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Post-Operative Instructions: Impacted Tooth Exposure


The exposure and bonding procedure will result in an attachment placed on the impacted tooth your orthodontist would like to guide into its proper position. The gold chain you see in your mouth is what your orthodontist will use to accomplish this. It is important that the chain remains undisturbed until your orthodontist can see you in 1–2 weeks.


After surgery you will have gauze in your mouth to help stop bleeding. The gauze should be removed after 30–45 minutes following the procedure. Even so, you may notice minor bleeding after the surgery. This will be light pink, or blood (red) tinged—this is to be expected 2–3 days after surgery. However, if you notice persistent, bright red bleeding, use the provided gauze in direct contact with the area and bite together firmly for 45–60 minutes.


Ideally, you should wait until the numbness wears off before eating or drinking. This is to prevent biting the tongue or lips accidentally. Start with clear liquids that are room temperature and advance to a regular diet over the next few days. If something hurts to eat, simply do not eat it and work yourself up to it.


You may notice that immediately after your procedure the swelling or bruising is very minimal; however, after 1–2 days these will start to become more pronounced and, in some cases, very significant. This is a normal response to the surgery. Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Apply the ice pack(s) to the outside of the face alternating use between 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off, while awake for the first 24 hours. Use ice packs any longer than this and the swelling may get worse. The bruising will typically subside within the first week or two.


Skip brushing the first day after surgery—simply rinse your mouth with salt water 2–3 times gently. After the first initial post-surgical day, avoid heavy brushing in that area; it is OK to brush the rest of your mouth. There will be sutures in place; do not play with them or remove them before your follow-up appointment. You may continue to perform salt water rinses, as needed, for up to a week post-op.


Keep physical activity to a minimum for the first 48 hours; this includes performing no activity that will result in an increase in heart rate, and no lifting more than 15 pounds. After 48 hours, you may slowly increase your physical output as you feel comfortable.


Discomfort afterward is to be expected. It is not a complication. This can range from mild discomfort to significant pain, depending on the individual. You will likely be given a prescription for an appropriate pain medicine, or you may simply opt to use over the counter NSAIDs (ibuprofen, Advil®, Motrin®, etc.). Please read those medication labels carefully. If you medically cannot use NSAIDs, Tylenol®/acetaminophen can be used. Pain, which does not improve after 7 days, will need to be assessed in office. Do not mix these medications with alcohol. If you use the prescription pain medications, you may become drowsy; operating any machinery is not to be attempted.


If any of these instructions are unclear, or you believe there is a problem, please do not hesitate to call the office.

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