SURGICAL TREATMENT POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS
Congratulations on completing your surgical endodontic treatment! Now that treatment is completed, the body needs some time to heal. Get some rest. Take it easy for the next 2-3 days. Do not irritate the sutures by lifting your lips or touching the area of surgery. Avoid lifting heavy weights or vigorous activity. Take your medications as prescribed. Most of all, be patient! It will take time, but it will get better!
As with any surgery, mild pain, bruising, and swelling are normal after the procedure. The swelling usually lasts around 3-5 days after the procedure. If at any point you are experiencing severe pain or severe swelling (a knot larger than a grape or enough swelling that your eye is closed,) please call us immediately. If you have any emergency condition, such as bleeding that cannot be controlled or difficulty breathing, please call 911.
Below are some general instructions that will help the post-op healing progress smoothly and predictably:
1: Ice the Area. Ice reduces pain and swelling. Usually the pain and swelling is very mild the day of and the day after surgery. However, it can come on quickly! Ice is the best way to prevent severe pain from setting in. Wrap an ice pack in a thin towel and place it over the area for 15-20 minutes, then leave it off of the area for 15-20 minutes. Continue to do this as often as possible when awake for 48 hours after surgery.
2: Take Ibuprofen as Prescribed. If you are able, ibuprofen or another NSAID is the best medication to reduce pain and swelling after surgery. Even if you are not in pain, take the ibuprofen as prescribed. It will help to reduce future swelling. If you are unable to take Ibuprofen, another medication will be prescribed. If you have been prescribed any other pain medication, this can be taken in addition to the ibuprofen and the antibiotics when needed for additional pain relief.
3: Take Antibiotics as Prescribed. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, please take them as prescribed. When taken as directed, they will help to reduce and prevent infection.
4: Maintain a Liquid Diet for 72 Hours. The force of chewing at this early stage can force food into the incision or cause the sutures to come undone. Straws are approved to use even at this early time. Following the first 72 hours, introduce solid food slowly. Start with soft foods. Hard and chewy foods are not recommended for the first week.
5: For the first 48 hours after surgery, do not brush or floss the area of surgery. This can irritate or even remove the sutures. Instead, take 1/8 tsp salt in 1 cup water and gently swish to remove any debris left after eating. Do not use mouthwashes containing alcohol. After 48 hours, the area can be brushed and flossed if done VERY GENTLY. Let your pain be your guide. If the area is painful to brush and floss, wait another day or two before attempting again.
6: Do Not Smoke for 48 Hours After Surgery. Smoking will dry out the gingiva and can even cause it to necrose. Please refrain from smoking for the first 72 hours following surgery. Nicotine patches can help to get you through.
7: Return for Follow-up as Scheduled. Please return for suture removal as scheduled. If you have any questions, severe pain, or swelling, let us know! We are here for you. While healing from surgery can be difficult, it will happen. Usually it just requires patience. A few days will make all the difference!