What to Expect from Surgery

Years ago periodontal surgery was considered an ordeal. Things have changed! Today there should be no pain involved during surgery, and the postoperative discomfort is minimal. New and sophisticated medications ensure you a smooth procedure. Most patients prefer light sedation for surgical procedures. Research has shown that light sedation improves surgical safety, improves the outcome, and contributes to a more pleasant post-operative course. Our doctors are licensed by the State of Illinois to perform intravenous (IV) conscious sedation and our Oakbrook Terrace office is an AAAHC accredited office based surgery center (see AAAHC Accreditation).

For surgeries that last an hour or longer, most patients prefer conscious sedation. Of all the additions to modern periodontics, this is the most significant for patient comfort. If IV sedation is used, you must have someone to drive you home after your procedure.

Click here to review a reference article highlighting the benefits of IV conscious sedation during periodontal surgery.

Postoperative discomfort has also been dramatically reduced with the use of NSAIDS (non-steroid anti-inflammatant drugs) incombination with acetaminophen. These pain prevention drugs, such as Ibuprofen and Motrin, stop the formation of the chemicals the body normally produces that cause heightened pain. NSAIDS are not narcotics, so you can function normally when taking them. Generally, NSAIDS are started the morning before surgery, and taken for three days. After this time no prescription medications are normally needed. In addition to the NSAIDS, a narcotic may be recommended for the first day.

Patients are often given antibiotics to take prior to and/or after surgery. It is important to take the prescriptions as directed, to optimize healing and minimize the chance of infection.

A prescription mouthwash is often prescribed after surgery, and may be used for 2-10 weeks. It is much more effective than any over-the-counter mouthwash, and kills bacteria throughout the mouth. During the first 10 days there is generally a periodontal dressing over the operated area (similar to putty or chewing gum), and using the mouthwash keeps the dressing clean.

At 10-14 days any dressing is removed, along with any sutures that may not have dissolved. The area is cleansed, and postoperative care of the area reviewed. This appointment generally lasts 15-30 minutes, and should not cause discomfort.

It is important to note that because every surgery is not the same, nor is every patient, your doctor will customize a treatment plan for you and review pre and post surgical instructions that are specific to you and your procedure. We personalize every aspect of patient care and your comfort after surgical treatment (pre op and post op) is at the top of the list. Do not hesitate to contact your doctor is you have questions or concerns with any part of treatment. We plan on exceeding your expectations!