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Post Op Instructions

A woman in the dental chair post op.

Basic Care Instructions After Periodontics Surgery

To ensure an effective healing process after your periodontics treatment or surgery, it’s worthwhile to follow these basic care steps recommended by Dr. Klassman. Not all of these will apply to every patient, but they will be helpful overall during your post-op recovery and healing.

Caring For Your Surgical Dressing

The surgical dressing or “pack” was placed in your mouth for several reasons, the most important being to assist in the healing and to allow for more comfortable eating. This dressing takes several hours to harden, so care must be taken not to disturb it during this time. You should avoid smoking, eating, or drinking of warm fluids for at least two hours. Do not “play” with the dressing with your tongue.

Loss Of Surgical Dressing

Occasionally, small pieces of the dressing break off in the days following surgery. If the uncovered area is small and feels satisfactory, it is perfectly safe to wait until your next appointment. However, if a large piece should break off or the dressing feels loose, call Dr. Klassman as soon as possible to have it replaced. If it is necessary to eat before the dressing gets replaced, be careful with anything hot, spicy, or hard to chew.

Preparing For Your Surgery And 24 Hours After Surgery

Teeth should be brushed everywhere but where the dressing is present, or near the surgical area if a dressing is not present. Twenty-four hours after surgery, flossing your teeth and rinsing your mouth should resume, but still do not brush on or near the dressing or surgical area.

Managing Pain

A certain amount of discomfort or pain can be expected following any type of surgery. Usually, this is slight and can be controlled by taking two Tylenol or Advil tablets. Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth after surgery, since pressure on them will cause discomfort. If more acute pain is experienced, take the pain medication Dr. Klassman has prescribed according to the directions.

Using An Ice Pack

When you arrive home after surgery, apply an ice pack to your face for 20 minutes. Then remove for 20 minutes and reapply. Continue this cycle for three to four hours.

Controlling Swelling

A slight amount of swelling and discomfort are expected following some procedures and swelling can increase for up to four days. If swelling begins, it can usually be controlled by an ice pack or cold compress applied to the outside of the face in the area of surgery, on and off alternating every 20 minutes for three to four hours. If swelling persists for more than four days, contact Dr. Klassman.

What To Do If Bleeding Occurs

Do NOT rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours. Slow oozing (bleeding) may occur for several hours. If bleeding is excessive:
•  Apply gauze or a tea bag moistened in warm water on each site of bleeding, hold with continuous pressure for 30 minutes, and avoid spitting.
•  Repeat if necessary.

If bleeding persists, call Dr. Klassman.

Food And Diet After Surgery

Eating should be avoided for at least two hours following surgery. For the first day after surgery, it is best to restrict your diet to fluids or very soft foods that require little or no chewing (for example, spaghetti, scrambled eggs, or a milkshake). When you must chew, chew on the side of your mouth that was not operated on. Chewing on the dressing could loosen or break it off.

Post-op Appointments

All scheduled post-operative appointments (usually once a week after surgery) are for your benefit and must be kept in order to monitor proper healing.

Contact Us With Any Additional Post-op Questions

If you are experiencing anything not covered in this list, or simply have questions to ensure you are caring properly for your health after periodontics surgery, contact us today. We are always here to help you achieve the best results.

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