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3. Surgical Instruments

3-36. POSTOPERATIVE CARE OF THE PATIENT

a. Dismissing the Patient. The patient should not be dismissed until blood or any other evidence of the operation has been removed from his face or lips. He should receive the necessary postoperative instructions and medications and future appointments, if needed. If he has been given medication that leaves him with incomplete control of his faculties, someone should take them home. This should be arranged beforehand. The dentist may want to detain the patient in the clinic for observation or recovery.

b. Suture Removal. Following surgery, the patient will be instructed in home care. Generally, he is instructed not to rinse on the day of surgery, in order to avoid disturbing the clot. The following day he should rinse gently with warm salt water to promote healing. He will receive exact instructions concerning any medication that he is to use. Another appointment is given at least 48 hours later for the removal of sutures. Other special instructions may be given as well, and he must always receive instructions to return to the clinic as soon as possible if any complications develop. The specialist should observe the patient postoperatively until all instructions have been given to the patient and he has left the clinic. Many dentists will ask dental assistants to remove sutures. See figure 3-37 for steps of suture removal.

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Figure 3-37. Suture removal.


David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015