These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They are designed to help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention.
It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. You will be given a prescription for medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. If necessary, you may take your pain medication more frequently than every 4-6 hours to stay ahead of the soreness. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.
As an alternative to prescription medications, some patients have found taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Tylenol to be effective. You may take the combination in either of the following dosages: 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 2 Regular Strength Tylenol or 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 1 Extra Strength Tylenol, every 4-6 hours as needed.
Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicodin or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Also we do not recommend taking aspirin or any pain reliever that may contain aspirin. Aspirin is a blood thinner and could cause you to have excessive bleeding post-surgically. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.
Please alert the office to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.
Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first day. Any day following your surgical procedure that the swelling persists, place a warm pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue with the warm compresses until the swelling goes down.
A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:
- Do not rinse your mouth.
- Elevate your head when lying down.
- Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
- Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
- Call the office if bleeding persists.
Following surgery, you will need to be on a soft foods diet. It is important to make sure you have enough nourishment while your body is trying to heal. You may even consider taking a multi-vitamin during the weeks after your surgery. Never chew directly in the area where the surgery was performed. Do not eat or drink anything that is extremely hot in temperature. It is best to have your food and drinks at a cold or warm temperature. The use of a straw is not recommended at this time. Some suggestions of soft foods are listed below:
VEGETABLE/FRUIT GROUP – Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, cooked or steamed vegetables, applesauce
BREAD/GRAINS GROUP – Soft breads, pasta, rice, quinoa, oatmeal, cream of wheat
DAIRY GROUP – Yogurt, milk, milkshakes, ice cream, pudding cottage cheese
PROTEIN GROUP – Fish, tuna, chicken, ground beef or turkey, eggs, beans
Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results. If you choose to smoke and compromise the healing of the surgery, we recommend you cover the surgical area with guaze.
Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.
For those teeth and gums that were not involved in the surgery, maintain their cleanliness according to the plaque control instructions you have already been following. For those areas of the mouth that have undergone surgery, you may brush the biting surfaces (top edges) of the teeth only. It is not advised to brush at the gum line at this time. Also, by brushing your tongue, you can help keep your mouth fresh and avoid bad breath. NOTE – Do not vigorously rinse or swish at any time during the first few weeks following surgery. To remove excess toothpaste out of your mouth after brushing your teeth, place water in your mouth and let it fall out gently. The use of any mouthwash, including Listerine or Scope is not recommended at this time.
Following a sinus lift procedure, it is not uncommon to see bleeding through your nose. If this occurs, simply “plug up” your nostril with a tissue. Also, you may feel nasal congestion in your nose on the side where surgery was performed. DO NOT blow through your nose. Instead, use a nasal decongestant spray (example: Dristan, Afrin) to help decongest your nose without blowing out. Also, following surgery, it is beneficial to sleep with your head elevated. Try placing an extra pillow or two underneath your head as you sleep.
Any time you are taking an antibiotic, the use of a probiotic is also recommended. This will help to keep the good bacteria in your gut. You can get a probiotic in yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, or as a supplement.
Avoid excess activity and exercise for minimally 4-5 days following surgery. If you are experiencing discomfort and/or swelling after 4-5 days, hold off from exercise until the swelling/discomfort as subsided.
You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.
Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at (413)788-9058 (Springfield Office) or (413)549-3907 (Amherst Office). In case of a true emergency which occurs after business hours, please call (413)788-9058. We have a 24-hour answering service that will answer your call and get in touch with Dr. Megas as needed.