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Post Op Instructions
There are several different oral surgery procedures, all varying from simple to complex. No matter what type of procedure you undergo, there will be a recovery period. Your exact recovery time will vary based not only on your procedure but your ability to heal as well. At Cameo Dental Specialists, we provide you with specific aftercare instructions following your surgery, which are designed to help ensure a smooth, healthy recovery. Two of the types of surgery we perform are pre-prosthetic surgery and soft tissue removal.
What Is Pre-Prosthetic Surgery?There are a few reasons why your dentures might not fit properly, including uneven bone, bone growths, or growths on your soft tissues. Pre-prosthetic surgery is a procedure that is performed to prepare your jaw for your new teeth. Pre-prosthetic surgery is not necessary for everyone. For those who do need it, though, it can help to greatly improve the fit and comfort of your prosthetic teeth.
Smoothing And Reshaping Your JawboneSome patients getting dentures need to have teeth extracted first. Following tooth extractions, your jawbone may be uneven or jagged. These areas of uneven bone can create excess pressure when dentures are worn. As a result, the denture can rub your gums, causing sores to develop. To prevent this, the uneven bone is smoothed and reshaped, a procedure known as an alveoloplasty.
Removing BoneYou may have an area of excess bone in your jaw. The amount of excess bone varies from one person to the next. Small amounts of excess bone may not affect the fit of your dentures, but larger amounts can. Even though your dentures are made from impressions of your mouth, it may not be possible to fabricate a denture around an area of excess bone. This can result in your dentures falling out more frequently, causing embarrassing situations and making basic functions very difficult.
If you have an excess bone growth in your jaw that needs to be removed, it is done so before your impressions are taken. There are a few types of bone that may need to be removed. An exostosis is a growth on the lip or cheek side of the jaw. A lingual torus is a growth on the inside of the lower jaw. Your impression is taken and your dentures created after you have healed from your surgical procedure.
Soft Tissue RemovalFor those who have worn dentures for a while, it is possible to have developed excess folds of tissue. These usually form on the lip, gums, or cheek. This tissue is called hyperplastic tissue, and it is completely harmless. Even so, it can affect the fit of your dentures, causing them to fall out of place. Removing the hyperplastic tissue will help to ensure that your new dentures will fit properly. The tissue is removed several weeks before taking impressions for your new dentures, ensuring that you have healed completely first.
Post-Op InstructionsRegardless of the specific oral surgery that you have, healing and follow up care will be similar for most procedures.
Managing Pain and SwellingSome pain and swelling are to be expected following surgery. Pain can often be dealt with by taking over the counter pain relievers. However, if the pain is severe, we can provide a prescription for stronger medication. Take any medications only as directed.
Swelling can usually be managed with ice and heat. Ice packs should be used during the first 24 hours after surgery and will help to limit swelling. Apply ice to the side of the face affected and hold for 20 minutes, then leave it off for 20 minutes. Repeat this process as often as necessary during this time. Swelling typically peaks between 48 to 72 hours after surgery. During this time, heat can be used to help alleviate swelling faster. Using moist heat, alternate 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
Dealing with BleedingMuch like pain and swelling, some bleeding is also common. Keep in mind that bleeding may often look like a lot, but it is usually just saliva mixed with a little bit of blood. As soon as your procedure is over, we will apply gauze pads to the surgical sites to help stop bleeding and aid in clotting. These gauze pads should be changed periodically. Moisten new gauze with fresh water before applying them, and bite down with gentle pressure.
DietA nutritious diet is essential for providing your body with the nutrients it needs to heal properly. However, you will need to be careful of the things you eat post surgery. A diet of soft foods and even liquid foods is recommended while your mouth heals. Avoid hard, crunchy, chewy and sticky foods, as well as those that are spicy, acidic, salty, or very hot. Make sure that the foods you are eating are nutrient dense and do not skip meals. As you begin to heal, you will be able to slowly reintroduce your favorite foods back into your diet.
Oral Care After SurgeryTaking care of your mouth is important for eliminating bacteria that can otherwise lead to a serious infection. You should continue to brush and floss your teeth as normal, using extreme care around your surgical sites. During the first 24 hours, do not swish or spit, as these actions can dislodge clots. After 24 hours, a salt water solution can be used several times a day to reduce bacteria.
RestRest is key to allow your mouth to heal properly. You should keep your activities very limited, especially in the early days following surgery. Stay sitting or laying down with your head elevated above your heart. Do not lift heavy objects, bend over, exercise, or do anything else strenuous. Any of these activities can increase pain and swelling, and even cause new bleeding. As you begin to heal, you can slowly resume your normal activities as you feel ready. If something does not feel right, stop and wait a few more days before you try again.
Call the Office IfWhile your post-op instructions are designed to help you avoid complications, sometimes issues can still arise. Call the office immediately if you experience any of the following:
Your post-op instructions are designed to help you avoid complications during your recovery. If you have any questions or concerns about your instructions or your recovery, call Cameo Dental Specialists today at (708) 456-7787.