Post-Surgical Instructions (Apicoectomy)

Post-Surgical Instructions  


1. It is normal for blood to seep from the site of a surgical procedure for several hours after the operation. Cleanse the mouth with a mild rinse consisting of ½ tsp of table salt and ½ glass of warm water. Talking and strong mouth rinses may stimulate bleeding and should be controlled for the first few days. If bleeding continues or becomes profuse, try to locate the exact spot the blood is coming from by gently flushing the mouth clean and looking in a mirror. Once you determine where it is coming from, hold a piece of gauze, some toweling, or a tea bag against the tissue and bone, and apply firm but gentle pressure for 10 minutes without moving the fingers away from the site. Do this in a sitting position. If heavy bleeding continues, call the surgeon's office or home.

2. It is normal for a surgical area to swell following an operation. Such swelling may last from a few hours to several days. Immediately following surgery, an ice pack was applied to your face directly over the surgical site.  An ice pack should remain in place for a period of 15 to 20 minutes, then be removed for 15 to 20 minutes. Keeping an ice pack on the area more than 20 minutes is counterproductive and could actually stimulate bleeding.  This alternating sequence should continue through out the first 6 to 8 post-surgical hours.  Heat, preferably moist heat, may be applied as needed after 24 hours.

3. It is normal to experience some pain following surgery. Using the ice pack and taking two 200-mg Ibuprofen tablets or capsules every 4 to 6 hours should help reduce the postoperative pain. If the pain persists or worsens, one or two Extra Strength Tylenol tablets may be taken along with the Ibuprofen. If pain continues to worsen, please do not hesitate to call.

4. Careful tooth brushing is desirable and promotes healing. The bristles of the brush should not contact the surgical area. Brush only the teeth, and make every effort to avoid the gums. Forty-eight hours after surgery, begin rinsing the mouth with any of the flavored mouthwashes or mild saltwater solution ( ½ tsp table salt to ½ glass of warm water).  Follow directions if Peridex has been prescribed.

5. Post-surgical infection is unusual, but possible. Signs of infection may cause increased pain, increased swelling and tenderness, elevated body temperature, chills, and other flu-like symptoms.  An objectionable odor and taste may also be experienced. When these conditions exist, begin rinsing the mouth with a very hot saltwater solution, reinstitute the facial ice packs, and call the surgeon's office or or cell phone.

6. It is normal to experience a loss of appetite following surgery. The teeth may be tender, and certain foods may be difficult to chew. However, nourishment must be provided to ensure healing. A high-protein diet, as well as 2 multivitamin capsules, taken 3 times a day for the first week, will aid in tissue repair. Energy foods that require little or no chewing include liquid protein supplements, soups, diet concentrates, milkshakes, eggs, cereal, fruits, and ground beef.

7. An appointment has been made for the removal of the stitches. If, for any reason, one or more of these stitches loosens and hangs free, please call the office.

8. Thank you for your cooperation. Please feel free to call the office with any concerns. 


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