Please read the following post-operative instructions carefully and follow the recommended home care regimen to optimize your healing response after surgery. If you have any questions regarding our recommendations please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Recommended Post-Operative Care
1. Cleaning the Surgical Site with OraCare
During the first 2 weeks following the surgical procedure Dr. Laudenbach recommends that you cleanse the surgical site gently with OraCare. OraCare is an anti-viral and anti-bacterial oral rinse that does not stain the teeth and may be used regularly going forward between hygiene and treatment appointments.
In order to activate OraCare properly you will need to mix 1 or 2 pumps of liquid from each of the two bottles and allow the liquid to activate for approximately 60 seconds. Once the rinse is ready pour the liquid into your mouth and gently rock it from side to side for 30 seconds. You may also gently apply the solution to the surgical area with a cotton swab. We ask that you do this gentle application twice daily until your two week follow-up appointment.
2. Oral Hygiene (Brushing, Flossing, Inter-dental Aids, Waterpik)
During the first 2 weeks following the surgical procedure we ask that you avoid brushing, flossing, use of inter-dental aids and Waterpik use near the surgical site. We recommend that you continue these oral hygiene procedures in the rest of your mouth in order to keep your mouth healthy and to optimize your healing response. During your two week suture removal / follow-up appointment Dr. Laudenbach will determine if you may return to regular oral hygiene procedures.
3. Eating Carefully and Minimize Oral Function
During the first 2 weeks following the surgical procedure please avoid chewing and function in the surgical area. Eat only soft / cool foods and avoid hot foods and drinks during this time. Foods / beverages may be slightly warm but our goal is prevent a thermal burn on the healing tissue. We also recommend that you eat a balanced diet as adequate nutrition is essential for normal healing.
Please take medications as prescribed to minimize discomfort, swelling, and inflammation and alert our office to any allergies or sensitivities you may have to any of our recommended medications.
An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Please continue taking the antibiotic as directed until it is finished. It is advisable not to take these medications on an empty stomach, as nausea may result. For women taking birth control pills, be advised that antibiotics may interfere with their effectiveness.
We recommend that our surgical patients take SynEcch Arnica Montana homeopathic medicine following most surgical procedures. Please take the capsules as directed on the packaging starting just prior to your procedure and continue taking them 3 days after the procedure. These medications have been shown to reduce bruising and swelling by approximately 50% in plastic surgery and periodontal procedures and a 50% reduction in the need for pain medication after wisdom tooth extraction procedures. Dr. Laudenbach has been recommending Arnica Montana in his practice for many years and has seen a dramatic reduction in bruising, swelling, and most importantly pain following all surgical procedures. Our office is committed to reducing your need for pain medication overall but specifically the use of opioid containing medications post-operatively.
5. Cold Packs
For the first 24 hours following the surgical procedure apply ice packs to the cheek for a 30 minute period approximately every hour.
6. Activity Level
For the first 2 weeks following the surgical procedure it is important to maintain a low level of activity. Any activity that stimulates your heart rate is likely to send more blood flow and fluid to the surgical site and potentially cause swelling, bruising, and throbbing. For more advanced surgical procedures swelling is risky because it can cause the gum tissue to pull back from the surgical site and compromise your healing. Prevention of swelling before it happens allows for the best healing response. Please keep your activity level to a minimum and avoid seemingly benign activities such as long walks and yoga for a 2 week period following your procedure.
7. Periodontal Packing or Surgical Glue
In some case a periodontal packing or surgical glue will be used to further stabilize the position of your gum tissue.
If a periodontal packing was used in your procedure a post-operative visit will be necessary at the 5-7 day time-point for removal of the periodontal packing material and cleansing of the teeth with an antiseptic. We will also schedule you for a suture removal at the 2 week time-point.
If surgical glue was used in your procedure an additional post-operative visit will not be necessary and the remaining surgical glue will be removed along with your sutures at the 2 week suture removal / follow-up appointment. Surgical glue may loosen slightly during the 2 week healing period and it is important that you do not attempt to pull on the loose glue material.
Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks following your surgical procedure. It will significantly slow healing and can compromise results.
Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.
10. Post-Operative Evaluation and Suture Removal
In order to evaluate your progress and healing, we typically see patients at 1 or 2 weeks post-operatively for a brief suture removal and post-operative evaluation. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.
In most cases after surgery we will also look forward to seeing you back for a periodontal maintenance cleaning and an examination of tissue maturation about 6-8 weeks following the surgery.
What to Expect Following Your Procedure:
A slight amount of bleeding / oozing is not unusual and may turn your saliva red in color. This is normal especially after mild activity (ie. walking) following your procedure. The less active you are following the procedure, the more likely that bleeding and oozing from the surgical site will stop.
In case of extensive or continuous bleeding DO NOT RINSE! Apply firm, continuous pressure to the bleeding area with gauze or a moist tea bag. Apply ice on your cheek adjacent to the bleeding area. Reduce your activity level and remain seated with your head slightly elevated. If bleeding is heavy or persistent, please call our office.
The level of discomfort will vary upon the extent of the procedure. Some discomfort and swelling is to be expected following surgical procedures but should begin to decrease after 2 to 3 days. Taking Arnica Montana as directed following the procedure will help prevent post-operative discomfort and reduce your risk of swelling and bruising following the procedure.
Swelling is possible following surgical procedures and typically peaks at the 3 to 4 day time-point. In order to prevent swelling during this early phase we recommend that you apply ice on the cheek as directed above, take Arnica Montana and Advil as directed, and in some cases take corticosteroid medications if prescribed. In many cases patients will arise the following morning with increased swelling due to lying horizontally in bed overnight. This is normal and usually swelling starts to subside in the morning as you stand up and fluid begins to drain from the head and neck area.
Bruising is possible after surgical procedures but occurs in a small percentage of patients. Once again, our recommendation is to maintain a low level of activity following the procedure to reduce blood flow to the healing surgical site. Arnica Montana homeopathic medication is also known to reduce the amount and extent of bruising following surgical procedures and should be taken as directed.
In order to prevent nausea, do not take your medications on an empty stomach. Please be sure to eat something simple and take your medications with a full glass of water. If you develop nausea or significant digestive symptoms, discontinue your medication and call our office.
Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at Philadelphia Office Phone Number 215-985-4337.