Frequently Asked Questions:

Post-Operative Instructions:

What should I do after surgery?

Our office has prepared the following list of post-operative instructions for our patients.

Fold two 2x2 gauze pads and place over the extraction site (sites). Gently bite to apply pressure for 20 to 30 minutes. The pad should be thick enough that the front teeth do not touch. This is the best way to stop bleeding and should be repeated as often as needed. Rest with head elevated until bleeding stops. Do not expectorate (spit). Expectoration increases bleeding.
To prevent post-operative infection one should maintain good oral hygiene. Starting 24 hours after surgery rinse mouth with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. of warm water) 4 to 6 times a day and brush teeth after meals and at bedtime. Avoid vigorous rinsing and sucking on the wound. These actions increase bleeding.
Swelling will become progressively worse after 3 days, and may not subside completely for 10 days. The application of ice packs during the first 24 hours may help reduce swelling. Apply for 20 to 30 minutes then switch sides. Do not go to sleep with ice pack in place and be sure to wrap accordingly. A towel placed over a pillow is helpful to prevent staining.
Good nutrition is necessary for proper healing. Following oral and maxillofacial surgery it is often necessary to take a liquid or semi-liquid diet of soups, jello, puddings, custards, and blenderized foods. Smaller multiple meals help one to consume adequate nutrition.
Smoking is detrimental to your health and healing after oral and maxillofacial surgery. Do not smoke.
Post-operative pain should be expected and may be most severe the first day. It will diminish each day thereafter.
Take any medications prescribed by Dr. Tucker as indicated on the label. Do not drive or do anything dangerous if you are taking pain medication. Nausea is a common side effect of pain medications.
A low grade fever is common after oral and maxillofacial surgery. Contact the office for temperature of 100 degrees or above.
Commercial mouthrinses
Commercial mouthwashes should be diluted 1/2 by water.
Avoid exercise until clearance is given by Dr. Tucker. If you received a general anesthetic or sedation do not drive, return to work, or return to school the day of your surgery.
Any difficulty which you consider abnormal contact our office immediately.

Owensboro Office 1-270-926-4107
Answering Service 1-270-683-3551

Email comments, questions or suggestions to:

Steven R. Tucker DMD, PSC
909 Scherm Rd
Owensboro, KY 42301
phone: 1-270-926-4107
fax: 1-270-926-4166
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