After your procedure, it is very important to follow post-operative instructions to prevent any serious complications. Proper care of the surgical area is important to insure proper healing.
What you may see after surgery:
After the surgery, the exposed cuspid tooth will either have a gold chain attached to it or the area will have a packing placed. Both of these instances allow the orthodontist to have access to the tooth to bring it into the mouth in the correct position. Occasionally, the tissue overlying the impacted tooth will be raised in the area of the tooth and secured. In this instance, the exposed tooth will be exposed enough for access without the use of a chain or packing. If a gold chain and bracket is used, the bonding to the tooth may occasionally be lost. If this occurs, another bonding procedure may be required of your orthodontist requires additional attachment time for the tooth to be brought into the correct position.
Before the anesthesia has worn off, you can try over the counter medications for the relief of pain. Aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen medications such as Motrin or Advil can be used. If you were given a prescription medication it means that you may experience a greater amount of discomfort than that which would be relieved by the over-the-counter medications. It would be advisable to get he prescription filled to have it ready for use if needed. Medication for pain should be taken before the pain reaches a high level.
If after your surgery, you are given a prescription for antibiotics, get the prescription filled as soon as possible. Follow the directions on the bottle and be sure that you take the antibiotics as directed. It is important to take antibiotics as directed and for the full length of time for it to be as effective as possible. As with any medication, should you have any unusual reaction to the medication such as a rash, swelling, hives or itchiness stop the medication immediately and call the office. A doctor is available to speak to you at all times.
Swelling in and around the surgical site is common after any surgical procedure. Actually, swelling is the first part of the healing process. The swelling may involve the mouth, cheek eyes, or face and neck areas. The usage of ice for the first 24 hours will help to limit the extent of the swelling. Ice packs or frozen bags of peas or corn can be applied to the area, 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off. The maximum amount of swelling will occur in 24-36 hours. Occasionally, there will be no swelling the day of surgery but the swelling will occur the morning after the surgery. This is a normal occurence. Ice can be used for the first 24-36 hours. After that warmth can be used for comfort or to allow the swelling to resolve quicker.
Some amount of oozing of blood can expected after any surgery. This may persist for 24 hours or so. To help with the bleeding, one can moisten a small gauze pad in cold water, fold it and apply it to the surgical area. Slight pressure on the gauze pad will be beneficial to help control the oozing. Keep the gauze pad there for about an hour and then remove. If the oozing persists, the same process can be repeated. . If bleeding continues, wrap a moistened tea bag in a piece of gauze or the corner of a paper towel and apply pressure on it for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.
After surgery, you diet should be liquid or soft for the first few days. Avoid chewing in the surgical area. It is very important to maintain your nutrition after your surgery. High calorie and high protein diet is appropriate after surgery. After the first few days you can advance yourself to a more solid diet.
You can brush your teeth as normal but be gentle and cautious in the area of the surgery. No rinsing should be done the day of surgery. Rinsing should start the day after surgery. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a tall glass of warm water and rinse with this solution 4-5 times per day. Avoid smoking for at least 5 days after surgery
Bleeding from the surgical area may occasionally ooze beneath the tissues and appear often several days later as discoloration on the skin. This black and blue will resolve in several days and will fade to a yellow color before disappearing completely. Warmth may help in allowing the discoloration to resolve quicker.
After the surgery is completed, stitches will be used to replace the gums to their original position. Generally dissolvable sutures will be used and these will fall out by themselves in anywhere from 4-8 days. Occasionally, stitches that do not dissolve may be used and you will be scheduled for the removal appointment about 1 week after surgery. Avoid pulling on your cheek or lips to look at the surgical area as this may cause the stitches to dislodge prematurely.
If appropriate you will be given follow-up appointments to monitor your healing and follow the progress of your surgery. These appointments are generally made for 1 week after the date of surgery.