Common Questions about Periodontal Treatments
We have identified some common periodontal treatment questions you may have. Browse through the questions below to have your concerns addressed. If you still have questions, please call our office at (512) 865-6902!
Can I eat or drink before my surgery?
If your surgery is scheduled in the morning, don't have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before, unless you have been prescribed Dexamethasone to help limit swelling (which can cause nausea if taken on empty stomach, so make sure to take the Dexamethasone with a piece of toast or something light an hour and a half prior to surgery). If your surgery is in the afternoon, you may have something light to eat before 8:30 am.
What sort of clothing should I wear for surgery?
On the day of surgery, it is suggested that you wear loose fitting clothing and comfortable shoes. Contact lens should be removed prior to taking sedation medicine. Make sure to leave all valuables at home.
Do I need to have a designated driver to take me to my surgery appointment?
Sedative drugs will affect your senses and memory for up to 24 hours, so it's really important to have a Designated Driver who you trust to bring you to our office for your surgery. Do not drive, take a taxi, or bus. Be sure your driver knows the office location and correct appointment time, in advance and prior to taking your medication.
How soon can I brush and floss my teeth after the surgery?
Make sure to avoid brushing or flossing the surgery site when brushing your teeth after the surgery. For flap or gingivecotomy surgery procedures (including bone grafts), avoid brushing and flossing near the surgery site until 7 days after the procedure. Rx Chlorhexadine Rinse is effective for 12 hours at a time, so use it twice per day for 3 weeks, starting the day after surgery. For Gingival or CT Graft surgery procedures, do not brush, floss, touch or otherwise disturb the graft area for 3 weeks. Only use Rx Chlorhexadine rinse and avoid pulling down your lip to check the graft, as this pulls on the graft and sutures and can cause the graft to fail.
Am I going to feel nauseated when I wake up from surgery?
Nausea following office anesthesia is very rare. We find that most cases of nausea begin at home and are related to narcotic pain mediation. We routinely give anti-nausea medication with your IV anesthesia and this will help combat nausea during the first 12 hours or so.
What should I do if I am experiencing nausea after surgery?
Drink clear liquids such as ginger ale, 7-up, or Sprite, and avoid milk products. Make sure to eat, even if just a couple bites, before taking your pain medication. If nausea persists, stop taking your pain medication long enough to see if the nausea subsides. If nausea continues to persist, stop taking the Antibiotic to see if nausea stops, and let Dr. Spencer know, as he may decide to try a different Antibiotic.
What should I do if the surgery site is bleeding?
First, locate the actual bleeding site. Wipe the clot out of the mouth and rinse out gently with water over the sink, making sure to avoid forceful spitting. Place and hold a wet gauze with thumb and finger pressure, firmly in place, continuously for 20 minutes. Repeat several times if necessary and be sure your are on the exact bleeding site. Sometimes it helps to use a flashlight pointed into the bathroom mirror as you are looking into the mouth to help locate and see the bleeding site better.
What if I haven't been able to stop the bleeding with gauze or don't have any gauze?
Try using a tea bag as an alternative to gauze. It has tannic acid astringent, which will help with the clotting. If you have neither, then use a kleenex and wet it and apply firm pressure to bleeding site. If you are still unable to stop the bleeding, then call emergency number for Dr. Spencer for other options.
I'm feeling ill after surgery. Is this normal?
It is common to have an increase in temperature above normal for the first few days following surgery, up to 101 degrees. You may experience slight feeling of weakness or chills during the first 48 hours or a slight sore throat or earache up to a week. This is not unusual and will subside as healing occurs.
My teeth are feeling sensitive after the surgery. When will this go away?
Most patients experience sensitivity to cold, heat, and sweets. This sensitivity usually slowly diminishes in a month or so after surgery, but can take longer. Patients with excellent oral hygiene habits generally notice a more rapid decrease in sensitivity than patients that smoke or have poor oral hygiene. If sensitivity persists, then we will prescribe a concentrated Fluoride Gel to brush on the teeth to help reduce sensitivity.
If I am experiencing a lot of pain, can I just take a higher dose of pain meds than recommended?
Some patients are slow to respond to pain meds and taking increased doses only leads to side effects or overdose, and no improved pain control is realized, as you would think it might with the increased doses. Take pain meds as directed, be safe, and do not overdose! Once the numbness wears off after the surgery, the first 12 hours is usually the most difficult to achieve the desired pain control from pain medication.
What can I do to help manage the swelling?
Some swelling or bruising is normal. Place an icepack on your face or over the surgical area and apply for 15 to 20 minutes, on and off as needed. After the first 24 to 48 hours, ice will still be effective, but you can try a heating pad for the swelling. Make sure to sleep with your head propped up on extra pillows for the first two nights after your surgery.
Can I smoke or drink after surgery?
Do not drink alcoholic beverages while you are taking narcotic pain medication, as it is very harmful for your health! Do not smoke either, as this will double your pain.