Post Op Instructions

Pain

  • There should be no pain immediately after the operation due to the local anaesthetic used. This should last for 3-4 hours before sensation returns slowly and care should be taken to avoid biting the lip or tongue during this time.
  • Pain tends to be worse on the 2nd or 3rd day but gradually improves over a period of 7-10 days.
  • Simple painkillers such as Paracetamol, Ibuprofen should control the pain.

Swelling

  • This is common after surgery has been carried out in the jaw.
  • The swelling reaches its maximum 2-3 days after surgery.
  • The swelling should resolve 7-10 days after surgery.
  • Bruising of the face occasionally occurs and can take up to 2 weeks to resolve.

Bleeding

  • This should be minimal by the time you leave the clinic.
  • Blood stained saliva is to be expected for 24-48 hours after the operation.
  • Do not rinse the mouth for the first day. This may disturb the blood clot and cause bleeding.
  • If persistent bleeding occurs, keep sitting up and clear the mouth of loose blood clot using a clean tissue, handkerchief or some cotton wool dipped in salty water. Then roll up a piece of gauze or clean cotton and place it over the wound and bite firmly or press on the socket or gum for at least 20 minutes. Do not lie flat.
  • If your efforts are unsuccessful after an hour or two then contact the clinic.

Oral Hygiene

  • The next day, use a hot salt-water mouth bath. The water should be as warm as possible without burning, and a spoonful of salt added. Take a mouthful and hold it still for a couple of minutes before spitting out.
  • Repeat 4 times daily. This will help healing.
  • Keep your teeth clean with gentle tooth brushing if possible. A tooth brush can be softened under a hot tap.
  • Chlorhexidine (Corsodyl) mouthwash will help reduce plaque while tooth brushing is difficult.

Infection

  • If there is a sudden increase in pain after a few days, this may indicate infection and in this case please contact us at the clinic.
  • The most common form of infection is alveolar osteitis, or a “dry socket”. This is treated by irrigation of the socket and placement of an antiseptic, pain-relieving dressing. Antibiotics are not very effective for this infection.
  • Rarely, infection will spread into the soft tissues around the operation site. This type of infection can be treated with antibiotics, and is best treated early.
  • Please contact us if you have any concerns.
  • Smoking greatly increases the chances of both types of infection.

Diet

  • Your mouth opening will be restricted for about a week.
  • Eating semi- solid food should be possible.
  • Use your own discretion and gradually start eating normally according to your own pace.

Stitches

  • If you have stitches (sutures) in your mouth, these should dissolve and drop out over a period of 3-4 weeks.

Medication

  • Antibiotics are not usually required after the operation, but may be indicated in some cases.
  • If necessary, antibiotics and painkillers will be prescribed or advice given.

Time off work

  • This will depend on your profession and the amount of surgery.
  • The average time off work should be between 3-5 days, but there is a great deal of variation between individuals.

Follow-up

  • If follow-up is needed, this is usually 2 weeks after surgery.