What to expect and how to ease your healing after a dental procedure

Having a major dental procedure can feel scary and you may be wondering how long recovery will take, if it will be very painful, and what to expect. Depending on the procedure, you’ll likely experience only minor discomfort, and you’ll recover quickly. If you’re facing major work, there are a few things to be aware of, especially following such procedures as extractions or oral surgery. Take it easy following your dental treatment recovery, at least for the rest of the day. You’re going to need to let the affected area begin to heal, especially post-surgery or after an extraction. Avoid strenuous exercise, bending over, lifting, or anything that might dislodge blood clots or cause bleeding.

If you were sedated, your concentration is going to be impaired, so avoid driving or operating any equipment that requires you to focus. It’s a good idea to have someone on hand to drive you home or plan to take a taxi. If you’re in Costa Rica on your own, the Team at Dr. Garita MP Dental Experience can help you arrange for transportation and even assistance if you should need it. At bedtime, use an extra pillow to elevate your head and minimize the chance of bleeding.

Icing your jaw to reduce swelling or bruising

Your doctor at Mario Garita MP Dental Experience may suggest icing your jaw to reduce swelling or bruising. Following oral surgery, some inflammation is perfectly normal. The first day, apply ice 15-30 minutes at a time then remove the ice bag for another 15 minutes. If you had surgery on both sides of your mouth, just alternate the ice pack to the other side of your face and back. If you are consistent with the ice pack, the puffiness will be reduced and should disappear after a day or so.

In the case of tooth extraction or surgery, there may be a bit of bleeding for the first day. The surgeon will probably give you some gauze to fold and bite on to reduce the blood flow. Change the gauze out periodically. If the bleeding seems excessive or continues longer than a day, call and report it. To help alleviate this concern, avoid medicines that cause blood thinning, such as aspirin, during the days leading up to your surgery and after. The Team at Mario Garita MP Dental Experience will advise you on these measures before your appointment.

Woman resting. Image for illutrate the following the Doctor Garita dental recovery treatment

Don’t do anything that could dislodge the blood clot; that means:

  • No straws, alcohol, carbonated drinks, or smoking for at least 3 days.
  • Stick with a soft diet post-surgery for a few days.
  • Foods like yogurt, pudding, soft scrambled egg, applesauce, or oatmeal are good choices.
  • It’s best to avoid hot or cold foods to minimize sensitivity.
  • The same goes for spicy foods, which might inflame tender tissue.

Keep an eye out for infection.

Fever or swelling lasting longer than 24 hours should be reported to your doctor. If you have difficulty swallowing or breathing, alert your doctor immediately; you could be experiencing an allergic reaction to the anesthetic.

Even though you’ll be enjoying the beauty and excitement of Costa Rica, it’s important that you take time out from sightseeing to attend all follow-up appointments.

Your follow up is intended to monitor the healing process and must not be dismissed. Dr. Garita’s staff will give you complete aftercare instructions, so be sure to follow them.

If you have any doubts or questions about what to do, just ask! Our team members are on call to assist you throughout the entire process leading up to your procedure, during the dental and throughout your treatment recovery.

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