Post-Surgical Instruction

Post-Surgical Instructions (Periodontal Surgery)

To avoid bleeding problems:

  • DO NOT rinse, gargle, spit, brush, or suck out of a straw for the 1st 24 hours. The more you do this, the more you disturb the clotting mechanism. Oozing and a small amount of blood in the saliva is NORMAL. You can either swallow it or dab it with a 2×2 gauze square. Profuse bleeding should be addressed by folding several 2×2 gauze squares in half and either biting on the gauze in the area of bleeding or apply pressure. If that doesn’t stop it in 20 minutes, try a dampened tea bag applied to the area with pressure.
  • Please notify our office of continued bleeding by calling our main number (248) 357-3100 twenty four hours a day.
  • You may eat something following the surgery, but keep it soft, lukewarm, and on the light side, unless advised to do otherwise by the doctor or assistant.
  • It is NORMAL to be numb for several hours post-surgery.
  • You may be drowsy for the first 24 hours after the surgery, depending on how you were sedated.
  • Make sure to continue to take all regularly prescribed medications, as well as the antibiotic and pain medications prescribed for your surgery, unless an alternative medication plan has been discussed with you’re the doctor.
  • Swelling and bruising may occur. Applying ice for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 hours is helpful.
  • You may or may not have a dressing in your mouth. This is basically for your comfort and may not fall out before your post-operative visit. If you are uncomfortable, let us know and we can replace it for you.
  • You may notice in a few days some strings hanging. These are dissolvable sutures. If the strings bother you, call our office for further instruction. Do not clip any sutures if you have had any tissue grafting procedures.
  • It is NORMAL to have some increased sensitivity to hots and colds for a period of time after the surgery. You will also notice space between your teeth. Both these situations will improve but may be evident for several months post-surgery.

One day post-surgery:

  • You may begin to rinse with Peridex or Rincinol.
  • You can also begin to brush your teeth with the soft surgical brush, unless you have been told otherwise.
  • You can begin to eat normally; however, you will probably be much more comfortable if you stick to foods with a softer consistency. If you have had a tissue grafting procedure, you will be instructed to eat ONLY soft foods.

Post-Surgical Instructions (Dental Implants)

Brushing and flossing should be avoided over the implant surgical area for a period of two weeks. All other areas may be brushed normally with care taken in areas next to the implant surgical area. No rinses should be used for the first 24 hours after surgery. Warm salt water (1/4sp. salt per cup of water) may be used to gently rinse your mouth in the area of the dressing after 24 hours.

Dressing and Sutures

In order to avoid dislodging the surgical dressing:

  1. Do not chew in the area of the dressing.
  2. Do not use your toothbrush on the dressing.
  3. Do not at any time vigorously rinse your mouth.
  4. Do not chew hard foods, but do eat a well-balanced soft diet.

A surgical dressing protects the area of surgery and reduces discomfort. It is important that the dressing remain in place until your next appointment. If the dressing, or a portion of the dressing, is lost during the first week following surgery, discard the dressing and contact the office. The surgical dressing you have in your mouth will harden in approximately one-half hour. Do not rinse, drink, or eat during this time.

If no dressing is used you may see sutures between your teeth. They must remain intact until your next appointment. It is important to avoid stretching the tissue around the mouth as this may cause loss of the suture. Do not pull or cut the sutures. Normally, sutures are removed 10 to 14 days following your surgery but may be retained for a longer period.

Home Care

If you have had an implant surgery you should eat a soft diet. If you wear a denture, we ask that you leave it out until your sutures are removed, so there is no pressure on the implant site. The day following the surgery, begin rinsing your mouth with salt water (1/4 tsp. salt in one cup warm water), and brushing and flossing your teeth.

Swelling around your cheeks is normal following certain implant-related surgeries. In some cases, bruising of the tissue can occur and will disappear after around 7-10 days. Call our office if the swelling around your jaw increases; you have a fever, continuous bleeding or numbness; or you have pain in your jaw, mouth or sinuses that is unrelieved by your pain medication.

Special Instructions

If you were treated with immediate implant placement and temporization (an implant with a crown attached after surgery), it is critical that a soft food diet is maintained until healing is complete. No direct forces should be applied to the implant crown for three months.