Post Op Instructions

Post Operative Instructions After Oral Surgery

After an extraction, it is important to promote the formation of a blood clot to stop the bleeding and protect the healing process. This is why it is important to bite on a gauze pad until the bleeding stops, usually 1-3 hours after surgery. If bleeding persists, you may wet a plain tea bag and gently bite on it – the tannic acid in tea is a good clotting agent.

  • DO bite on gauze until bleeding stops, usually 1-3 hours after surgery.
  • DO take pain medication as soon as possible (before the novocaine wears off)

These instructions have the goal of protecting the blood clot! After it has formed, it is important not to disturb the clot as it aids healing.

  • DO NOT suck through straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site
  • DO ice the surgery site 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. This keeps swelling to a minimum (wrap the ice pack in a towel – do not apply directly to skin!)
  • DO drink plenty of clear non-caffeinated fluids.
  • DO eat nutritious soft food. Avoid sharp food like chips and highly spiced food.
  • DO NOT exercise vigorously. This increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the site.
  • DO sleep with your head elevated (3 pillows)
  • DO take pain medication as directed.

Continue to protect the blood clot! It aids healing.

  • DO NOT suck through straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site.
  • DO gently rinse with warm salt water (1 tsp of salt in 12 oz of water)
  • DO continue to drink plenty of clear non-caffeinated fluids.
  • DO resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day – avoid the teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours.

After a few days you will be able to resume normal activities. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the office at 410-268-5046. After hours, call the voice mail at 410-693-3585. Please speak clearly and slowly when leaving your name and number.

Scaling and Root Planing Post-Operative Instructions

  • Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. The purpose of the treatment is reach further beneath the gumline to clear away calculus (tartar) which harbors the toxins causing inflammation. The goal is to produce clean, smooth teeth and roots, which will promote healing of the inflammation and encourage re-attachment of the gum tissue.
  • After scaling and root planing, avoid eating anything on the area being treated for two hours or until the dental anesthetic has worn off completely. Avoid any hard “chippy” foods such as tortilla chips, potato chips, popcorn, or seeds for the next several days.
  • To help soothe the area, rinse your mouth 2-3 times a day with warm salt water rinses. Use one teaspoon of salt for every 12 ounces of water.
  • Resume your home care regimen immediately, but be gentle with the area recently treated.
  • Refrain from smoking for 24 to 48 hours after scaling and root planing. Tobacco will delay healing of the tissues.
  • You may take a non-aspirin pain reliever for any tenderness or discomfort. Take ibuprofen (Advil) or Tylenol unless you are allergic or have medical conditions that prevent taking these medications.
  • If you have persistent discomfort or swelling that occurs after scaling and root planing, contact the office for instructions as soon as possible.

WELL DONE! Root planing is not exactly a day at the beach – calculus is tough stuff! But you are now on your way to healthier gum tissue with firmer attachment to your teeth. Now it’s your turn. Home care – more than anything else – is the key to successful periodontal therapy.

Call 410-268-5046

Hours: 8am-5pm Monday-Thursday

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Neil W. Vanik, D.D.S.
1610 McGuckian Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401