Post-op Instructions for Tunnel Care

Every consideration must be given to keep the surgical site clean and free of food particles. The following are instructions for your mouth care after surgery.

1. DO NOT CHEW: you can not chew on the area of the surgery for four to five months.

2. No smoking! Smoking is to be avoided for the time period specified by Dr. Newhart. Smoking increases the heat in the surgical site and significantly lowers the body’s ability to heal the site.

3. Avoid alcohol, commercial mouth rinses and very hot fluids for 30 hours after your surgery.

4. Gentle rinsing of the mouth should be started the day of the surgery. Frequent gentle rinsing with lukewarm salt water will aid the healing process. Add one-half teaspoon of salt to a 6oz. glass of water. Avoid the use of a water pik toothbrush.

5. Please begin using the red ultra-soft suture brush 24 hours after your surgery to cleanse and stimulate the tissue. No toothpaste is necessary.

6. Antibiotics: Patients should follow prescription as directed.

7. Pain: A certain amount of pain is to be expected. An appropriate pain medication has been prescribed for you. It is advised that you do not drive while taking the pain prescription, however, if only Motrin is being taken, most people are able to drive without any problems.

8. Swelling: Some swelling and minimal bruising is possible and is to be expected. IT IS NOT UNUSUAL. Apply the ice pack that has been given to you for a period of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the next two days. If after three days, you still have inordinate swelling or pain, please call Dr. Newhart.

9. Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding, following surgery, should not alarm you. If the bleeding is excessive or continuous, please call Dr. Newhart at once. Rinse your mouth gently.

10. NO STRAWS! Straws create a negative pressure in your mouth and will tend to loosen the sutures.

11. Diet: Following surgery, it is best to restrict your diet to fluids and soft foods for the first day. A normal diet may then be resumed the following day, but you will want to avoid chewing on the surgery site for 90 days.

12. Follow-up: After the healing period has been completed, the Dr. Newhart will place the appropriate implants. You will be instructed on how to properly care for the grafted area.