When can I eat and drink after surgery?
You can start to eat and drink soon after surgery, but you should avoid chewing hard foods. Drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol) is beneficial to recovery and the recommended mouthwashes will clean the surgery sites. The mouth washes should not be started until the day after surgery.
Will I need any follow-up?
We like to see our patients for review approximately one week after surgery to check healing.
Will I have bleeding after the surgery?
Bleeding is possible after any surgery, but generally after oral surgery major bleeding is very rare (sutures prevent this). It is common to experience some minor bleeding/blood stained saliva for up to 24 hours. If you are concerned, contact us immediately for assistance.
What about antibiotics after the operation to stop infection?
Some surgical procedures do not require the use of antibiotics. Some patients are given a single dose of antibiotics to be taken before their operation to prevent infections. Often antibiotics are continued for several days after surgery.
Can I take homoeopathic remedies to help my healing?
Do not take any homeopathic or naturopathic remedies prior to surgery. Some remedies have the potential to interfere with clotting post-surgery, and can cause excessive bleeding.
Can I be asleep for the surgery?
It is possible to have surgery under general anaesthetic. This requires admission to hospital so surgery can be carried out in a properly equipped operating theatre. A specialist anaesthetist is required to administer the anaesthetic. Most often surgery can be carried out as a day case, but some procedures require an over-night stay. In many cases an alternative to a general anaesthetic is to have surgery carried out under local anaesthetic with conscious intravenous sedation. This produces a pleasant feeling with reduction of anxiety; however it does not produce a deep sleep. Local anaesthetic with sedation can safely be performed in our rooms.
Can I use Ice Packs?
If there is any swelling or bruising, you may find an Ice Pack applied to the skin over the surgery site for short periods after the operation to be comforting. It is a good idea to wrap the ice-pack with a towel to avoid burning of the skin.
Should I smoke?
No. Any form of smoking has been proven to slow healing and result in a greater risk of infections and dry socket (see below). Smoking has also been shown to reduce the success rate of dental implants. We encourage our patients to stop smoking around their surgery.
Will it be uncomfortable after the surgery?
Immediately after the surgery your mouth should be completely comfortable as local anaesthetic will have been placed to numb the area during the procedure. This will wear off after several hours and depending on the extent of the required surgery, it is normal to experience some pain as part of your body’s healing process. This should be managed with the medication you will have been prescribed as part of your care. If you should experience any unexpected pain, please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Do stitches need to be removed?
No. Most modern sutures completely dissolve without the need for removal.
Should I stop my normal medications before surgery?
No. As a general rule you should continue all medications prescribed by your doctor throughout the surgery period. This particularly applies to any heart, blood pressure or blood thinning medications. Your medications should be discussed during the consultation appointment so we can plan any changes.
What is a dry socket?
A dry socket is a poor healing response that occurs in approximately 10-15% of particularly lower wisdom tooth extractions. They are more likely to occur in older patients or those with pre-existing infections in their wisdom teeth. The incidence of dry socket is also increased in smokers. Patients experience an unpleasant dull nagging pain that typically occurs on the 3rd to 5th post-operative day and lasts for 3-4 days. It is usually well managed by taking pain medication and if required, a temporary dressing in the socket.
When can I clean my teeth and rinse my mouth after the surgery?
In order to avoid any disturbance to the wound we ask patients to avoid rinsing their mouth until the following morning after surgery when gentle tooth brushing and usual mouth cleaning can resume.
When can I get back to work/study?
This will vary depending on the extent of the surgery and individual recovery, but as a minimum, we would recommend the remainder of the day of the operation to be spent resting and then progressively resume normal activities over a period of a week.
Who do I call after-hours if I am worried about anything?
Following surgery you will be provided with all of Dr. West’s contact numbers, including his cellphone and home numbers.
Please do not hesitate to call our office on 09 5206223 during working hours, or Dr West at home or on his cellphone after hours. Alternatively, our office answer phone after hours (09) 5206223 will direct you to the after-hours numbers for Dr Lance West. In the unlikely event you cannot contact us, the Auckland Hospital emergency department doctors available on (09) 3797440 and are well trained to assist with any concerns.
Our clinic is located at 5 St Mark’s Road, Remuera, Central Auckland. These are our contact details:
Phone (09) 520 6223
Fax (09) 520 6233
5 St Mark’s Road
Give us call if you have any questions about procedures or any other matters and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help.