Every effort has been made to insure you received the best possible care. Your cooperation is needed. These instructions have been prepared for you with regard to the surgery just preformed. Please read and follow them carefully. If you have any questions, feel free to call the office.
You have been given all the necessary medications to make your post-operative period as comfortable as possible. Pain and discomfort vary with the type and amount of periodontal surgery performed. Please take all medications as directed.
You will require the use of the pain medications more often during the first and second days after surgery. Beyond that, you may find that aspirin or Tylenol are sufficient to keep you comfortable. Try not to wait for the pain to reach a high level before taking pain medication. Remember, it is easier to stay comfortable by using the pain medication ahead of the pain.
To avoid stomach upset, do not take the pain medication on an empty stomach. Should nausea develop, slowly sipping Coca-Cola over crushed ice, along with some soda crackers, can help. If the nausea continues, please contact your doctor for further instructions. If you are on narcotic pain medication for any length of time, occasional constipation can result. This can be prevented by using prunes, prune juice, bran etc. If you feel the need, a mild laxative can also be taken.
At no time should alcoholic beverages be taken while using pain medication. If you are using narcotics, avoid operating a car or machinery, due to the drowsiness and slow reaction time that can develop with this type of medication.
The antibiotic prescription given to you will help prevent infection and allow for proper and normal healing. The antibiotics should be taken until they are gone. Do not stop the antibiotics even if there is no pain or discomfort. Should you develop a reaction to the antibiotics, please call the office for further instructions.
The material around your teeth is periodontal surgical dressing. It is used to protect the wound, as do surgical dressings used after other kinds of operations. It should not be disturbed. Our staff will remove it in about one week. Sometimes discomfort increases two or three days before your dressing change appointment. This is due to an increase in pressure under the pack. Should this pressure become severe, call the office to arrange an earlier appointment.
You will be on a soft diet for the first week. It is important that you maintain adequate nutrition during the healing period so that healing can proceed normally.
Avoid hard-to-chew, sticky and spice foods. Extremely hot liquids should be avoided for the first day following surgery. Following is a list of foods to help you select a well-balanced soft diet.
Food supplements such as Carnation Instant Breakfast, Metracal, Nutrament or any type of predigested protein formula used in weight reduction programs are an excellent source of protein, minerals and some vitamins. Vitamin supplements should be used and are desirable when chewing is impaired. Pureeing foods in a blender or a food processor makes a nearly normal diet possible.
MILK: Plain milk, skim milk, eggnog, buttermilk, yogurt, shakes, cottage cheese and ice cream.
SOUPS: All soups, including vegetable soup, cream soups made with milk and bouillon.
CEREALS: Oatmeal, cream of wheat etc.
EGGS: In any form, especially soft boiled, poached, omelets etc. Cheese can be used in scrambled eggs and omelets.
VEGETABLES: Mashed potatoes, pureed vegetables, vegetable juice.
FRUITS: Mashed bananas, stewed fruits, pureed fruits, any desired fruit juice. Be careful of juices with high acid concentrations as they may cause a burning sensation.
MEATS: Ground round, finely minced or in the form of broth. Pureed meat in bouillon is good.
FISH: Creamed tuna, salmon, minced shellfish and any poached fish.
PASTA: Any type of pasta with mild tomato sauce or butter sauce, casseroles
Swelling is not uncommon following this type of surgery. In order to help minimize swelling, ice packs should be used. When you get home, apply the ice to your face in the area of surgery, ten minutes on and ten minutes off. Continue this throughout the day and night of the surgery.
Elevating your head slightly with a couple of pillows can help control discomfort, swelling and post-operative oozing. Use an old towel or old pillowcase due to some slight oozing of saliva which may occur. The saliva may even be blood tinged. The swelling normally lasts for four to six days and then subsides. Apart from the external appearance, it has no significance and is a normal part of the healing process. Occasionally, skin discoloration in the surgical area can occur. This will also disappear in seven to ten days.
The ice pack is most beneficial the first 24 hours following surgery. Certainly, you can continue to use it beyond that if it makes you feel better.
Some oozing of blood mixed with your saliva is normal for the first and second day. However, if you begin to feel a large steady flow of blood, this can and should be stopped. First, gently rinse your mouth with cold water and find where the bleeding is coming from. It will be flowing from underneath the dressing, either on the cheek or tongue side of the teeth. Once the area has been located, take a moist gauze or a moist teabag and apply steady, continuous pressure for five to ten minutes. The pressure should be applied on top of the dressing and should be constant – dapping the area will not help. Pressure usually stops the bleeding, though in some instances, it may have to be repeated.
If you are having any problems or concerns, please do not hesitate to call the office during regular office hours. If the office is closed, Dr. Thomas can be reached on his cell phone.