Oral Surgery Patient Instructions
For normal healing, it is essential that only a minimum amount of disturbance be created within the mouth after tooth extraction or surgery. The blood clot in the socket must be preserved. Most bleeding will stop in 30 minutes with a small amount of bleeding over the next 12 hours, depending on the extent of surgery. It is normal for saliva to be slightly streaked with blood for about one day.
- Pressure will stop most bleeding. Bundle 2-3 pieces of gauze and place it on the surgical site. Bite down on the gauze or hold it down tight with your finger. Hold for at least 20 minutes before lifting to check the site for more bleeding. Keep holding until the bleeding stops.
- Use ice packs on your face to prevent swelling. Hold the ice pack for 15 minutes, then take a 15 minute break. Do this over 5-6 hours. You can also try holding cold water in your mouth.
- Do not use any mouthwash for 48 hours. You may drink liquids and eat, but do it carefully so you don't interfere with the operated area. Do not suck from a straw because this will dislodge the blood clot.
- The day after your surgery, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Rinse after each time you eat so you can avoid getting food stuck in the surgical site.
- Do not smoke for the first 48 hours after surgery. Smoking increases the chance of clot breakdown.
- Antibiotics should be taken until finished. Pain medication should be taken when you need it. If you have a reaction to these medications, please let me know. (Stomach upset is a common symptom associated with some of these medications and taking the medications with a small amount of food often helps).
- Limit your physical activity for 24 hours after surgery e.g. no heavy lifting, or running.
- Eat soft foods.
If you have followed the above instructions but you are still bleeding excessively after 5-6 hours, do the following:
- Remove any large, hanging blood clots.
- If biting gauze fails to stop the bleeding, bite on a wet tea bag. The tannic acid in the tea helps stop bleeding.
- Be as inactive as possible.
- When lying down, elevate your head using pillows.
- If the bleeding continues, call this office.
Pain and Swelling
Pain following oral surgery is normal and can usually be relieved by medications given or prescribed. Following the removal of a difficult or impacted tooth, pain will be more severe and will last longer. At times, further medications may be required. If severe pain persists 5 days after your surgery, please contact the office.
Swelling following surgery is normal and varies from person to person, and also varies with the difficulty of the procedure. Following the removal of a difficult or impacted tooth, the swelling will be extensive, lasting for a period of 4 or more days. Some discomfort and swelling can be avoided if cold packs are applied the day of surgery.
For swelling that persists 3 days after surgery, apply heat using a hot pack or hot damp cloth.
Discoloration and bruising may occur on the face in the region of the surgery. This depends upon the procedure, your tendency to bruise, and the efficient use of cold packs.
If you have any problems not discussed above, please call.
Use of Fluoride Rinse and MI Paste
makes teeth more resistant to cavities
I suggest that fluoride rinse be used separate from brushing your teeth. When you brush with regular toothpaste, your teeth are already being exposed to fluoride and no extra fluoride is needed at this time from a rinse. Spit out the toothpaste and do not rinse your mouth with water.
Use the fluoride rinse at another time of day when it is inconvenient to brush. If you brush in the morning, after supper and before bed, use the rinse after lunch or a snack for greatest benefit. You may use the fluoride rinse more than once a day. Fluoride rinse does not necessarily need to be used after you eat. Rinsing more frequently is the most important part, but no more than five times a day.
Rinse vigorously (to dislodge food from between teeth) with 10-15ml for at least 60 seconds. Rinsing longer is better. Spit out the rinse and do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes. Waiting longer is better.
There are many different fluoride mouth rinses available at pharmacies and grocery stores. I recommend a rinse of 0.05% fluoride concentration that is alcohol-free. Buying a higher concentration of rinse is not necessary because frequency of use is the most important point. I would rather you buy a lower concentration of rinse and use it often. Be sure to keep the rinse out of the reach of children.
Recaldent - helps strengthen teeth and reduce sensitivity
MI paste works best if used with fluoride. Typically it should be used immediately after brushing or a fluoride rinse. There are many ways to use it; here are two methods:
- Squeeze a pea size amount out of the tube and lick it. Spread the paste around your mouth with your tongue. Salivation is normal and actually beneficial. Swish the paste in between your teeth and try not to spit for 3 minutes. Do not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes.
- Use a custom-made teeth-whitening tray. You do not need to whiten your teeth to apply MI paste, but if you are whitening your teeth, use the paste after whitening. Use a cotton swap to spread a pea size amount of paste evenly around each tray. Wear the tray for at least 3 minutes. Remove the tray and spread the remaining paste around your teeth with your tongue.
MI paste is not approved by Health Canada to be sold in stores. Southside Dental sells MI paste at our cost. Stop by the clinic any time and we will be happy to let you choose your favorite flavour!
What Causes Cavities?
