Nobody ever wants to have a tooth extracted, but today’s sedation dentistry keeps you calm and comfortable throughout the procedure. Whether you need oral surgery for decayed or impacted teeth, gum disease, jaw atrophy, or other reasons, you need to allow yourself sufficient recovery time.
At AB Dental and Oral Surgery in San Antonio, Texas, our expert team, led by Anthony D. Osei, DDS, PhD, may recommend oral surgery to keep your teeth, gums, and entire body healthy. We provide sedation dentistry, where appropriate, to keep you relaxed and pain-free during your procedure.
After oral surgery, though, you must follow our aftercare instructions to avoid infection, irritation, or a long healing time. Following are six tips to help make your oral surgery recovery fast and comfortable.
First, be sure to give yourself adequate time to rest and relax. Don’t try to stick to your normal routine. Watch TV, play a non-stressful video game, or read a book. Let your body do the work of healing and recovering while you take it easy.
Even after you decide you’re feeling well enough to engage in one or two normal activities, if you feel tired or woozy, take a break. Also be sure to get enough sleep. Sleep helps you heal and recover.
Don’t grab your hockey stick and puck; you’re not ready for sports yet. Instead, wrap ice or an icepack in a washcloth or gauze and apply it to swollen areas on your face.
Only hold the wrapped ice or icepack to your face for 10-20 minutes at a time. You don’t want to damage your skin. Apply the ice up to three times a day.
To stop any blood seepage, simply bite down with gentle pressure on a wad of folded gauze, cotton, or even a washcloth. If bleeding continues after 24 hours, or if it’s so heavy that you must change the cloth several times, call us right away.
When your gums start to heal and the blood coagulates, it forms a clot over your incision. You must take care to guard the clot so that it doesn’t fall off and start the wound bleeding again. To protect the clot, for the first three days:
Avoid hot, hard, spicy, or chewy foods. Opt for soft, cooling choices such as yogurt, oatmeal, or applesauce.
Over-the-counter pain medications may be enough to control your pain after your oral surgery. However, we can also prescribe a painkiller to keep you comfortable for the first two days after surgery. Let us know if pain persists for more than 48 hours.
Be sure to alert us of any signs or symptoms of infection, such as:
Also, keep all of your postoperative appointments to be sure you’re healing well and on schedule.