Post Op Instructions - Flap Surgery

These are general post operative instructions for flap or osseous surgery performed in our office.  If you are a patient of record and you have any questions regarding your specific care, please do not hesitate to call us at 504.887.8205.

After the surgery

It is normal to experience varying degrees of soreness, swelling and bleeding after surgery.  The degree to which these occur depends on procedure type, severity of disease, your general health, mental state, and how well you take care of yourself.  These are some ways in which you can help your body heal as well and fast as possible:

 1. Antibiotics - Take the entire prescription as directed.

 2. Swelling - Apply ice packs to the face in the area overlying the surgery on and off as much as possible during the first 24 hours.  Keep your head elevated.  Use anti-inflammatory drugs, like Ibuprofen (providing you are not allergic), on a regular schedule.  If swelling occurs it is usually in the first 2-3 days and then subsides.

 3. Pain -  Take prescribed pain medicine as directed.  Pain is very different for each individual.  Soreness is most often noted when anesthesia wears off and then becomes less with time. Most people take prescription strength pain medicine on the day of and sometimes the day after surgery.  By the third day, NSAIDs (Aleve) usually suffice.  If discomfort persists, do not hesitate to call us.

 4. Bleeding - It is normal to have traces of blood in your saliva on the day of surgery.  People with uncontrolled high blood pressure and those who take aspirin and some herbal supplements tend to bleed more.  If you find an area that is bleeding, rinse the area, use a wet gauze or wet tea bag to apply firm pressure to the bleeding site for a few minutes, and keep your head elevated.  

 5. Smoking-  Please refrain from smoking as long as possible.  Smoking leads to slow and impaired healing.  Smoking is a major factor in disease recurrence.

 6. Hygiene -  A clean mouth heals better and faster and feels good.  Brush and floss the non-surgical areas as usual.  Use mouthwash as directed.  Clean surgical areas with a Q-tip wetted in mouthwash, gently and thoroughly  removing all bacterial plaque from the teeth.  After eating swish with water to dislodge particles.

 7. Activity -  Refrain from exercise or other aerobic or strenuous activity for one week.

 8. Dressings -  Sometimes we use a dressing to cover the surgical area.  Ask the doctor how long it should be kept.   Often it can be left in place until your suture removal appointment.  As time passes it tends to become brittle and  parts may break off.  If it becomes loose, remove it and clean the teeth as in #6 above.

 9. Tooth sensitivity to temperature extremes - This happens in some cases where there is gum recession which exposes part of a root.  It usually stops by six weeks.  If it is due to a grinding or clenching habit, the sensitivity will decrease only if the traumatic habit stops or is controlled with a bite guard.