Post-Dental Surgery Care: Tips for a Smooth Recovery

Post-Dental Surgery Care: Tips for a Smooth Recovery

  • Posted: Aug 24, 2023

When it comes to any surgical procedure, it is important to follow all post-care instructions in order to promote fast healing and prevent complications from arising. 

Our team at Canada Dental Network have put together this guideline to show you what steps should be taken in order to properly heal after dental surgery. Whether you have had a tooth extraction, removed wisdom teeth, or had a bone graft to prepare for dental implants, this guideline will apply to your situation. To increase your chance of a successful recovery, follow along with the tips listed below.

Plan to Rest

In preparing for your post-surgical care, it’s important that you take the necessary time off work and plan to take the time to rest. After your appointment, you should go home, lie down, and get comfortable. If the dentist has given you a sedative, you will most likely be drowsy. Professionals would recommend that you avoid driving, strenuous activities, and not lift anything heavy. This type of movement can dislodge the blood clot. Sleeping at an elevated angle with an extra pillow under your head will help to reduce pressure, strain, and swelling. Rest for at least two days is recommended.

Follow the Dentists Instructions

Before you go in for surgery, make sure you ask the dentist what your post-care instructions are and ensure that you write them down so that you have a handy note of them while in the recovery phase. Some general instructions include: not brushing your teeth in a certain area and avoiding the use of mouthwash. Lightly rinsing with salt water is typically recommended after a period of time has passed. This will help to keep the mouth clean of food and prevent infection. Protecting the surgical area will be your top priority during recovery.

Take Prescribed Medications

If you have been prescribed medications by your dentist, it’s in your best interest to take them so that they can help support your recovery. Medications that could be prescribed include pain relievers or antibiotics. Follow your dentist’s instructions and take the medications according to their guidelines. If you are taking antibiotics, it’s best to finish the prescribed dose, even if you begin to feel better. If you begin to have any reactions to the prescribed medications, inform your dentist immediately.

Begin to Ice Your Face

Now that you are home, the best thing you can do to treat the swelling and bruising on your face – is to apply ice to it. Within the first 24 hours, our team would recommend that you follow this routine. Apply ice for 30 minutes, remove it for 15 minutes, and repeat. If you have had surgery on both sides of your mouth, you can rotate one ice pack on either side to help give the other side a break. If you use ice, you will notice that the swelling should lessen within 2-3 days.

Stick to a Soft Food Diet 

Eating the wrong food can aggravate your surgical site, break open your blood clot, or cause unnecessary pain to the area. In order to avoid this, it is best to follow a soft food diet as well as avoid hot food and drinks, and opt for cold foods that are more soothing to the sore tissue. The foods selected to eat should also be ones that do not require any chewing. Soft foods include:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Smoothies (without seeds)
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Ice cream 
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Jell-O
  • Salmon
  • Soup (to be eaten cold)
  • Pudding
  • Etc.

In addition to these outlined foods, it’s important to avoid the use of straws during the entire recovery period. Straws can create pressure in the mouth that can dislodge a blood clot. Dislodging the blood clot can lead to various issues.

Avoid Alcohol & Tobacco Use

To promote a good recovery after oral surgery, all alcohol and tobacco use should be put to stop while recovering. Drinking within the first 48 hours of the operation may increase your likelihood of a delayed recovery or it may enable you to develop alveolitis. In addition, alcohol is known as a blood thinner and this may affect your clot as it may not be able to form. Alcohol should also not be mixed with medications. In some cases, alcohol mixed with prescribed medication can become toxic and dangerous.

Ask Your Dentist Questions

When you are recovering from oral surgery, it’s best to pick up the phone and call your dentist if you have any questions or concerns. What might feel like a minor inconvenience to you, could be something more serious that a dentist should know about. Whether you are experiencing pain or you are concerned about swelling for more than two days, give your dental clinic a call. 

In addition, while in recovery, you should be on the lookout for signs of an infection. Signs of infection include a sour or bitter taste, fever, increased tenderness in the gums, neck, jaw, etc. If you are having problems swallowing or breathing, calling a dentist should be done as soon as possible. In addition, if you are having what feels like an allergic reaction, it’s important to give your dentist a call.

Final Tip on Post-Dental Surgery Care

When it comes to recovering from oral surgery, you must follow these outlined tips and information directly from your dentist to ensure a successful recovery. 

If any questions arise during your recovery time, don’t hesitate to reach out to your trusted dentist. In addition, you should attend any follow-up appointments that are advised by your dentist. If you are looking to book your oral surgery at a professional dental clinic in Toronto, use our website, brought to you by Canada Dental Network! Our team has gathered together the greatest dental clinics into a directory and has opened it to the public to view and use.