Oral Surgery FAQs

How long will the surgery take?

The length of surgery depends on your treatment. Some surgery's are less than 30 minutes, while other procedures may take considerably longer. Stanford Ranch Family Dentistry will provide you with the estimated time of surgery at your pre-surgical consultation.

How long will I be off of work/out of school?

Depending on the extent of the procedure and type of sedation you may resume work and a normal life style anywhere from a few hours to a few days. It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

Will there be swelling or facial bruising?

After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. In some treatments there may be some minor bruising; however, in procedures such as dental implant placement ordinarily there is no bruising seen. For teeth removal or jaw procedures, women and/or very light skinned patients may experience slight bruising. Taking blood thinner will help reduce bruising. It is, however, not uncommon to have a black eye or discolored cheek or neck following extensive procedures. Stanford Ranch Family Dentistry will discuss what bruising if any would be related to your procedure treatment.

Will you prescribe antibiotics and pain medication?

Procedure and patient health are determining factors of what antibiotic and/or medication will be prescribed. Call the office if the medication does not seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable. Stanford Ranch Family Dentistry will discuss what, when, how long and dosage with you in both the pre-surgery and post surgery interviews.

Do I need to avoid certain medications?

It is important to discuss all medication with Stanford Ranch Family Dentistry during your pre-surgical consultation. In most cases medication should be continued unless specifically instructed to withhold them. Typically Plavix, Aspirin, Coumadin and other types of blood thinners can also be continued. When necessary Stanford Ranch Family Dentistry will consult with your physician to safely manage your medications.

Will anesthesia be used?

Stanford Ranch Family Dentistry will discuss your anesthesia options. Our goal is to provide minimal discomfort as possible.

Pre-Surgery Instructions

Before any oral surgical procedure you should:

  • Eat a light and easily digestible meal the night before your appointment
  • If you are going to be sedated, DO NOT eat or drink anything on the day of your appointment
  • Wear short sleeves and loose-fitting clothing
  • Arrange for a relative or friend to stay in the office with you and be ready to drive you home
  • You may NOT drive a car on the day of the surgery if you are to be sedated!

Post-Surgery Instructions

Fold a piece of clean gauze into a pad thick enough to bite on and place directly on the extraction site. Apply moderate pressure by closing the teeth firmly over the pad. Maintain this pressure for about 30 minutes. If the pad becomes soaked, replace it with a clean one as necessary. Do not suck on the extraction site (as with a straw). A slight amount of blood may leak at the extraction site until a clot forms. However, if heavy bleeding continues, call your dentist. (Remember, though, that a lot of saliva and a little blood can look like a lot of bleeding.)

The Blood Clot

After an extraction, a blood clot forms in the tooth socket. This clot is an important part of the normal healing process. You should therefore avoid activities that might disturb the clot.

Here's how to protect it:

  • Do not smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously or drink through a straw for 24 hours.
  • Do not clean the teeth next to the healing tooth socket for the rest of the day. You should, however, brush and floss your other teeth thoroughly. Gently rinse your mouth afterwards.
  • Limit strenuous activity for 24 hours after the extraction. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot to form. Get plenty of rest.
  • If you have sutures, your dentist will instruct you when to return to have them removed.

Medication

Your dentist may prescribe medication to control pain and prevent infection. Use it only as directed. If the medication prescribed does not seem to work for you, do not increase the dosage. Please call your dentist immediately if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever.

Swelling & Pain

After a tooth is removed, you may have some discomfort and notice some swelling. You can help reduce swelling and pain by applying cold compresses to the face. An ice bag or cold, moist cloth can be used periodically. Ice should be used only for the first day. Apply heat tomorrow if needed. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.

Diet

After the extraction, drink lots of liquids and eat soft, nutritious foods. Avoid alcoholic beverages and hot liquids. Begin eating solid foods the next day or as soon as you can chew comfortably. For about two days, try to chew food on the side opposite the extraction site. If you are troubled by nausea and vomiting, call your dentist for advice.

Rinsing

The day after the extraction, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water). Rinsing after meals is important to keep food particles away from the extraction site. Do not rinse vigorously!

Post-Surgery Instructions for Children

Anesthesia - The feeling of numbness will begin to wear off in 30 minutes to 4 hours. Until that time, avoid all hot foods or liquids, and do not chew. This is to prevent accidentally burning or biting the lips, cheeks, inside of your mouth or tongue until the feeling has returned

Gauze Pack - Fold the gauze into a small pack and place over the extraction site and apply firm pressure for one to two hours. Change the gauze pack every 15-30 minutes.

Bleeding - It is normal for the extraction site to bleed slightly or ooze blood for 12 to 24 hours following surgery.

Ice Pack - For the first 2 to 8 hours after surgery, ice packs should be applied to the outside of the face over the area of the extraction site. The ice pack should be held in place for 15 minutes on, and then removed for 15 minutes. Doing this throughout the day will help reduce discomfort and swelling.

Medications - DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN PRODUCTS due to the possible increase in bleeding potential. If prescription medications were prescribed please follow label instructions carefully. For most extractions, a non-aspirin over the counter pain medication will provide good pain relief. Do not take more than the recommended dosage!

Diet - A liquid or soft diet should be adhered to for the first 12 to 24 hours after surgery. It is important to drink plenty of liquids for the first day or two. Avoid the use of a straw as it may dislodge the blood clot that is forming in the extraction site.

Oral Hygiene - Clean the rest of your mouth as usual, however avoid bumping or brushing the extraction site. DO NOT RINSE OR SWISH YOUR MOUTH for the first 24 hours following surgery.

Possible Complications:

Dry Socket - This is sometimes a problem after surgery. The symptoms associated with dry socket are constant moderate to severe pain, bad taste, putrid odor, and poor clot formation at the surgical site. If you think you have ANY of these symptoms call our office as soon as possible.

Fever - Monitor your temperature for the first 24 to 48 hours. Any elevated temperature should be reported to our office.

Swelling - Some swelling during the first 24 to 48 hours can be expected.

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