The process of cavity formation is not as straightforward as most people think it is. Bacteria eat sugar and produce acid, which causes decay (loss of mineral from the tooth) and eventually a cavity (literally a hole in the tooth). Decay is reversible by diet and oral hygiene, but a cavity is not reversible. It has to be filled.
Foods that are acidic but don't have any sugar in them can still cause decay e.g. diet soda. When we eat sugar, our saliva can be acidic for up to two hours and our teeth are decaying the entire time. The stickier the food is the longer the "acid attack" lasts. Sugary or acidic drinks produce an acid attack that lasts about 30 mins.
Foods that cause cavities
- Anything with sugar in it!
- Most fruit, especially bananas and citrus
- Sweetened yogurt
- Potato chips
- Peanut butter
- Anything with "citric acid" in it. Check the label!
Drinks that cause cavities
- Cola (diet cola is better but still very acidic)
- Iced tea
- Fruit juices
- Lemon water or flavoured water
- Crystal Light or anything similar (because of the citric acid)
- Energy drinks
- Most smoothies
- Almost any alcoholic beverage
Foods & drinks that do not cause cavities
- Grains e.g. oats, millet, wheat
- Regular tea/coffee
Snacking or constantly sipping on drinks that cause cavities is a major problem. Try and space out snacks as much as possible, or eat something that doesn't cause decay. By doing this, you will give your teeth a chance to recover from an acid attack and let the minerals in your saliva go into your teeth to repair some decay. Think about how much of the day your teeth are being attacked by acid versus how much of the day they are repairing.
If you do eat a food that causes cavities, try to brush and floss your teeth afterwards, use a fluoride mouth rinse, or at least rinse your mouth out with water to try and get rid of the food or neutralize the acid. You could also chew sugar free gum to stimulate saliva flow. This will help wash away some of the food and neutralize acid.
Artificial sweeteners are a good alternative to sugar. Most still cause some decay but are far better than sugar. I suggest Splenda as a safe alternative to sugar. Bacteria won't feed on the Splenda but will to some degree produce acid from the dextrose that is added to the sweetener. The best option is Xylitol, a sweetener produced from birch bark that absolutely does not cause cavities. You can buy it from London Drugs or other drug stores in the diabetic sweetener section, marketed as "XyloSweet".
Cavity prevention is a long-term process that involves a life style change. It is difficult and requires discipline. Treat yourself from time to time and be practical but remain committed and proactive.
Sedation & Anesthesia
Sedation & Anesthesia
We are pleased to provide many different methods of sedation to our patients. Options include:
- Oral Sedation - Pills taken before the appointment to relax you. You will be awake and aware of what is happening but more relaxed during the procedure.
- Nitrous Oxide - Better known as Laughing Gas. This method of sedation is well suited to shorter procedures and children. It will give you a floating feeling, make time pass faster and make you less aware of what is going on around you.
- Combination Methods (Modality 3) - We use several combination methods of oral medications and Nitrous Oxide depending on your level of anxiety and the type of procedure. With this technique most patients will have a nap while we work and remember very little if anything of the office visit. You will not be "put to sleep" but will have a decreased level of consciousness and awareness. These methods are well suited to patients who have a high level of fear.
- IV sedation - A very predictable and controlled method of sedation that allows the dentist to adjust sedative medication dose in real time. You will still respond to verbal and tactile commands but be relaxed and remember very little if any of the appointment. Again, this method is well suited to patients with a high level of fear or will be undergoing an invasive procedure.
- General Anesthesia - The dentists at Southside Dental work with an anaesthesiologist (Medical Doctor) to provide treatment for patients at an accredited non-hospital surgical facility. When under general anesthesia, you will be totally asleep and will remember nothing of the procedure.
Please give us a call to discuss options!
At Southside Dental we direct bill and strive to charge the same fees that your insurance company will pay. If you have 100% coverage for a procedure, under most plans and for most procedures, there will be nothing to pay out of pocket.
Of course every insurance company will pay a different amount than other companies for the same procedure. This creates a problem:
If insurance company A will pay $80 for a procedure and company B will pay $78, we charge every patient $78.
By law, we are required to collect your co-pay (out-of-pocket portion of the fee that your insurance doesn't cover) for each procedure billed to your insurance company even if the co-pay is only $2.
Unfortunately, most insurance companies won"t tell us what they will pay for each procedure and some companies will pay far less than others. To make matters worse, insurance companies generally change their fee guides every year. Also, there are some plans that will pay far less than other plans for the same procedure. Confused yet?
For this reason, we have tried to set our fees in the most "Insurance Friendly" way possible but can't guarantee that if you have 100% insurance coverage that you will have no co-pay.
We accept Visa/MC, Debit, Paypal, Cash and Cheque.
Please print out the forms below and bring to the appointment. You may also scan, email or fax FORMS to 403-548-0013. Please remember to bring your insurance card.
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