Post-Treatment Home Care Instructions
These instructions apply to the surgical procedure just completed. They can help you minimize post-surgical discomfort and inform you of any situation that may require special attention from your Indianapolis periodontist.
It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. Your periodontist in Indianapolis will prescribe medication to help you tolerate the post-surgical recovery period. Please take your medications as directed. It is advisable to not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as nausea may result.
As an alternative to prescription medications, some patients have found taking a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen to be effective. Please reference the 'Medications Reference Sheet" in the blue folder provided.
Note: When taking any prescribed medication containing Acetaminophen (Tylenol), i.e.; Percocet, Hydrocodone, Vicoden or Tylenol with Codeine, you should not take additional Tylenol so as not to exceed the safety level of Acetaminophen. Please contact the office with any questions you may have.
Please alert your Indianapolis periodontist to any allergies or sensitivities that you might have to antibiotics. An antibiotic may be prescribed following your surgical procedure. Take as directed until gone. 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.
Instructions for Download and Printout
The following documents are available for download in PDF format. You will need the Adobe Reader installed to view.
Until comfortable, avoid chewing on the side where surgery was completed. Avoid hot foods and liquids for approximately 1 hour following the surgery so as not to soften the dressing. A soft diet is recommended. Foods such as cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, eggs, yogurt, pasta, mashed potatoes, casseroles, and fruits are more easily eaten. Remember, adequate nutrition is essential for feeling better as well as for healing.
A small amount of bleeding is normal. If excessive or continuous bleeding occurs:
- Do not rinse your mouth.
- Elevate your head when lying down.
- Apply moistened gauze to the immediate area with moderate pressure for 20 minutes; repeat if necessary.
- Enclose a moistened tea bag in a gauze square and apply pressure for 20 minutes.
- Call the office if bleeding persists.
You may notice increased discomfort 3-4 days after the surgical procedure. As the tissues begin to heal, they may pull against the sutures and dressing. You may choose to take some form of pain medication one hour prior to your suture removal appointment to minimize tenderness. If you are a patient for whom Antibiotic Pre-Medication is required, take the prescribed antibiotics 1 hour prior to your suture removal appointment.
Swelling may occur following your surgical procedure and will typically increase 2-3 days after the procedure. To minimize the swelling, place an ice pack over the outside cheek area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue using ice for 2-3 days following the procedure as often as possible.
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.
Do not rinse for the first 24 hours. After that, you may use a mild, diluted mouthwash. Repeat as necessary to help keep the dressing clean.
Do not brush the surgical site. You may resume normal brushing/flossing in other areas the following day.
Should you have any questions or concerns during regular office hours, please do not hesitate to contact us at 317-842-2273.
Frquently Asked Questions
What if the Tissue Glue Chips Off?
Spit it out in a napkin only if it is completely off your skin. If part of it is still attached do not remove.
What If I Have Residual Bone After Surgery?
Patient may sweep it out or gently rinse mouth out.
What If I Discover Bone Particles After Bone Grafting?
It is normal, just rinse mouth lightly.
What If Periodontal Dressing Falls Off?
If part of dressing falls off it is ok to wait until the next scheduled appointment to remove the rest. If patient wants another dressing placed, they can come in.
What if Sutures Come Out on A Soft Tissue Graft?
Patient should call office to come in immediately. Your periodontist in Indianapolis will help fix the sutures.
How Do I Use the Listerine Zero Alcohol?
Pour some Listerine Zero Alcohol in a cup. Dip dental sponge in Listerine Zero Alcohol, and swab in surgery site twice for 7 days. Dental sponge can be rinsed and reused. Use soft toothbrush and regular toothpaste in the rest of the mouth.
My Bleeding Will Not Stop, What Should I Do?
Apply pressure with gauze for 20 minutes. If bleeding persists place a wet tea bag over area for 20 minutes. Have in mind that when blood mixes with saliva it may seem like a lot. If mouth is being filled with blood within 45 seconds then call Dr. Edwards, your Indianapolis periodontist.
I’m in Pain and Took all my Medication, What Do I Do?
Patient should call office. If patient does not state that they are out of medication, our team will ask if they have been taking it as prescribed. We advise patients to “stay ahead of the pain,” by taking the medication regularly versus just when the pain is unbearable.
What if Ibuprofen Does Not Help?
Alternating a combination of over-the-counter Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen can be effective. Please reference the 'Medications Reference Sheet" in the blue folder provided.
My Medication is Making me Sick, What Should I Do?
If patient is taking Vicodin they should make sure not to take it on an empty stomach.
Why Do I Have A Lot of Sensitivity?
After periodontal therapy there usually is some sensitivity. You can try brushing with Sensodyne or Crest sensitivity. We can also try to prescribe Prevident. The sensitivity can last up to a month.
If you have any problems with your home care or have questions, please schedule an appointment with our office today! Dr. Edwards, one of the best periodontists in Indianapolis, is happy to meet with you!