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.
If it is safe for you, please purchase over-the-canter Ibuprofen (Advil) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and utilize the Pain Pack Protocol handout provided to you, you may also access it here (Hyperlink here with pain pack protocol handout). For most procedures these medications are more than enough to manage pain. Your doctor may prescribe additional medications as they see fit for your customized treatment.
It is not unusual to have discomfort for at least the first week following your surgical procedure. Your periodontist in Indianapolis or Fishers 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.
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 Fishers or 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. 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.
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.
Please avoid smoking if you are having a surgical procedure performed in your mouth. 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 317-283-9813
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, but you can trim it if it is dangling or bothering you.
What If I Have Residual Bone After Surgery?
Patient may sweep it out or gently rinse mouth out. It is common and expected to have a few particles leak.
What If I Discover Bone Particles After Bone Grafting?
If you feel like you have lost most of your graft, please call our office.
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 a patient wants another dressing placed, they can come in.
What if Sutures Come Out on A Soft Tissue Graft?
Most of the time we will ask you to email us a picture of the area for your doctors to review and provide next steps.
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 a day for 7 days. The dental sponges can be rinsed and reused. Use soft the 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 the mouth is being filled with blood within 45 seconds, then call your Fishers or Indianapolis periodontist at 317-283-9813.
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. Commonly, after finishing a steroid, the pain will surge for a few days, and then calm back down. If swelling is persisting, send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your doctor may prescribe you more steroids or antibiotics.
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?
Call us at 317-283-9813 right away, and stop taking the medication.
Why Do I Have A Lot of Sensitivity?
After periodontal therapy there usually is some sensitivity. This can very case to case. Often, the nerves of the teeth are activated and the roots of the teeth have been treated in a way that results in increased 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!