As you are aware, your new dentures have been placed immediately following your dental extractions. To make your first few weeks as comfortable as possible please be aware of the following:
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU:
Your surgeon frequently uses a long lasting local aesthetic which means you may be numb (especially lower lip and chin) for up to 12 hours. Do not wait for the freezing to leave before you start drinking liquids.
Most of your bleeding will have subsided by the time you leave the office or hospital. It is expected that some oozing will occur for the first 24-72 hours after surgery, especially if you have been taking aspirin or a blood thinner. Once you arrive home change the absorbent gauze pads every 30 minutes until bleeding is minimal. Keep your dentures gently and firmly together to help stop bleeding.
Do not take your denture out at home. You will be seeing your dentist/denturist for removal and possible adjustment of the denture during the first week after surgery. If you remove the denture early you and/or your dentist may be unable to reinsert it for several days.
Beginning tomorrow rinse your mouth with slightly salty (1/2 teaspoon salt in tall glass of warm water) to dislodge any food particles from around the denture. Once you are allowed to remove you denture you will want to begin rinsing the extraction sites/stitches 3-4 times per day. If your surgeon has given you Oro-X continue rinsing with Oro-X twice a day until bottle is empty.
Swelling and bruising often occurs after surgery and are completely normal. Swelling typically increases for the first 3-4 days, and then gradually subsides over the following 3-7 days. Applying cold/ice packs the entire day of your surgery is very helpful to minimize the amount of swelling you will experience. Wear them even if you feel there is little initial swelling. Keep the cold packs against your cheeks for 30 minutes, then chill in freezer for 30 minutes, then re-apply etc.
Following oral surgery you can expect some degree of discomfort. This typically lasts 2-6 days and is much like a “crampy tenderness”. The degree varies, depending upon the difficulty or extent of surgery. By the end of the first week you may develop a tender “denture sore” where the new denture is a bit tight or is rubbing. Your dentist/denturist may need to adjust the denture to eliminate these sores periodically while the denture settles over the first few months.
Take the medications as directed on the bottle. The medication prescribed should keep you relatively comfortable and is best taken with fluid or food in your stomach. For mild discomfort Tylenol or Advil (ibuprofen) may be used. Some pain medications can cause dizziness; do not drive. Antibiotics should be taken until the full prescription is used. Women need to be aware that certain antibiotics can decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptive medications.
Nausea may occur after an anaesthetic or from some medications. If this happens, Gravol may be purchased without a prescription. Slow sips of ginger ale, 7up or apple juice often helps.
This is a normal protective mechanism caused by an accumulation of fluid in the jaw muscles to aid healing. It will usually subside in 7-10 days.
Your sutures are usually the “dissolving” type and will either fall out within the first few weeks or they may be gently removed at our office.
Smoking and alcohol both delay healing and may lead to complications. Do not smoke or drink alcohol for at least 48 hours following surgery.
Most people can begin drinking fluids once home. Do not wait for the freezing to be gone. Start with clear fluids initially and progress to soup (such as chicken or beef broth), fruit or vegetable juice. The evening of surgery is fine to start milk products such as milkshakes, yogurt, and pudding. Drink as much as you are able. Small amounts should be taken frequently. A vitamin supplement is a good idea.
Your eating habits will have to change. Before taking food into the mouth, allow the teeth to come together and swallow. This seats the dentures and brings the tongue into normal position. Now, open the mouth slowly, but only wide enough to receive a small quantity of food. Chew slowly on the side which is easiest to chew on then the other, and eventually chew on both sides. Advance your diet over the next few weeks to include softer items such as pasta, scrambled eggs, well cooked vegetables, fish, etc. Avoid straws for the first few days as the suction can cause bleeding.
The insertion of immediate dentures will usually increase the flow of saliva for a few days. Some patients are very aware of this increase, while others never comment. Swallow more often and become determined to learn to use the denture. Rinsing with cold water occasionally and dissolving a hard candy or mint in the mouth will help make your mouth feel fresher.
Dentures can be dislodged simply by sneezing and coughing which creates abnormally high air pressure against the dentures. Simply place a hand over the mouth when sneezing, coughing or yawing.
Practice your word pronunciation by speaking out loud at home. Some people find that practicing in front of a mirror increases their confidence quicker.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call our office. After 4 PM our answering service will contact the surgeon on call.
Dr. Michael Henry and Dr. Tobin Bellamy
Tel: 604-941-2312 Toll Free: 1-888-680-1122