Post-operative care after surgery is very important to reduce complications after the exposure of an impacted tooth. If a surgical packing was placed, leave it alone and try not to disturb it. If it dislodges on its own, gently rinse with warm salt water and keep the area as clean as possible. If there is a chain with an attached wire, avoid this area to prevent it from becoming detached.
If a wire is protruding, use wax to prevent it from irritating the adjacent tissues. If the wire continues to bother you after the exposure of an impacted tooth, call our office.
Immediately Following Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
The gauze pack should be kept in place with firm pressure over the area. Remove the pack after 30 minutes. If there is continued excessive bleeding, replace with new gauze and bite firmly again. Vigorous mouth rinsing or chewing in the areas of the exposure of an impacted tooth should be avoided. This may cause increased bleeding or the blood clot to dislodge.
A liquid or soft diet is recommended for the first 24 hours. Avoid sucking through straws and eating hard or crunchy foods and spicy foods. Take the prescribed pain medication before the numbness from the local anesthesia wears off. Restrict your activities on the day of surgery and return to normal activities slowly. Place ice packs on the outside of the face where the exposure of an impacted tooth was done. Use ice for the first 24 hours to decrease swelling by applying it on and off every 20–30 minutes at a time.
Bleeding After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
Slight bleeding and redness in the saliva are common after the exposure of an impacted tooth. If there is excess bleeding, gently wipe any old clots from the mouth and then place clean new gauze over the area and bite firmly for 30–40 minutes. Repeat every 30–40 minutes with new gauze. If excessive bleeding continues, bite on a cold-water-moistened tea bag firmly for 30–40 minutes. Slowly remove the tea bag and leave the area alone. If there is still continued excessive bleeding, call our office for further instructions. Also, avoid excessive talking, drinking from a straw, or excessive chewing if there is continued bleeding.
Swelling After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
Swelling is normal after any surgical procedure, including the exposure of an impacted tooth. The extent of swelling varies and depends on the extent of the surgery and each individual patient. Swelling around the mouth, jaws, cheeks, and below the eyes is not uncommon. The swelling will usually reach its maximum 2–3 days after the surgical procedure. The swelling can be decreased by the immediate use of ice packs in the first 24 hours. Ice packs should be applied to the outside next to where the surgery was done. Keep the ice on for 20–30 minutes at a time, then remove for 20–30 minutes. Also, sitting upright and not lying flat on the first day will help to decrease the amount of swelling. You may have been prescribed other anti-inflammatory medications such as dexamethasone (Decadron). If you were prescribed these medications, follow the instructions written on the bottle.
Pain After Exposure of an Impacted Tooth
Pain medications are normally required after your surgery for exposure of an impacted tooth. If you can take ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®), take 400–600 mg every 6–8 hours or as prescribed by your doctor. Ibuprofen will help with pain relief and as an anti-inflammatory. If you cannot take ibuprofen…