
  • apple sauce
  • yogurt
  • smoothies
  • over-cooked pasta
  • cottage cheese
  • fish
  • eggs
  • rice
  • jello
  • ice cream
  • mashed vegetables
  • vegetable drinks
  • soft casseroles
  • ensure

FOODS TO AVOID – HARD FOODS

  • spicy foods
  • acidic foods & drinks
  • raw vegetables
  • crusty or hard bread
  • hard fruits
  • small seeds (poppy/sesame)

ACTIVITY

REST

It is important to get plenty of rest when recovering from any surgery. Plan to rest at home for the remainder of the day of surgery and also rest on the following day. Avoid sudden movements, bending and lifting heavy objects. When sleeping, prop your head on two pillows for the first night only, if possible.

EXERCISE

Avoid any activity that elevates your heart rate (i.e. running, brisk walking, aerobics, sports, weight lifting) for 7-10 days or as determined by your doctor.

POST-SURGICAL APPOINTMENTS

FIRST POST-SURGICAL APPOINTMENT

Your first post-surgical appointment is a follow-up to the surgical procedure. During this appointment, the dressing (if present) is removed and the surgical area(s) cleansed. At this appointment non-dissolvable stitches may be gently removed or left in for a longer period of time. Homecare procedures (oral hygiene) are evaluated and customized to improve their effectiveness. The month following is very important in achieving a good healing result. By following these instructions closely and by maintaining good oral hygiene, your healing will be complete and your sensitivity will be reduced by your final post-surgical appointment.

SECOND POST-SURGICAL APPOINTMENT

If a second post-surgical appointment is necessary, the non-dissolvable stitches will be removed.

TISSUE EVALUATION

This appointment occurs 6-8 weeks following the surgical treatment and enables the doctor to evaluate the healing of the tissue. This information is necessary for us to complete a full evaluation for our records and to report to your dentist. A post-surgical cleaning will be performed in the surgical area(s) to remove deposits, roughness and stain from root surfaces above and below the gum line.

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. WE CAN BE REACHED 24 HOURS A DAY.

IMPLANT SURGERY POST-OPERATIVE CARE

DRIVING

Your doctor may recommend that you do not operate a motor vehicle for 24 hours if you are given oral sedation, such as Valium or IV sedation for your surgery. Some medications cause drowsiness and slow down your reflexes. You must arrange for someone to drive you home. Other medications may not have this effect and you will be advised accordingly. Plan to rest at home the remainder of the day and the day following if necessary. Directions will be given to you regarding physical activity on the day of surgery.

MOUTH RINSE

NO RINSING, SPITTING OR DRINKING WITH A STRAW FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS. Any of these in the first 24 hours can lead to bleeding. Warm salt water rinsing should start the day after surgery. If Chlorhexidine (Peridex) rinse is prescribed, directions will be given to you.

BRUSHING AND FLOSSING

After 24 hours you may begin brushing and flossing the areas away from the surgical site(s). Do not brush the surgical area(s) until you are instructed to do so, usually after the first post-operative visit.

FOOD INTAKE – FIRST 24 HOURS

  • Keep food soft and eat away from the surgical area(s)
  • Do not drink from a straw
  • No alcohol until after the first post-operative visit

FOOD INTAKE – AFTER 24 HOURS

  • Cut your food into smaller pieces
  • Eat away from the surgical area
  • Soft food intake can resume unless otherwise directed

ACTIVITY

FIRST 24 HOURS – Plan to rest at home the remainder of the day – When resting, elevate your head on two pillows to help decrease swelling. AFTER 24 HOURS – You may return to normal daily routine – Avoid strenuous activity for ten days, such as lifting and any activity that elevates your heart rate. STRENUOUS ACTIVITY CAN LEAD TO BLEEDING.

SYMPTOMS YOU CAN EXPECT

SWELLING

Ice packs – Some swelling can occur after surgery. To minimize this, you will be advised to use ice packs. Place the ice pack on the outside of your face, over the treated area for 15 minutes, and then take it off for 15 minutes. Continue to apply ice packs as much as possible the first 24 hours after surgery.

BRUISING

Slight bruising may occur. It is not a sign of a complication. Bruising will resolve usually over a period of a week.

BLEEDING

Slight bleeding or oozing is normal during the first 1-2 days following surgery. If excessive bleeding occurs, place a wet tea bag (regular not herbal) directly on the area that is bleeding. Apply pressure for 30 minutes. Do not rinse or spit. If bleeding continues, contact our office.

SMOKING

Do not smoke for 2 weeks following surgery. Smoking is an irritant to healing tissue and will retard the healing process.

SUTURES (STITCHES)

If dissolvable stitches were used, they will simply break down, loosen or disappear by the time you return for your post-operative visit. If non-dissolvable stitches were placed, they will be removed at your post-operative visit.

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. WE CAN BE REACHED 24 HOURS A DAY.

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