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Endodontics – Surgical Endodontics

After Your Surgery
You have just undergone an Endodontic Surgical procedure. By following these instructions you will assist the area in its recovery and prevent complications.

1. You will be asked to apply pressure to the surgical area with your hand for 5 minutes following the procedure. This will assist clotting and proper tissue adaptation. Apply steady but moderate pressure. You will be shown how to do this.

2. Under the surgical area, clots are now forming. These are important for proper healing. Do not rinse or spit today.  Rinsing can dislodge the clot and result in bleeding. If necessary, wipe into a Kleenex as shown.

3. It is important to ice the area immediately to prevent swelling. A certain amount of swelling is normal and varies from patient to patient. Swelling will peak at 48 hrs after the procedure.  Use crushed ice or gel packs. Apply at 15 minute intervals, alternating ON and OFF for the rest of the day. The more you ice the area today, the less swelling there will be tomorrow.

4.  Elevate the head for the first 24 hrs. When sleeping, use an extra pillow. Try not to bend over as this increases blood pressure in the head and can cause bleeding. Limit physical activity that day.

5. There may be some bruising and discoloration in the surgical area. This is not of concern and will fade.

6. Several sutures have been placed to keep the incision closed. It is important that the area be left alone for 48 hrs to allow closure of the wound. Do not attempt to look at the area because this can cause stretching and tearing of the sutures. An appointment will be made in approximately one week to remove the stitches. Occasionally one or more of the stitches may fall out a few days after the surgery. This is normal.

7. The following day, brush other areas of the mouth normally. Do not brush in the surgical area until the stitches are removed. Instead, use a warm saline rinse made of a teaspoon of salt in a tall glass of warm water. Rinse gently, allowing the water to flow over the surgical area. Should you wish to use mouthwash instead, use heavy dilution with water since these solutions can burn the area if they are used straight out of the bottle.

8. Nutrition is an important part of post-operative healing. Patients should try to eat normally with a few exceptions:

(a) Eat relatively soft foods for the first day or so. Pasta, eggs, sandwiches, lukewarm soup, stew, salads and other similar foods are acceptable.

(b) Avoid hard or sharp foods such as chips, pretzels, crusty bread, crackers, granola bars etc.

(c) Dr. Kaufmann recommends cold foods (such as milkshakes) immediately after the procedure since these are soothing to the area and can be eaten with a straw.
9. You will be provided with prescription for medication to help with any discomfort. We suggest that you fill it immediately and take one pill before the freezing is gone. If you are like most patients, you will require no more than 2 or 3 pills total, during the day of the procedure. The following day, you will have swelling but very minimal discomfort.

10. Smokers are urged to cease smoking until the sutures are removed. Nicotine has been shown to delay wound healing. Should you be unable to stop, try to cut down by at least half. Consumption of alcohol should be avoided while you are taking the medication since it can interact with the narcotic, Codeine.

Surgical procedures performed in this office have an extremely high rate of success. Your cooperation is important in obtaining the best possible result. Should you have any questions, please call Dr. Kaufmann at the regular office number 783-2971. Dr. Kaufmann has a 24 hr answering service and will return your call as soon as possible.