John a Carroll DDS, Oral & Maxillofacial John A. Carroll DDS Colorado Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

John A. Carroll, DDS
Colorado Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

26 West Dry Creek Circle, Suite 740
Littleton, CO 80120
303 224 0500 PH
303 224 0606 FX


After Canine Exposures

Surgical exposure of impacted maxillary canine teeth often involves elevating the palatal soft tissue from its attachment to the underlying bone, creating a window in that bone to fully expose the anatomical crown of the impacted tooth and then bonding an orthodontic bracket with an attached chain to that crown. The free end of that chain will be secured to your orthodontic arch wire. The elevated soft tissue is then repositioned and sutured in place. We will place a thick gauze sponge on your palate and ask you to close your teeth together and use your tongue to gently push upward on the gauze sponge. That gentle pressure will help hold the palatal soft tissue in its proper position against the bone so that it can reattach. We will provide you with additional gauze sponges. At home following your surgery, change your gauze sponges every 20 minutes for three to four hours.

SWELLING AND BRUISING: You will experience some facial swelling after your surgery. Applying ice packs intermittently to your face the day of your surgery may help to decrease post-operative swelling. If your surgery was done with a local anesthetic only, your swelling should peak within 12 to 24 hours, and subside over the subsequent two to three days. If you had an intravenous anesthetic or sedation, your swelling will peak 48 to 72 hours later. Swelling should then resolve over the next five to seven days. Swelling that develops and/or increases several days after your surgery may indicate infection. Call our office if you experience late or excessive post-operative swelling. Bruising can occur on your cheeks.

PAIN: You will experience some discomfort following oral surgery. Your discomfort should be tolerable if you use prescribed or OTC analgesics as directed. If your pain seems excessive, or if your pain worsens several days following your surgery, call our office.

DIET: Remain on a liquid diet for the first 48 hours following your surgery. Acceptable foods include juices and other non-carbonated beverages, soup, Jell-O®, pudding, ice cream, milk shakes, yogurt, etc. Dietary supplements including Ensure® and Sustacal® are beneficial. Beginning on post-op day three, you can advance to a slightly firmer, but largely pureed diet. By day four, you can further advance your diet. Scrambled eggs and pastas are a good start.

MEDICATIONS: Take your prescribed and/or dispensed pain medication as directed. Do not drive a motor vehicle, operate machinery or perform any functions requiring intact reflex and/or cognitive capabilities for at least 12 hours following your last dose of prescription narcotic pain relievers. Take any other prescribed or dispensed medications as directed.

ACTIVITY: Rest and remain relatively inactive the day of your surgery. Sit or lie with your head elevated. Light physical activity may be initiated the following day. By post-op day three, you may resume a more normal level of physical activity. If you received intravenous anesthesia or intravenous sedation for your surgery, do not drive a motor vehicle, operate machinery or perform any functions requiring intact reflex and/ or cognitive capabilities for a period of at least 24 hours following your surgery.

DRUG ALLERGY: Allergic reactions to injected anesthetic medications and prescribed oral pain relievers and antibiotics are rare. Mild allergies will elicit itching, rash and possibly hives. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that causes swelling of the throat and constriction of the windpipe interfering with breathing. If you think you are experiencing anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately. If you experience any signs or symptoms of a mild drug allergy, discontinue taking the medication and call our office. If there is any delay in reaching Dr. Carroll or the doctor on call, and your reaction to medications is worsening, go to your closest hospital emergency room or telephone 911. An upset stomach is not a symptom of a drug allergy.

UPSET STOMACH: Many patients experience nausea and one or more episodes of vomiting following oral surgery. Swallowing blood irritates your stomach lining. Post-surgical pain medicines may also upset your stomach. Nausea and vomiting are generally self-limiting. If you experience persistent nausea and/or more than two episodes of vomiting, call our office

SMOKING: Do not smoke for at least five days following your surgery.

ORAL HYGIENE: Before retiring the night of your surgery, gently swish and spit with warm salt water. Brush your lower teeth normally, and gently brush the outer surfaces of your upper teeth. Repeat this procedure the next morning when you awaken, and again that evening before bedtime. Continue this hygiene protocol until you see Dr. Carroll for your post-operative evaluation.  

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