After Surgical Treatment

What to do following surgery

  1. Rest quietly for the remainder of the day. Vigorous exercising may cause discomfort and bleeding at the surgical site.
  2. Minimize the amount of chewing on the treated side of the mouth. Avoid unnecessary movement of your lip; i.e. do not lift your lip to see the sutures. It is possible to accidently tear sutures, open the incision, and delay healing.
  3. If an infection is present, you may be given a prescription for an antibiotic. If so, take medication exactly as written on bottle.
  4. A cold compress should be applied to the outside of your face, over the operated area, 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. Doing so the first day will keep the swelling to a minimum.
  5. Take 600-800mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours to help minimize the swelling and inflammation. Take the pain medication only if the ibuprofen does not provide adequate pain management. You can take the ibuprofen in addition to and at the same time as the pain medication that you have been prescribed.
  6. A soft diet is recommended for the first 2 days. On the third day you may eat a normal diet. Include a diet high in protein and vitamin C. Stay well hydrated!
  7. Continue with your normal tooth brushing and flossing with the following exceptions: Do NOT brush in the surgical area but gently brush the remainder of your mouth using a soft bristled toothbrush softened in hot water. Begin rinsing your mouth with the prescribed mouth rinse. Chlorhexidine (prescription mouth rinse) controls the growth of bacteria, helps the healing process, and minimizes the need for normal tooth brushing in the surgical area. Swish ½ oz. throughout your entire mouth after breakfast and before bed.
  8. Sutures may begin to unravel and come out before your suture removal appointment. If they come out in less than 2 days, please call. If they come out after 2 days and the gum tissues stay in place, there is no reason for concern. Please come to your follow-up appointment regardless.
  9. If you have any questions or concerns prior to your next appointment, please do not hesitate to call.

Endodontic (Root Canal) Surgery

Endodontic surgery involves an attempt to retain a tooth, which may otherwise require extraction. Although the procedure has a high degree of success, it cannot be guaranteed. Occasionally a tooth with previous root canal therapy, including surgery, may need to be extracted.

The procedure involves cleaning out the ends of the root and sealing them in order to help the adjacent tissues heal properly. A small incision is made along the gum line to gain access to the root tips. If a cyst or abscess or other diseased tissue is present, it is removed. A few sutures (stitches) are placed after the procedure, which may need to be removed in a few days. The procedure is done using local anesthetic.

What to expect following surgery

Discomfort: You may have some discomfort after surgery, but severe pain seldom occurs. Ibuprofen is recommended for pain. Hydrocodone/acetaminophen may have been prescribed for pain. If taking this pain medication, do not operate any machinery, drink alcohol, or perform any tasks requiring mental or manual dexterity for at least 8 hours following the last dose. Any medication can cause adverse reactions. It is very important that you inform us of any drug reactions you have had in the past. Stop medication if you have any side effects or any other problems.

Bleeding: Slight bleeding may occur up to 48 hours following the procedure. Application of light pressure with a cold pack on the outside of your face will help control minor bleeding. If bleeding becomes excessive, lie down with your head elevated and place gentle pressure against the area of bleeding with a moistened gauze or tea bag. Call the clinic or the ER if the bleeding does not stop.

Bruising: Your face may show some bruising around the mouth and jaw, especially if you are light complexioned and thin.

Numbness: You may experience some numbness around the operated area for a few days and up to several weeks.

Swelling: You may notice that your face is slightly swollen for 3-5 days. Swelling can be minimized by using an ice pack on the area for 15 minutes then leave it off for 15 minutes, for up to 6 hours.

Tooth Mobility: Most surgical procedures cause some temporary mobility of the teeth. This will decrease with time.

Gum Recession and Sensitivity: Sometimes gum recession will accompany a surgical procedure. This may cause temporary tooth sensitivity. If recession does occur, many times the tissues will “rebound” to their original positions.