What is Post-Operative Care?
Post-operative care focuses on promoting the body’s natural ability to heal a surgical site. Most often, dental extractions require post-operative care; although, you will receive care instructions after an implant or bone graft, or even after simpler procedures like crowns, root canals, and veneers. The key to any type of post-operative care is to heal the mouth as quickly as possible, with minimal complications.
Why is Post-Operative Care important?
If you fail to take care of your teeth or mouth after a surgery, you may begin to experience post-surgical complications. One of the most common post-op complications is known as dry socket. Dry socket often occurs when the blood clot that forms in an extraction site is pulled out. This prevents the clot from healing the area, and can cause underlying bone to be exposed. Dry socket is incredibly painful, but it can be avoided completely with proper post-operative care. For example, dry socket is often caused by smoking right after surgery, or using a straw to drink fluids, both which can be avoided. In more severe but rare cases, an infection can develop at the surgical site, and may require antibiotics. You will be given important, post-operative care instructions following every single procedure that we perform, whether it is a complex surgery or a simple restoration.
What are typical Post-Operative Instructions?
After surgery or restorative work has been completed, you’ll go home biting down on a piece of gauze. The gauze will help to stop the bleeding, allowing a clot to begin to form. In the off chance that your gums are still bleeding after surgery, you’ll be instructed to change the gauze regularly until the bleeding stops. You will be given a special rinse that should be used for the first few days, up to a week after surgery. This rinse is specifically designed to keep the mouth clean, preventing bacterial overgrowth. Most often, you’ll be instructed not to brush your teeth for the first day or two following surgery, preventing undo stress on the surgical site. Each surgery and procedure is different, so we will provide you with specific instructions detailing post-op care for the procedure you’re having done.
Getting help for post-operative care as needed
Post-operative care is crucial to the healing of your teeth, gums, and mouth. It can prevent infection, pain, and inflammation that can lead to unnecessary trips to the dental office. If at any time you have problems with post-op care, or are experiencing a complication related to your procedure, contact us immediately so that we can get you in to be seen, or answer your questions over the phone.