Dental surgeries are not so bad, but just like all surgical procedures; there is always the looming risk of infection. The truth remains: after surgery, you have a wound and you have to care for it, until its completely healed or you can get an infection. So how can you avoid infections? Infections are awful and it can be painful, so it is important to know what to do to avoid it.
• Take antibiotics as prescribed. It is almost automatic for your dentist to prescribe antibiotics following the surgery and you will have to be obedient about following this. You may also be asked to take pain medications or clotting medication, as needed. Read your prescription carefully and follow instructions. Take the medications round-the-clock and make sure to complete it. Do not stop prematurely unless advised to do so.
• Stop smoking, Smoking is already bad in the first place, and it is not going to be bad for your wound. Cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that are not only bad for your body, but will disrupt normal tissue healing. Stop smoking for at least 24-48 hours after surgery because not only will cigarettes retard healing, it can also cause dry socket which is very painful.
• Get enough rest. Getting rested and avoiding strenuous activities following surgery is always beneficial. Ample rest is good for the immune system, as well as the body’s natural ability to heal and cope with infection. By giving yourself enough time to rest, you are promoting an ease in the healing process. So take it easy and get some rest.
• Maintain good oral hygiene. Despite the presence of sutures, food and other substances can get into the socket and cause an infection. Make sure to flush your mouth with water every after meals and to gargle with the prescribed oral rinse. You will also be asked t avoid rinses with high alcohol content because it will cause unwanted dry of the mouth that will only create an infection-prone environment in the mouth.
• Take care of your suture. You may or may not be placed with a suture. If you were, make sure to take good care of it because it is supposed to close and hold the wound. Observe a soft diet or be mindful when you chew and swallow your food to avoid removing the suture. Also avoid leaning on the wound side of your face to keep the suture safe and to avoid the clot from dislodging. The suture protects the wound and by caring for it, you are guarding the tissue healing that is taking place.
Post operative instructions are always given and they are focused on the avoidance of infection and the ease of healing. Pay attention to what you dentist will tell you after the procedure and be a good patient. The job of your dentist is done as soon as you leave the clinic; it is now your responsibility to care for yourself. If any thing goes wrong, do not hesitate to contact your dentist to let him know what’s happening.